Photo: Walter G. Arce Sr./ASP, Inc.

INDYCAR Practice Analysis: Barber

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The final practice session for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama finished with a familiar face on top of the time sheet.

Team Penske’s Will Power went around the 2.3-mile natural terrain road course with a fastest lap of 1 minute, 07.3430 seconds. Robert Wickens was second followed by Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi.

It’s interesting to see where many teams are on Saturday compared to where they were on Friday.

Power was in the top four positions in all three sessions with his worst being fourth in Friday’s afternoon session while teammate Josef Newgarden was sixth in the Saturday session after spending both of Friday’s sessions in the top two.

Probably the weekend’s biggest surprise has been Carlin. After slowly figuring out the 2018 IndyCar package, Trevor Carlin’s duo of Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton have helped elevate the team’s position. The Florida-based team were fourth and 12th in the opening practice with Chilton higher on the time sheet. Chilton was 11th in the second Friday session, while Kimball was 19th. But the pair were 13th and 14th in Saturday’s session with Kimball ahead of Chilton.

One of the biggest improvements has to be from Hunter-Reay. The 2013 and 2014 winner at Barber Motorsports Park, Hunter-Reay was 15th in the opening practice, seventh in Friday afternoon practice and fourth in Saturday practice. He hasn’t won since Pocono in 2015.

Falling down the time sheet was Spencer Pigot. The Floridian was 22nd in Saturday’s session after turning the second fastest lap on Friday. However, given his past record at Barber, Pigot might not have much to worry about.

Qualifying is Saturday at 3:00 p.m. CT while the race is at 2:30 p.m. CT Sunday.


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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.