Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Race Preview

“The whole team is optimistic heading to the next round at Barber (Motorsports Park). The DHL machine has had encouraging pace at our preseason tests and the first two race events, so hopefully, we can keep that going this weekend and bring home a third Barber victory for DHL, AutoNation and Honda. The fans are always great in Birmingham, so I am looking forward to seeing them and putting on a good show.”

Fast Facts

Track: Barber Motorsports Park, a 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course (clockwise) in Birmingham, Alabama

Race distance: 90 laps / 207 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate

Twitter: @BarberMotorPark @IndyCar, #HIGPA, #IndyCar

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2018 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet)

2018 NTT P1 Award winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) 1:07.4413, 122.773 mph

Qualifying lap record: Sebastien Bourdais, 1:06.6001, 124.324 mph, April 23, 2016

NBCSN telecasts: Qualifying, Saturday, April 6 (4 p.m. ET, live); Race, Sunday, April 7 (4 p.m. ET, live). Leigh Diffey will be the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s telecast of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Ryan Myrehn reporting from the pits. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 113, XM 209,, and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT IndyCar Series practices and qualifying are available on, and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 113 and XM 209.

NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: All NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product that will put more INDYCAR programming content at viewers’ fingertips than ever before. In addition, full-broadcast, same-day replays of NTT IndyCar Series races, live streams of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires races, edited cutdowns of NTT IndyCar Series and Indy Lights races and more will be available.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, April 5

11:15 a.m. – Noon – NTT IndyCar Series practice #1, NBC Sports Gold
2:50-3:35 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #2, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday, April 6
10:45-11:30 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #3, NBC Sports Gold
3 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifications), NBCSN (live)

Sunday, April 7
11:10-11:40 a.m. – NTT IndyCar Series warmup, NBC Sports Gold
2:30 p.m. – Driver Introductions
3 p.m. – NBCSN on air
3:08 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines” command
3:15 p.m. – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (90 laps/207 miles), NBCSN (live)

Race Notes:

  • Colton Herta became the youngest winner in Indy car history when he won the INDYCAR Classic at Circuit of The Americas on March 24. The second-generation racer, at 18 years, 259 days old, became the first rookie to win a race since Alexander Rossi won the Indianapolis 500 in 2016.
  • Josef Newgarden firmly established himself as a championship contender following up his win at St. Petersburg on March 10 with a runner-up finish at COTA. The two-time defending Barber race winner Newgarden leads Colton Herta by 18 points heading into this weekend’s race.
  • The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the 10th NTT IndyCar Series event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park. Helio Castroneves won the inaugural race in 2010.
  • Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud are the only entered drivers to have won at Barber Motorsports Park. Power won the race in 2011 and 2012, Hunter-Reay in 2013 and 2014, Newgarden in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and Pagenaud in 2016.
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden are the only entered drivers to have won the pole position at Barber Motorsports Park. Pagenaud won the pole in 2016. Power claimed the pole position in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017, Hunter-Reay won the pole in 2013 and Newgarden won the pole in 2018.
  • Four drivers have won the race from the pole – Will Power in 2011, Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2013, Simon Pagenaud in 2016 and Josef Newgarden in 2018.
  • Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in seven of his nine previous starts at Barber Motorsports Park – including five runner-up finishes – but he has yet to finish on the top step of the podium at the picturesque road circuit.
  • Seven drivers have competed in every Indy car race at Barber Motorsports Park – Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato.
  • Team Penske has six wins at Barber Motorsports Park (2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018). Andretti Autosport and Ed Carpenter Racing are the only other teams to win at the track. Andretti Autosport won in 2013 and 2014 with Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ed Carpenter Racing won with Josef Newgarden in 2015.
  • Six NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year contenders – Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Ben Hanley, Colton Herta, Patricio O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist – are entered. Those six, plus veteran Jack Harvey, will race an Indy car at Barber Motorsports Park for the first time.
  • Seventeen of the 24 drivers entered in the event have competed in Indy car races at Barber Motorsports Park. Nine entered drivers have led laps: Will Power 208, Josef Newgarden 133, Ryan Hunter-Reay 93, Simon Pagenaud 87, Scott Dixon 44, Graham Rahal 24, Sebastien Bourdais 11, James Hinchcliffe 2 and Marco Andretti 1.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 303rd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Kanaan will attempt to make his 362nd Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list.
  • Scott Dixon has made 243 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 219 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
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