TSO NOTE: The entry list can be found as linked below, but the key change is Rodolfo Gonzalez from Venezuela will drive the #18 Dale Coyne Racing entry and Simona de Silvestro is again not on the entry list. She is already confirmed for the Indy 500.
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Fast Facts
Track: Barber Motorsports Park, a 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course (clockwise)
Race distance: 90 laps / 207 miles
Entry List: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (PDF)
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 20 seconds each
Firestone tire allotment: Five sets primary, three sets alternate
Twitter: @BarberMotorPark @IndyCar, #HIGPA, #IndyCar
Event website: www.barbermotorsports.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Will Power, 1:08.3120, 121.209 mph
Qualifying lap record: Scott Dixon, 1:06.7750, 123.999 mph, April 2013
NBCSN race broadcast: Sunday, April 26 (3 p.m. ET)
NBCSN qualifying broadcast: Sunday, April 26, (2 a.m. ET, tape delay)
Leigh Diffey will be the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s broadcast of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Steve Matchett. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.
Radio broadcasts: Paul Page is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Qualifying and all Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 213, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR 15 app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.
Video Streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season and this weekend’s qualifying session will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar) and RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR 15 App: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR 15 app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include Interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where a fan’s favorite driver is positioned, leaderboard with enhanced 2D marching ants and car telemetry for 2015, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter as drivers talk strategy with their pit crews during the race.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Saturday, April 25
9-10 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
12:40-1:25 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
3:55 p.m. – Three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series knockout qualifications (live-streamed on racecontrol.indycar.com; taped coverage, 2 a.m. (ET) Sunday, April 26, NBCSN)
Sunday, April 26
10-10:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up
2 p.m. – NBCSN on air
2:37 p.m. – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama green flag (NBCSN, Live).
* The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the sixth Indy car event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park.
* Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay are the only drivers to have won at Barber Motorsports Park. Castroneves won the inaugural race in 2010, Power won the race in 2011 and 2012 and Hunter-Reay won in 2013 and 2014.
* Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Power are the only drivers to have won the pole position at Barber Motorsports Park. Power claimed the pole position in 2010, 2011 and 2014; Castroneves won the pole in 2012 and Hunter-Reay in 2013.
* Two drivers have won the race from the pole – Power in 2010 and Hunter-Reay in 2013.
* Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in each of his five previous starts at Barber Motorsports Park – including four runner-up finishes – but he has yet to finish on the top step of the podium at the picturesque road circuit. Dixon won at Long Beach for the first time last week and took sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36.
* Nine drivers have competed in every Indy car race at Barber – Marco Andretti, Castroneves, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Power, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato and Justin Wilson. All but Wilson are entered this year.
* At least six drivers will compete in their first Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park: Gabby Chaves, Stefano Coletti, Francesco Dracone, Luca Filippi, Rodolfo Gonzalez and Sage Karam.
* Team Penske has three wins at Barber Motorsports Park. Andretti Autosport is the only other team to win at the track, winning in 2013 and 2014 with Ryan Hunter-Reay.
* Kanaan seeks to start his 237th consecutive race, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. His teammate Dixon has made 178 consecutive starts.
* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars are differentiated by their shape on the street course as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and speedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.
* The No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet crew of Tony Kanaan won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a total pit lane time of 76.803 seconds. The NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “After a weekend like we had at Long Beach, I want nothing more than to get back to the racetrack as quickly as possible. It’s never fun having to go through a weekend like that. Luckily for our No. 1 Verizon Chevy team, they don’t happen very often. We had back luck in qualifying and it just snowballed from that point. However, all that adversity makes me very motivated to make up for it over the next couple of weeks, starting with Barber this weekend. We know that we can run a quick pace and challenge for the win there because we have done that on multiple occasions in the past. My teammates have been very solid and very consistent over the first few races and I need to be back on track this weekend to stay with them.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet) : “Honestly, I couldn’t be prouder of my No. 2 Team Penske Chevy team for the way we have started the season. We’re the only team to start the season with one win, two podiums and three top-five finishes in the first three races. Those stats are really a testament to the team and how hard they have worked since the start of the 2014 season. It’s one thing to go through a rough start to a season – like we did in 2014 – and not learn anything, but we definitely used those experiences to make ourselves much better. You saw that in the second half of the 2014 season and we have carried that over to this season. Hopefully we can see the same speed in the Hawk Performance car this weekend at Barber. I was happy with the way we tested at spring training (at Barber) last month and we were really good there last year before I went off course. That gives me a lot of confidence heading into this weekend.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 AAA Team Penske Chevrolet): “Man, we were so close last weekend at Long Beach. We had the speed in the car to win the race, but Scott (Dixon) was able to get around us on pit road and, unfortunately, that was the race. I really feel that a win is just around the corner for the No. 3 AAA Chevrolet team. We’ve started the season with three top-five finishes and have been in contention to win each weekend. As a driver, that’s really all you can ask for. Barber has been a very good track for me in the past. One of my favorite racing memories was winning the first race there in 2010. If we take care of business, like we have to start the season, we should be fine and have a real shot at winding up in Victory Lane again on Sunday.”
STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “We have had a lot of bad luck in the first three weekends, but the speed has always been there. Every race we have been very competitive and I proved that at Long Beach last weekend by setting the new race lap record. I got the chance to test at Barber a few weeks ago, which went pretty well, and I really liked the track. It’s much more like the tracks I’m used to back in Europe, so I’m sure we will be fast. We just need a little bit of luck and everything will be OK.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda): “I’m looking forward to getting to Barber Motorsports Park, for sure. I love that track – the flow, the speed, everything – and because we’ve tested there already, I think everyone feels a bit more prepared. Hopefully we can hit the ground running and really try to make a push in ultimate performance. The No. 5 Arrow Electronics team has been just flat out getting our heads around this new kit and Barber is a great opportunity to get a solid result.”
JAMES JAKES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I’m looking forward to going to Barber. Obviously we tested for two days there before the season started. It’s going to be important to start off well there because we’ve only got two days on track and we’re qualifying on our first day out. We plan to do our homework, start the weekend off well on Saturday morning and have a good race on Sunday.”
SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet): “It was a lot of fun to be a part of such a great weekend in Long Beach and to see the team have good results, but I’m definitely ready to get back in the car at Barber this weekend. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to get more track time at Barber at the open test, but I’ve turned a lot of laps there throughout my time in the ladder series and I love racing there. I’m ready to see what the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine records car can do at full speed down at Barber.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “We’ve had some great racing over the past few years at Barber. I think I’ve finished on the podium every time and never won there. I think it might be all second places and one third, so I think we are due for some success in the Coke Chevrolet this weekend. It’s a really crazy racetrack with lots of elevation and lots of high-speed grip. It’s very beautiful in terms of the landscape. Hopefully I can try to move up and to get to that top spot at Barber. I love going there and we’ve always qualified and raced well. Hopefully this year could be the year.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I’m looking forward to heading to Barber this weekend, especially after getting some great data from the open test in March. NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing has been really consistent so far this year and we have a lot of momentum coming off of our fifth-place finish at Long Beach. I always qualify fairly well at Barber, but I’ve never been able to finish higher than sixth. I’m definitely ready to make something happen this weekend, and with how well the car has been running and how great of a job my crew has been doing, I think this is the year to do it.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cigs – KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “I am excited about the race in Alabama. The Mistic machine was really strong during the open test in the heat. We actually did our fastest lap of the day during the hottest part of the day. I think the car is pretty strong, so hopefully we will come off the transporter with a good baseline. The weather forecast seems to be a bit complicated, maybe some thunderstorms like last year. If that is the case, we just have to look at the notes from last year and see what we did because the car was quick. Hopefully, we can start at the front this race and have a good result.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda): “We had a really good test at Barber. Obviously the conditions were cooler than what we will see this weekend, but all in all, I feel pretty good about our ability to be competitive at the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. The Long Beach race was frustrating but I feel like we can have a strong rebound. We won’t find out until we get on track, but certainly at the test we were right up there so I’m hoping we can have a good show on the weekend because we need the points. Since it’s only a two-day event this year, we have to be right on top of our game in the practice sessions and qualifying, so we definitely can’t miss a beat.”
FRANCESCO DRACONE (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “Barber is a circuit more like what I’m used to coming from a European series. Other than that, when we were there for the test we didn’t have the new aero kit from Honda and were forced to use the new, lower downforce floor which made things nearly impossible for me to be competitive. The task for me and the team is to gain references as soon and as quickly as possible when we start running on Saturday. It will be very challenging but I know the track, so that should help. I suppose I’ll be able to learn some things by looking at the data from the other car’s test since Carlos (Huertas) had the new aero package. The data is really good and is part of my preparation. Both days were successful for the team (at the test) and we should be able to use that this week.
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): “Hopefully at Barber Motorsports Park we can start with the performance we were capable of during the race last weekend in Long Beach. We did not get the result we were hoping for there, but it will be nice to have a chance to try again this weekend. I feel good going into Barber because I have done some testing there and I am confident we can do well.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): “The No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet team has started the season off with a lot of consistency, but I was hoping that we would have a win under our belts by now. I know that may have been a bit ambitious, going to a new team and the growing pains that were sure to come with that, but we have everything we need to compete for wins here at Team Penske. We are closing in on it and it’s going to come sooner rather than later. And as I become more comfortable with my new surroundings, you will see my driving style change a bit as well. I need to get more aggressive at times in the race and that will come. But it’s all part of a process for me at the moment. It’s early in the season and we have plenty of racing left to go, starting this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. Everyone loves going to Barber. It’s a beautiful facility that puts on great racing.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda): “Barber is a track that I have some nice memories from my time in Indy Lights – I was really competitive there. Last year (in the Verizon IndyCar Series race), it was a really crazy race because of the weather, and this year, the weather doesn’t look great for Saturday, but maybe it’ll change during the weekend. The conditions will be the same for everyone, though. We had official testing at Barber before the season and I think, since then, we have improved the car a lot and I think we will be more competitive than we were during the test.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “Barber is a very physical track, especially with the new aero kits, and is one of my favorite permanent road courses on the schedule. We’re hoping to improve on the testing we’ve done there recently. We finished second in 2014 and need to finish one spot better this weekend.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama has certainly been a special event for me and the team. Bringing that No. 28 Honda to victory lane last year started the momentum we carried to Indy to win the 500. As back-to-back winners of the event, we’re looking to return with a strong result and continued progress on working with the new aero kit. We’re dealing with a completely different car this year, so we’ll face some new challenges in a relatively short race weekend, as a three-car team, we’ll be working closely together to make the most of the short amount of track time.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet): “It’s been nice to get some consistent results over the last couple of races. Obviously we want to be higher and we’re close to knocking on the door. We’re ready for the next round in Barber Motorsports Park this weekend and to try and one-up these guys.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I’m really excited to head down to Barber this weekend. The last three races, the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet has been really quick and the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys are really hitting their stride as far as giving me a good car and having some really quick pit stops. We’re really gelling as a unit, but now we just have to get lady luck on our side. We have the opportunity to keep doing what we’ve been doing consistently well and have a chance to get a great result as a team.”
GABBY CHAVES (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda): “Barber is one of the most difficult tracks on the circuit and very hard to pass on, and that’s on a dry day. In March we tested there, it was the first time with the new aero kit, and we’ve learned so much about the car since then. I believe we will be a lot faster and more competitive than the test.’