Apr 5, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT
Helio Castroneves, the defending polesitter at Barber Motorsports Park, led practice Friday for the second round of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
The Brazilian was one of 11 drivers who dipped into the 1:08 range in Friday’s second practice session around the 2.3-mile road course. That’s still nearly a second off times set in testing, but teams have not yet run Firestone’s softer, grippier alternate red tires.
“I think it’s better to be lucky than good,” he said. “Obviously with the yellow in the end a lot of guys probably put tires, but the car felt pretty good. The AAA team felt really strong, the morning unfortunately it was a little bit difficult because seeing that the track has lots of grip and when you have an extra set of tires certainly it helps a little bit. In the end of the day, with AJ and Will we’ve been actually doing a lot of different stuff out there and it seems to be working.”
Like several other drivers this weekend, Castroneves’ car features an alternate livery. Castroneves is sporting blue and white AAA colors, with an additional marketing campaign that sees “Turbo,” the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film about a snail who races in the Indianapolis 500.
Although a Chevrolet was quickest, Honda runners took four of the next six spots on the timesheets for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Sam Schmidt’s two cars were third and fourth, rookie Tristan Vautier again getting the better of Simon Pagenaud, while Alex Tagliani leapt to second in the Barracuda/Bryan Herta Autosport entry and Scott Dixon ended the day in sixth.
Will Power was fifth once again, as in the morning, with AJ Allmendinger continuing his weekend within a tenth of his Australian Team Penske teammate once again in eighth place.
EJ Viso was seventh, best of Andretti Autosport’s quartet of cars, with James Jakes (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and St. Petersburg front row starter Takuma Sato completing the top 10. Viso’s session included an off course excursion at Turn 8, but without any damage he was able to return back to the pits.
Dale Coyne Racing made strides with its brakes – both Justin Wilson and Ana Beatriz knocked one full second off their morning times – while the rest of the AGR contingent struggled. Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti have not yet been on the pace. KV Racing Technology also dropped to 16th and 17th with Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro – both found some time but not as much as others – and Charlie Kimball was one of only two drivers to fail to improve on his time from practice one. That meant a drop from fourth to 18th on the day.
Through two sessions, 23 of 26 drivers have eclipsed Power’s track record of 1:09.8529, which will almost certainly be broken with official times in qualifying on Saturday. Qualifying airs at 5 p.m. EST Saturday on the NBC Sports Network.
Combined times from Practice 1 and 2 are below:
Rank Car Driver Team C/E/T Time 1. 3 Helio Castroneves Penske D/C/F 1:08.5440 2. 98 Alex Tagliani Barracuda/BHA D/H/F 1:08.6288 3. 55 Tristan Vautier Schmidt Peterson D/H/F 1:08.6720 4. 77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Hamilton D/H/F 1:08.7627 5. 12 Will Power Penske D/C/F 1:08.8066 6. 9 Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi D/H/F 1:08.8446 7. 5 EJ Viso Venezuela/Andretti/HVM D/C/F 1:08.8556 8. 2 AJ Allmendinger Penske D/C/F 1:08.9119 9. 16 James Jakes RLL D/H/F 1:08.9479 10. 14 Takuma Sato Foyt D/H/F 1:08.9817 11. 19 Justin Wilson Coyne D/H/F 1:08.9917 12. 1 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti D/C/F 1:09.0524 13. 22 Oriol Servia Panther DRR D/C/F 1:09.1384 14. 10 Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi D/H/F 1:09.1492 15. 27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti D/C/F 1:09.2602 16. 11 Tony Kanaan KV D/C/F 1:09.2755 17. 78 Simona de Silvestro KV D/C/F 1:09.2779 18. 83 Charlie Kimball Novo Nordisk Ganassi D/H/F 1:09.2798* 19. 25 Marco Andretti Andretti D/C/F 1:09.3452 20. 7 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon D/C/F 1:09.3480 21. 67 Josef Newgarden Fisher Hartman D/H/F 1:09.5084 22. 15 Graham Rahal RLL D/H/F 1:09.6315 23. 4 JR Hildebrand Panther D/C/F 1:09.7176 24. 6 Sebastian Saavedra Dragon D/C/F 1:10.1026* 25. 20 Ed Carpenter Carpenter D/C/F 1:10.2497 26. 18 Ana Beatriz Coyne D/H/F 1:11.2361
*Fastest time set in Practice 1 instead of Practice 2
Aug 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
NASCAR Trucks race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend. Will they be able to match up with the 2013 edition?
Aug 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
Skeleton Bronze medalist Matt Antoine goes for two-seater ride with Arie Luyendyk in Milwaukee.
Aug 27, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Scott Hargrove looks to secure Porsche GT3 Canada title while his season-long rival in both Porsche and Pro Mazda, Spencer Pigot, looks to play spoiler.
Aug 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Jeff Gordon will make his 750th Sprint Cup start at Atlanta this weekend, the site of his first in 1992, and also the site of another record he’ll hit next year.
Aug 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Sebastian Vettel’s getting a new chassis for Monza, and a new engineer for 2015 at Red Bull.
Aug 27, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT
With Fontana this weekend, we take a look back at Gil de Ferran’s closed course speed record in 2000.
Aug 27, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT
Promotional poster for the COTA FIA WEC event features some rather bizarre car choices to promote the race.
Aug 27, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT
IndyCar will formally confirm the addition of New Orleans to its 2015 schedule later Wednesday.
Aug 27, 2014, 1:23 AM EDT
MotorSportsTalk sorts out fact from fiction regarding the yet-to-be-revealed 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, based on hints from today’s NASCAR schedule release.
Aug 26, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT
NASCAR star Kevin Harvick has never been afraid to speak his mind. But the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy has caused him to be more judicious in what he says and also “frustrated” at how the media has dealt with the entire incident.
Aug 26, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT
The long-awaited release of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule was much less of the surprise many expected. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Aug 26, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Brad Keselowski won his first Camping World Truck Series race last Thursday at Bristol, but his and two other teams have been dinged by NASCAR after their Trucks failed post-race height requirements.
Aug 26, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president of racing operations, explains the factors that influence how the final racing schedule is created.
Aug 26, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT
The NASCAR AMERICA crew make their initial observations of the 2015 Sprint Cup docket (Hint: They’re really happy about Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend).
Aug 26, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
NBC Sports Group begins its 2015 NASCAR race coverage on July 4th (Nationwide) and 5th (Sprint Cup) from Daytona International Speedway.
Aug 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
The big moment is almost here. Click this post for stream links to today’s special edition of NASCAR AMERICA – featuring the announcement of the 2015 NASCAR schedule!
Aug 26, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
It’s the first of a planned four-book series that’s designed to help kids be more self-confident and make good choices.
Aug 26, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
Notes and numbers to keep in mind as NASCAR sets up shop in Atlanta this weekend.
Aug 26, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
The new Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo has been officially revealed in the last week, and will race in the single-make Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series.
Aug 26, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Hamilton also vows that he won’t be out for revenge against Rosberg at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix.
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