Apr 6, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT
Ryan Hunter-Reay scored the Verizon P1 award for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The Andretti Autosport driver is the first driver outside of Team Penske to score a pole or win at Barber Motorsports Park in the track’s four-year IndyCar history.
“This team has done so well this weekend, we just kept progressing and we knew where we needed to work on it. I really went to work on my driving as well, and we all did it together here. It’s a great position to start from and now we need to go make it work in warm up and for the race, making these Firestones hang in there for an entire race. That’ll be the challenging part.”
Will Power upheld Team Penske’s honor and admitted he was happy with second. Tristan Vautier ended third after a last-minute promotion into the Firestone Fast Six, ahead of Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves.
Dixon qualified fourth but set the new Barber track record, a 1:06.7750 in his group of first qualifying, around the 2.3-mile road course.
Vautier entered the Fast Six just before the session after Takuma Sato was issued a penalty for blocking Justin Wilson. Sato’s two fastest laps were deleted, which demoted him to 12th on the grid, and sent Vautier and his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew into a mad dash to bring his car back to pit lane from the IndyCar paddock.
AJ Allmendinger made it through his group in qualifying and will line up in the top 10 for his first open-wheel start in seven years.
Kimball’s fifth place is his best career start after making his first Firestone Fast Six. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti and Dragon Racing’s Sebastian Saavedra start where they did in St. Petersburg, seventh and ninth, respectively.
Simon Pagenaud, Simona de Silvestro, Dario Franchitti and St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe were among the big names who failed to advance out of their group in Q1.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
IZOD IndyCar Series – Honda GP of Alabama
78-Simona de Silvestro
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