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Will Power leads Penske 1-2-3 in 1st day of IndyCar Open Test (VIDEO)

Mar 17, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT

Team Penske’s Will Power ended the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series season on a hot streak with three wins (Sonoma, Houston 2, Fontana) in the final five races. So far, it appears he’s carried that momentum into the new year.

The Australian topped the charts on the first day of the series’ two-day Open Test at chilly Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama with a time of 1:07.6492 at 122.396 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet.

Power led a 1-2-3 Penske sweep in today’s session, with IndyCar returnee Juan Pablo Montoya coming in an impressive second (1:07.7170/122.274) and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves winding up third (1:07.7214/122.266).

Defending series champion Scott Dixon was fourth-fastest in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy (1:07.8225/122.083), and A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato led the Honda pack with the fifth-fastest time in his No. 14 ABC Supply-backed machine (1:07.8619/122.012).

Ganassi’s Ryan Briscoe, Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Simon Pagenaud, and two Andretti Autosport pilots, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, rounded out the Top 10 in the session.

The track went hot around 11 a.m. ET, but low temperatures caused today’s testing to be delayed until well after lunch time.

There were some minor incidents during the day, including one that involved KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais making light contact after going off in Turn 6. IndyCar PR reported that Bourdais was medically checked, cleared and released to drive afterwards.

Red flags also came out for rookie Mikhail Aleshin and Graham Rahal, both of whom needed tow-ins. Aleshin was forced to come to a stop on the course after a problem emerged on his No. 7 SPM Honda (RACER Magazine’s Marshall Pruett tweeted that Honda said it was a fuel issue).

Testing is set to continue tomorrow at Barber with two sessions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET and 3-6 p.m. ET (live timing and scoring will be available on IndyCar.com).

INDYCAR OPEN TEST AT BARBER – MONDAY RESULTS

  1. Jeff - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Looks like that Verizon sponsorship has paid off already.

    • crunge4461 - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      Power has been sponsored by Verizon for past 3 years

    • photog645 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Cookie cutter cars and second rate drivers (most of them are Formula 1 castoffs). Who really cares.

  2. testover6370 - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Getting that big, solid win on the same oval that bit him must have been a huge mental boost for Power. Watching his performance in Fontana you would never have guessed that ovals were his Achilles heel. Its a good thing the field is so competitive, because Power is going to be scary good this year.

    • crunge4461 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Yes, Power had a super speedway monkey off his back. It took him a few years to get fast and comfortable, but given his win in Fontana I would say that he has to be the favorite….if Will is winning ovals and RC/Street there will be no stopping him.

  3. photog645 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Cookie cutter cars and second rate drivers (most of them are Formula 1 castoffs). Who really cares what is going on with IndyCar?

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