Apr 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
The Verizon IndyCar Series will visit its first natural-terrain road course of the 2014 season with this weekend’s stop at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Surrounded by well-kept grounds dotted with sculptures, Barber is one of the more beautiful race circuits in North America.
But beneath its beauty lies a beast of a track – a 2.38-mile, 17-turn circuit with multiple elevation changes and a nature that leans toward the technical.
Courtesy of the series, here are some of the key notes and numbers you’ll need to keep in mind for this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (Sun., 2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra)…
- The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the fifth Verizon IndyCar Series event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park.
- Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power 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. All three are entered in this year’s race.
- Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power are the only drivers to have won the pole position at Barber Motorsports Park. Power claimed the pole position both 2010 and 2011, Castroneves won the pole in 2012 and Hunter-Reay won the pole in 2013.
- Two drivers have won the race from the pole – Will Power in 2010 and Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2013.
- Eighteen (18) drivers entered in the event have competed in Verizon IndyCar Series races at Barber Motorsports Park. Eight of those drivers led laps: (Will Power 133, Helio Castroneves 73, Marco Andretti 58, Ryan Hunter-Reay 53, Scott Dixon 38, Charlie Kimball 3, James Hinchcliffe 1, and Graham Rahal 1).
- Thirteen drivers have competed in every Indy car race at Barber – Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Simona De Silvestro, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Alex Tagliani, E.J. Viso and Justin Wilson. Nine of those drivers are entered this year.
- At least five drivers will compete in their first Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park: Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth, Carlos Huertas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz. Munoz and Hawksworth competed on the track in Indy Lights with Munoz winning the 2013 race.
- Team Penske has three wins at Barber Motorsports Park. Andretti Autosport is the only other team to win at the track.
- The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske crew won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a total pit lane time of 75.89 seconds, as driver Will Power finished second in the race. For every race outside of the Indianapolis 500, the team with the shortest amount of accumulated time on pit lane will be awarded $10,000 by the Verizon IndyCar Series’ tire manufacturer; during doubleheader events, the winning teams will be awarded $5,000 per race.
The Season So Far:
- Will Power won the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It was the 22nd win of his Indy car career, tying Tony Bettenhausen and Emerson Fittipaldi for 19th all time.
- Mike Conway won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the second time in his career. It was his third Indy car win.
- Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Huertas started their first career Verizon IndyCar Series race at St. Petersburg.
- There were four race leaders and seven lead changes in the season-opening race at St. Petersburg.
Milestones & Records:
- Should Scott Dixon win the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship, he will join A.J. Foyt, Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais and Mario Andretti as the only drivers to win four Indy car titles in his career. Foyt won seven championships in his career, while Andretti, Bourdais and Franchitti each won four titles.
- With his next victory, Scott Dixon will tie Al Unser Jr., for sixth on the all-time wins list. Dixon, the active leader for wins, won his 33rd race at Houston’s Reliant Park in October 2013.
- With a victory in 2014, Scott Dixon will extend his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to 10.
- Will Power’s win at St. Petersburg extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to eight.
- With his next victory, Sebastien Bourdais will move into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time wins list. Bourdais is tied with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy with 31 wins.
- With his next victory, Helio Castroneves will tie Rick Mears for 11th place on the all-time wins list. Castroneves won his 28th race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8, 2013.
- Helio Castroneves needs two earned poles to reach 40 career poles in his Indy car career. Castroneves is the active leader with 38 pole positions.
- With one pole in 2014, Scott Dixon will extend his Verizon IndyCar Series streak to eight consecutive seasons.
- Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 218th consecutive start, which would extend his all-time record. Scott Dixon with 159 straight starts (sixth all time), Marco Andretti with 135 straight starts (13th all time) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (19th all time) with 109 straight starts are the only active drivers with a streak of more than 100 consecutive starts.
- Helio Castroneves is the active leader in starts with 279, which is eighth on the all-time list.
- Tony Kanaan has 278 starts, which is ninth on the all-time list.
- Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves are the active leader in top-five finishes with 112, which is tied with Bobby Unser for eighth on the all-time list.
Video from NASCAR America
- 2014 United States Grand Prix Preview 0
- Road To: Mercedes teaser – The very first Mercedes-Benz car (VIDEO) 0
- 2015 IndyCar schedule officially revealed; 17 races including 12 on NBCSN (VIDEO) 1
- Bianchi remains “critical but stable” but continues to fight, says family 2
- Has Formula 1 cracked the U.S. market in Austin? 3
- Behind the scenes: Lewis Hamilton on TODAY (VIDEO) 0
- Krista Voda to become host for NASCAR on NBC coverage next year 2