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What to watch for: IndyCar at Barber (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN & Live Extra)

Apr 27, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

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While the racing has gotten better at Barber Motorsports Park in recent years thanks to the Dallara DW12 and Firestone’s efforts with their tires, the 2.37-mile course is still quite narrow. Patience is always important when it comes to passing on road/street courses, but especially so at this place; a pass for position can take several laps just to set up.


If you want to win at Barber, you better make some hay at the track’s biggest passing zone – Turn 5, or ‘Charlotte’s Web’ as it’s commonly called due to the giant spider sculpture nearby. This left-hand hairpin comes off of a medium-size straight, making it a prime spot for position-swapping. But if a side-by-side battle manages to continue out of the ‘Web,’ the run down to the braking zone at Turn 8 can turn into a game of chicken really quick.


Ryan Hunter-Reay’s ill-fated pass on Josef Newgarden for the lead at Long Beach left several drivers on edge. And Simon Pagenaud still remembers getting knocked into the tires at the Beach by Will Power. While it’s been two weeks since that race, we’ll have to keep an eye out for potential continuation of any issues from that wild battle in SoCal.


Rain is looking more and more like a possibility for today’s 90-lap race, and as we know, that could lead to the proceedings being very different than what observers were expecting. If things get a bit wet, the drivers will most certainly be earning their money today.


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