News & Multimedia

Watch To Watch: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

LEEDS, AL – Wow, what was the last time you remember a jumbled-up grid like that for an IZOD IndyCar Series race that wasn’t the result of crazy weather?

After his solid victory in the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, it’s not a surprise that Helio Castroneves claimed pole position for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

But no one could have predicted that the fastest man in practice at Barber Motorsports Park – and at St. Pete, for that matter – would line up ninth for Sunday’s 90-lap race.

Team Penske’s Will Power had his fastest lap of the second qualifying session disallowed because he set it at a time when a local yellow flag was displayed. Drivers are supposed to slow for local yellows, and apparently Power didn’t during the 1:09.75 second effort that was unofficially the fastest of the Barber weekend.

The local yellow caused by Ryan Hunter-Reay’s spin was quickly changed to a red flag so his Andretti Autosport DW12-Chevrolet could be moved to a safe spot. The red flag ended the session, leaving Castroneves on pole and Power and several other drivers fretting about their chances for Sunday on a circuit where it is notoriously difficult for Indy cars to pass.

“‎Will was fastest in practice and it’s a shame he didn’t get a fair chance to show what he had in qualifications,” commented Penske Racing president Tim Cindric. 

The red flag during the second qualifying session also affected Power’s teammate Ryan Briscoe, who will line up 12th.

But both Penske drivers fared better than defending IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, who failed to advance out of his qualifying group. The Scotsman will start Sunday’s race from an unfamiliar 18th place.

“Lack of balance overall really is what we dealt with - lack of track time too,” Franchitti stated. “We haven't been great so far and it didn’t help that the second qualifying group was stout. There was a lot of competition there.

“Not where we want to be but we'll go back and work on it.”

So, what to watch for on Sunday?


  • Can Castroneves control the race from his 37th career pole position? If he repeats his 2010 victory at Barber, it will be his 12th win from the pole.
  • Can James Hinchcliffe earn his first IndyCar Series race win after qualifying a career-best second?
  • Will surprise Firestone Fast Six qualifiers Mikes Conway (4th) and JR Hildebrand (5th) carry that impressive form into the race?
  • Does Power have able to pass anybody in a car that last week he said is impossible to pass with, or will he need a radical strategy call to contend for the win?
  • Can Franchitti salvage anything from a terrible weekend on a track that has not been especially kind to him in the past?
  • Does Honda have anyone other than Scott Dixon (qualified 3rd) who they can count on as a regular front runner?
  • Can Sebastien Bourdais drag a Lotus into the top ten?



Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Watch To Watch: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Watch To Watch: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Wow, what was the last time you remember a jumbled-up grid like that for an IZOD IndyCar Series race that wasn’t the result of crazy weather?
Read More
Related Media
Pippa Mann
Mann, Cancer Survivors Transform IMS Start/Finish Line
In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pippa Mann, who has driven the pink-and-white Susan G. Komen car in the past two Indianapolis 500 Mile Races, IMS president J. Douglas Boles and a group of breast cancer survivors got on their knees with paint rollers and applied the colorful change.
Read More
Justin Wilson
Watch Streaming of 'Celebrating the Life of Justin Wilson' at 4 p.m. ET Sept. 29 on
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host "Celebrating the Life of Justin Wilson" at 4 p.m. ET Sept. 29. The event is open only to members of the racing community, but fans can watch via live streaming on
Read More
Scott Dixon
Participants Sought for the 'People's 500'
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Big Car Collaborative are teaming up to create a one of a kind interactive art exhibit ahead of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. As part of the “People’s 500,” 100 Hoosier applicants will contribute to the project by driving a Pace Car around the famed IMS 2.5-mile oval this October. These personal experiences will be captured in video and photography and this content will be displayed as part of an interactive art installation in Big Car's new gallery in Indianapolis.
Read More
Justin Wilson
Online Auction Benefits Wilson Children's Fund
Through eBay's direct involvement, all transaction fees will be waived and all proceeds will be deposited straight into the Wilson Children's Fund, which benefits Wilson’s wife Julia and daughters Jane and Jessica. Fans who sell their own Wilson-related items on eBay can designate the Graham Rahal Foundation as their chosen charity and proceeds will be donated to the fund as well.
Read More
Matt Kenseth
Monday Racing Roundup: Kenseth Wins as Chase Field Set
Leading 352 of 400 laps in a race he owned from the outset, Kenseth pulled away from Kyle Busch after a restart with 18 laps left and won the Federated Auto Parts 400 by .951 of a second over his teammate.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,022
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
.@JoeyLogano’s first attempt on the historic oval was in 2009 at the ripe old age of 19!
about 13 hours ago