INDYCAR: Barber Remains Sweet for Hunter-Reay; No. 28 Fastest in Practice

RaceChaser Staff Featured, MidSouth, Sprints & Midgets, Verizon IndyCar Series 0 Comments

April 25, 2014 — official release — Al Steinberg photo — BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Ryan Hunter-Reay has picked up right where he left off in Alabama.

The defending Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama winner was quickest in the both practice sessions for the April 27 race with a lap of 1 minute, 8.7836 seconds in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport in the afternoon session.

“It is quite a bit hotter than we’re used to here at Barber,” said Hunter-Reay, who also won the Verizon P1 Award at Barber in 2013. “It takes some getting used to and the track conditions have certainly changed, but we’ve tested here quite a bit – we tested here in the offseason and we definitely can’t get enough of Barber. The Andretti Autosport car is great right now, we’re not where we want to be yet, but I expect to see all four of us up front (tomorrow).”

Sebastien Bourdais recorded a lap of 1:08.9331 to finish second in the afternoon session while Josef Newgarden, who last April jumped from the 22nd starting position to ninth (his first Verizon IndyCar Series top 10), was second in the morning session to place third overall.

“Well, it’s actually better that (Barber) is round three now, because normally it’s round two. And coming off of St. Pete, it’s a hard race. I think now that we’ve had Long Beach as well and we actually all have pretty much had a Texas test, I think everyone is conditioned enough for getting into it, but it is one of the tougher races of the year. This is probably the most physically demanding course if it goes green all the way through, which is nearly what happened last year. We almost ran the whole race green and it was a tough round. So yea, you got to be hydrated and you know, you really got to man up in this type of race. Even if you get worn out, you got to fight through all the way to the end.”

Will Power, who won the race in 2011 and ’12 was fourth at 1:08.9746 while James Hinchcliffe was fifth at 1:09.0036.

The Verizon IndyCar Series will compete in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, a 90-lap race, at 4:50 P.M. (ET) Sunday, with coverage on NBC Sports Network.

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