There was probably enough gushing from me yesterday about how happy I was to finally see Nashville native Josef Newgarden earn his first win in the Verizon IndyCar series. I’ll try not to gush anymore, but suffice it to say that I was very pleased and proud of him. Now that he has finally gotten that first win, I think you can count him as one of the favorites at just about any track the series goes to.
From where I sat atop Turn Two, this was probably the best of the six Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama’s that has taken place. For the most part, it was a clean race. But there was a lot of racing and intrigue. It’s always interesting to compare what you saw live and in person compared to what television viewers saw. I’ve been to races where I had no clue what was really going on. Friends texted me throughout the race what a great race it was. That’s what I thought, but you’re never sure. Susan and I will travel back tonight and I’ll watch the DVR broadcast tomorrow night. buit I’m thinking it played out as well on television as it did in person.
Barber is usually the beginning of our racing season. We changed that a little this year and went to NOLA first, but we always look forward to Barber (we do hope next year’s NOLA is drier). Speaking of dry, before the deluge came, I decided to take you on a tour through the Barber Motorsports grounds, not through the pits and the paddock area, there are hundreds of driver and car photos scattered around the internet, but this is where a casual fan would go.
We must be the ones responsible for the bad weather. Susan and I have been to two of the four race weekends so far this season. The two we didn’t go to? St. Petersburg and Long Beach. Weather was no factor at all at those two venues. The two we’ve been to so far? NOLA and Barber. We know what happened at NOLA. While tomorrow still looks good for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama; qualifying was affected by weather at a race weekend we attended. Some may wonder if we should go to IMS next month.
The second practice is now complete. It took place with only two slight incidents. One was when Rodolfo Gonzalez spun and then later on, Luca Filippi got off course. Both red-flags required little downtime. The Top-Five showed no real surprises. Will Power led the session, followed by Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and Sébastien Bourdais. Again, the fastest Honda was seventh quick – this time by James Hinchcliffe.
Good morning from a soggy Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham. As promised, the rains showed up around 2:00 am – and did they ever? The rain was beating against our hotel window. I got up and looked out and could barely see the parking lot. It was one of those rains that was coming down in sheets. More than an inch of rain fell at the track in a short span. The good news is, that the sun came out earlier this morning. It’s currently overcast and 66-degrees at the moment, as the sun looks like it’s trying to break through. A quick glimpse of the radar shows nothing imminent, but there is a nasty looking cell in Louisiana that looks like it could be here very late this afternoon or early evening. The forecast for tomorrow still looks very good. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.