INDYCAR heading South this weekend
(CoForce LLC)

INDYCAR heading South this weekend

Fresh off a 13th-place finish – an eight-spot improvement from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opener – Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) rookie Linus Lundqvist and the rest of the racing series are shifting from the West Coast to the South for this weekend’s Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park.

Lundqvist will again be behind the wheel of the No. 8 American Legion Honda promoting Be the One and is coming off a strong showing in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, where he rose to as high as eighth during the course of the race. Through two points races, Lundqvist currently sits three points behind CGR teammate Kyffin Simpson in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year points race.

Fellow CGR driver Alex Palou, who won the Children’s of Alabama Grand Prix in 2021 on his way to his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, is coming off a third-place finish last weekend. He’s currently in third in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES points race after this week’s disqualifications announcement for Josef Newgarden, who had won the season opener in St. Petersburg but had to vacate that win because of a “Push to Pass” parameters violation.

Palou will again be behind the wheel of the No. 10 DHL Honda that also features American Legion branding.

The 90-lap, 207-mile Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix takes place on a 2.3-mile permanent road course with 17 flowing turns and features 80 feet of elevation change that challenge drivers and engineers. A 45-foot-wide racing ribbon also makes it imperative for patience while setting up overtaking opportunities.

This weekend’s broadcast schedule (all times ET):

·       Friday, April 26 – NTT INDCYAR SERIES Practice 1, 3:40-4:55 p.m. (Peacock).

·       Saturday, April 27 – NTT INDCYAR SERIES Practice 2, 12:15-1:15 p.m.; NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifications, 3:30-5 p.m. (all Peacock).

·       Sunday, April 28 – NTT INDCYAR SERIES warmup, 10:15-10:45 a.m. (Peacock); INDY NXT race, 11:05 a.m.-12:20 p.m. (Peacock); NTT INDYCAR SERIES race, 1-4 p.m. (NBC and Peacock).


·       Scott Dixon became the second winner in as many NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season as he earned his 57th career victory April 21 at Long Beach. Dixon leads Colton Herta – who has recorded back-to-back podium finishes – by two points heading into the critical Month of May, which has more than 150 points on offer over the next four weeks with races at Barber Motorsports Park, Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.

·       The Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix powered by AmFirst will be the 14th NTT INDYCAR SERIES event conducted at Barber Motorsports Park. Active race winners who are expected to compete are: Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward and Scott McLaughlin.

·       Five drivers have won the race from the pole – Will Power in 2011, Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2013, Simon Pagenaud in 2016, Josef Newgarden in 2018 and Takuma Sato in 2019.

·       Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in nine of his 13 previous starts at Barber Motorsports Park – including six runner-up finishes – but he has yet to finish on the top step of the podium at the picturesque road circuit.

·       Three drivers have competed in every NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Barber Motorsports Park – Scott Dixon, Will Power and Graham Rahal. All are entered this weekend.

·       Team Penske has seven wins at Barber Motorsports Park (2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2023). Andretti Global, Chip Ganassi Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Arrow McLaren have also won at the track. Andretti Global won in 2013 and 2014 with Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ed Carpenter Racing won with Josef Newgarden in 2015, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing won in 2019 with Takuma Sato, Chip Ganassi Racing won in 2021 with Alex Palou, and Arrow McLaren won in 2022 with Pato O’Ward.

·       Twenty of the 27 drivers entered in the event have competed in NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at Barber Motorsports Park. Ten entered drivers have led laps: Will Power 215, Josef Newgarden 141, Rinus VeeKay 58, Alex Palou 60, Romain Grosjean 57, Scott Dixon 46, Pato O’Ward 52, Graham Rahal 25, Scott McLaughlin 24 and Alexander Rossi 3.

·       Five NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year contenders – Tom Blomqvist, Linus Lundqvist, Théo Pourchaire, Christian Rasmussen and Kyffin Simpson - are entered and will race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at Barber Motorsports Park for the first time alongside veteran driver Pietro Fittipaldi, also making his first Barber start.

·       Milestones: Romain Grosjean will attempt to make his 50th NTT INDYCAR SERIES start … Scott Dixon will attempt to make his 324th consecutive start, the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES history.