Practice #3 at Barber Motorsports Park for the Verizon IndyCar Series proved to shuffle things up a bit! A name in the top 3 we hadn’t seen through practices this weekend yet – Ganassi driver, Scott Dixon, held a great stride right behind KV Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport.
Andretti is becoming the name of the game this weekend. Ryan Hunter-Reay was the fastest throughout both practice sessions yesterday, Zach Veach just won the Barber Indy Lights Race #1 of the weekend, and James Hinchcliffe topped the pylon when the checkered waved at the end of Practice #3 this morning. He did so in incredibly impressive fashion when he became the first driver this weekend to break the 1:08 mark. He ran a lap at 1:07.9206 and is looking to continue that hot streak in qualifying this afternoon. Speaking of, the heat of the track may have a big part in determining the Firestone Fast 6. The track was up to 93 degrees during the morning session, and the temps here in Birmingham are only rising. It’s reasonable to assume that the track temp could top three-digits by the time the boys get on the track in their qualification groups. Tire choices and timing of those choices will be crucial to lap times and traffic.
Bourdais has been a constant speed demon this weekend and I think something would have to go seriously wrong with the car for him to NOT make it into the Firestone Fast 6. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen – I wanna see a great session leading into a well-set grid and of course, an insanely awesome race tomorrow.
Scott Dixon seems to have gotten things back on track with his car and his team this morning, achieving the 3rd fastest lap all morning. He and the whole Chip Ganassi Racing Team have undoubtedly been working out the kinks that they were faced with yesterday during practices, which resulted in less than desirable outcomes for the reigning IndyCar Champion. Dixon was all smiles and in great spirits, speaking with media and fans on his scooter after exiting his DW12. Seems that things are going his way and that perfection I mentioned him needing earlier… seems to be falling into place.
I believe we are going to be in for one heck of a qualification session – so stay tuned to my Twitter for live updates, as well as my author page where I will go over the starting grid with you and of course my public page on Facebook! Remember, I WILL be posting live from the pits as qualifications lead us to our P1 winner, as will the Verizon IndyCar racing teams & the Verizon IndyCar Series. That said, if you are planning on watching the NBC Sports broadcast tonight at 12 midnight (CST), you’ve had fair warning to stay away from social media. However, if you’re like me when I’m at home… you’ll be following along LIVE! So don’t forget to join me at 2pm (CST)! See you then…