Similarly, nine different drivers have competed in the Firestone Fast Six session to determine the Verizon P1 Award and set the first three rows for the race. Castroneves, Vautier and Will Power have advanced to the 10-minute round at both venues.
“In IndyCar, the momentum can swing at any point because the competition is so close, the drivers are so talented,” said reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won by .6363 of a second April 7 at Barber. “You could be going to your best racetrack, have a little bit of a mistake in qualifying, be 10th or 11th. Your weekend is changed at that point.”
Hunter-Reay started from the pole on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course and led a field-high 53 of 90 laps. There will be a season-high 27 competitors at Long Beach, including six former winners.
“It’s amazing when I think about it how different the weekend could be,” Hunter-Reay said about the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. “Let’s say I didn’t put that lap in qualifying in the end, you start second or third, the whole weekend is changed. It can hinge at any point. That’s the beauty of racing. That’s the things that the fans don’t get to see is how precise the whole entire execution of the weekend is.”