Andretti, Honda Head the Field Friday at Barber Motorsports Park

Andretti, Honda Head the Field Friday at Barber Motorsports Park
• Marco Andretti posts quickest lap in the second practice session
• Honda drivers claim six of the top-10 positions in Friday practice
• Less than a half-second covers the top eight in tight field

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 21, 2017) – Marco Andretti led the way for Honda in opening Verizon IndyCar Series practice for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, posting the fastest lap of the day in his Andretti Autosport Honda during the second of two practice sessions Friday at Barber Motorsports Park.

Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball finished the day fifth and seventh, respectively, all within 48 hundredths of a second of Andretti’s chart-topping time of one minute, 7.7134 around the hilly 2.3-mile Barber road circuit.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda of Mikhail Aleshin ended the day eighth overall, with the Hondas of championship leader Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounding out the top 10.

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama activities continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying. Sunday’s 90-lap race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport Honda): “We were just trying to make an educated guess on what the ‘reds’ [alternate, softer-compound tires] would be like and I think we did a good job here today, just as we did at Long Beach. We just need to do it when it counts [in qualifying] tomorrow. You know, it’s very important to qualify well here, so I’m pleased that we have the pace to hopefully do that. But yeah, I mean, so far, so good. We just need to replicate it tomorrow.”

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It wasn’t a terrible day overall for the NTT DATA car. We are working through some things, and trying to get the balance of the car right where I want it. Honda and the team are working hard on it and we hope to move up the order in qualifying tomorrow.”