· Team Chevy has won past three races at Barber Motorsports Park
ᴏ Reigning champion Josef Newgarden has two wins at racetrack
· Ninety laps on 2.38-mile, 17-turn course follow oval, street course races
ᴏ Chevy Racing has posted win, runner-up finish the past two weeks
· Tested Chevy engine is powering the new universal aero kit
ᴏ 2.2-liter V6, twin-turbocharged power plant is up to task
· Rene Binder to make second start in Juncos Racing entry
DETROIT (April 18, 2018) – The diverse Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) season intersects with the long and winding road course of Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, this weekend for the third distinct challenge for Chevrolet teams and drivers in as many weeks.
Chevrolet has won the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn natural-terrain circuit the past three years, with Josef Newgarden recording two victories and Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud taking the checkered flag on his drive to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Newgarden’s dominant victory in 2015, in which he led more than half the 90 laps, was his first in an Indy car, and his 2017 win was the first of a series-high four during the season that led to his maiden driver title.
The race will be the first test on a road course of the Dallara chassis with the new universal aerodynamic bodywork powered by the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 Chevrolet engine.
Two weeks ago, Newgarden drove the No. 1 Team Penske Chevrolet to his eighth career win on the 1.022-mile ISM Raceway oval in Avondale, Arizona. Last weekend, Will Power led the Team Chevy charge with a runner-up finish on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach street circuit in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
“Barber is one of my favorite tracks we visit — not just because we’ve won there — but because it’s a cool track and it’s only a few hours away from where I grew up (in Nashville, Tennessee). That just makes it even more special when I’ve won there,” said Newgarden, who is second in the standings heading into the fourth of 17 races. “Barber is going to be interesting since it’s the first time we’re racing the new car on a road course. I think it could lead to some really exciting racing for the great fans at Barber and the fans at home. The whole No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet team and I are ready to take the strong car we have ready for this weekend to the track and run a great race.”
Twenty-four Verizon IndyCar Series drivers had the opportunity March 20 to test on the Barber Motorsports Park course. At 1 minute, 07.9793 seconds (121.802 mph), Newgarden clicked off the quickest lap and Power was a close second.
“Long Beach was really great for the whole No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team,” Power said. “It’s done a lot for team morale going into this weekend at Barber. Road courses are always a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to racing one with the new car.”
In 2017, Chevy Racing won four of the six races on road courses (Newgarden at Barber at Mid-Ohio, Power at Indianapolis, and Pagenaud at Sonoma) and claimed 10 of 18 podium positions.
NBCSN will telecast the race live at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.