Honda drivers claim three of top five positions in practice•
Defending race winner Hunter-Reay quickest in both sessions•
23 cars separated by just 1.1 seconds
Defending race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way in Verizon IndyCar Series practice Friday for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, as Honda-powered drivers posted three of the top five times in a pair of practice sessions around the scenic 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Ala.
Hunter-Reay led both the morning and afternoon practice sessions, in a tightly-packed field that saw just 1.1 seconds separating all 23 drivers. Josef Newgarden recorded the third-quickest time of the day for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, with Hunter-Reay’s Andretti Autosport teammate, James Hinchcliffe, rounding out the top five in his Honda Dallara.
Activities continue Saturday at the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama, with a final practice session, followed by Firestone Fast Six qualifying that will set the 23-car field for Sunday’s 90-lap race. The third round of the 18-race 2014 season starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Ryan Hunter-Reay(#28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda) quickest in Friday practice: “The track was good today, although it’s quite a bit hotter [temperatures] than we’re used to seeing here, so we had to constantly adapt to the changing conditions. The forecast is for it to continue warming up as the weekend continues, so finding the right setup for qualifying will be a moving target, but I expect all four Andretti Autosport Hondas to be at the front tomorrow.”