To say that Saturday’s qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park was crazy would be a massive understatement. There were as many surprises as there were turns on the beautiful 2.38 mile road course. In the end though, it was defending IndyCar Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay who won the Pole for Sundays’ race.
The first group was quick, with Scott Dixon setting the new track record with a lap at 1:06.7750 seconds. The second group wasn’t as fast, but there were big names that didn’t advance to the second round, including Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud, Sebastien Bourdais, Simona de Silvestro, and James Hinchcliffe.
Teams seemed to be backwards, with Vautier outperforming Pagenaud, Saavedra quicker than Bourdais, and James Jakes advancing to the second round while Rahal did not.
The Firestone Fast Six consisted of Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball, Takuma Sato, Will Power, and Helio Castroneves. Then, in a wild twist, it was announced that Sato was given a penalty for blocking Wilson, and would be moved to P12. Vautier, who just missed the Fast 6 in seventh position, was then awarded a spot in the final round.
Power will join Hunter-Reay on the front row, with Vautier and Dixon in row two. Row three belongs to Kimball and Castroneves. AJ Allmendinger will start tenth in his IndyCar debut, with de Silvestro rolling off in 13th position. Franchitti will start 17th and Hinchcliffe will start in 20th after claiming he was blocked by Power on his quick lap.
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will air Sunday on NBC Sports Network at 3 PM ET.