After severe storms delayed the start of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama by 2 1/2 hours, the green flag finally dropped. The rain-shortened race was set to 100 minutes, and for the second straight year, Ryan Hunter-Reay came out on top. It was a dominating performance from the 2012 champion, after Will Power slid off the wet course early in the race. Ryan collected two bonus points for leading the most laps. His Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti finished in second, and Scott Dixon recorded his fifth straight podium finish at Barber. Rivals Simon Pagenaud and Will Power, rounded out the top five.
It was a huge day for Michael Andretti’s team, but there were others that left Alabama with a smile on their face. Justin Wilson had a solid sixth place finish, and James Hinchcliffe rebounded nicely from last year’s race, when he was stranded on the track and had to watch the entire race from his cockpit. He finished seventh. Speaking of good finishes, Josef Newgarden had another great run and came home in eighth. Last year’s Indy 500 winner, Tony Kanaan, fought his way from the last starting spot to finish in ninth.
It was a tough day for Team Penske. Following Power’s mistake while leading, his teammates also found trouble. Juan Montoya was having a solid run in fourth position when he lost control and went into the sand pit. Helio Castroneves was given a penalty for stopping in the wrong pit box. Despite their issues, Power maintains his championship lead heading to Indianapolis, where The Captain eyes his 16th Indy 500 win.
The Verizon IndyCar series now turns its attention to Indianapolis, and the Month of May. This of course begins with the inaugural running of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on the newly designed road course at IMS. The May 10 race will take place on the new 2.434 mile 14-turn infield, and will feature a standing start. For more information on the course, you can click here to read my chat with track President Doug Boles.
Before practice and qualifying get underway on May 8 and 9, the speedway will be plenty busy. On Tuesday, Jacques Villeneuve and Kurt Busch will go through a refresher course around the 2.5 mile oval. The following day (Wednesday), there will be a full IndyCar test session on the new road course. Rejoice, the Month of May is finally upon us.