Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter in the No.28 DHL Honda was happy with how his Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park panned out on Monday morning. The race was postponed on Sunday due to the bad weather and as a result became a timed race on Monday.
Starting the race from fourth place Hunter Reay made a good getaway and was fighting upfront all day with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais but was unable to match the blistering pace set by race winner Josef Newgarden.
Speaking following Monday’s conclusion of the Honda Indy Grand Prix, Hunter Reay said:
It was a good race, it was tough getting the fuel number and trying to keep the pace up, but it was a lot of fun when it started raining, trying to find the grip again and searching around. I was almost worried that I was going to burn the front [tires] off. We came in early for the wet [tires]. I stayed out there as long as I could but, on the slicks, I was a lot quicker, and it was that inconsistent snap that you have. When you have one of those [snaps] with the slicks you can absolutely loose it completely, so we thought that was the best time to come in and grab the Firestone wets. It was good from there. I just needed a little bit more time to cut in on Newgarden’s lead. Congratulations to Team Penske and [Josef] Newgarden. Great job by the DHL guys this weekend. We rolled off the truck, we weren’t that happy with the car and we kept working on it methodically, chipping into it and everybody just executed it – so a good weekend overall.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 Kerauno Honda started the race from seventh place, restarted the race in 14th place and rounded out the top ten by the end of the event. Speaking following the race, Andretti commented by saying:
It was a lot of fun out there, but I think finishing 10th is the worst we should’ve finished. I think myself and the guys earned a third-place finish. We beat [James Hinchcliffe] out in the end – so we had third locked up until the rain made all the one-stoppers work. We were looking really good for a podium; the Kerauno team was way better than what the race results showed, but we know we have the pace, so we’ll keep digging and move on to Indy.
Alexander Rossi in the No.27 Kerauno Honda ended the race just outside the top ten in 11th place having restarted the race on Monday from fourth place and speaking following the race, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner commented by saying:
“It definitely wasn’t our best day. We initially went into the race with the plan of doing a two-stopper, then we switched to a one-stop strategy once the race started because of the extra formation laps. Once the race got going, we were on the wrong tire for the one-stop plan, and couldn’t make the fuel work, so we switched back to a two-stop strategy. It was looking okay, but we tried to survive the rain probably one lap too long and we lost time to guys that had already switched to rain tires. We ended up 11th. It wasn’t a great day from a performance or strategy standpoint. It’s a day that we’ll certainly be putting behind us as soon as possible and look forward to Indy GP where we had a really strong test a couple weeks ago.”
Zach Veach in the No.26 Group One Thousand One Honda was suffering from the flu all weekend and finished the race in 13th place and speaking following the race he said:
“The weekend overall was good for us, confidence wise – advancing to the top 12 in qualifying and getting up to position sixth yesterday for the first part of the race. Today, I think we definitely had the pace to finish inside the top 10, but we had a few mechanical issues during the race. I lost all of my adjustments inside of the car, so once that happened I was a sitting duck. Extremely thankful for my Group One Thousand One crew for the job they did this weekend. We held on the best we could to come home 13th. Hopefully we can improve for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and of course build on everything in time for the Indianapolis 500.”