Andretti Autosport had a strong qualifying for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park. Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda will start today’s race from fourth place on the grid with a qualifying time of 01:07.7807s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
It’s really been tough today to stay on top of the track conditions – they’ve been changing a lot. It feels more like an oval out there where the wind changes just a little bit and you have to adjust your driving style to it. It’s a lot of fun adjusting to that. We kind of got burnt there a little bit. Group 2 had a red [flag] that allowed them to save a new set of red tires to use at the end in the Firestone Fast Six. We got out-qualified by two guys that were on new red tires – but hats off to Newgarden, he did it on used tires. I think we got about everything we could have out of the 28 DHL Honda. Big props to the team for giving me what I needed today, we kept making the car better and better and hopefully we can do that for the race. It’s going to be interesting, it’s going to be wet tomorrow. Hopefully we can get this thing in and have an exciting rain race.
Marco Andretti in the No.98 Kerauno Honda will start today’s race from seventh place with a time of 01:07.6027s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
The Kerauno boys did a great job rebounding from practice. I think we can win this race from seventh, especially if it’s wet. This was the first qualifying session that nothing drastic happened for us; it was the first normal session of the year. I think we wouldn’t have qualified out of the top 10 all year, pace wise, and I think we’ve shown that in the races. We’re a little closer to the front and that’s good – we need to stay here. I expect to be here, even if a lot of people don’t [expect it], I do.
Series points leader Alexander Rossi in the No.27 Kerauno Honda starts the race from eighth place with a qualifying time of 01:07.7488s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
We’ve been on the outside of the five, bottom of the top six, all weekend so we tried to be aggressive with it to see if we could get through. We missed it by a bit. We didn’t get a lap together, quite honestly. I know the car had enough performance capability to transfer, but I just didn’t put it together. I think it would’ve been fifth or sixth so it’s not like we are too far off in eighth. Things will get interesting tomorrow with the weather, and we’ll fight to get the Kerauno / Military to Motorsports car to the podium.
Zach Veach in the N.26 Group One Thousand One Honda has been battling the flu all weekend however despite this he was able to qualify for today’s race in 11th place with a qualifying time of 01:07.9894s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
Qualifying felt a little like being inside a washing machine. This is one of the toughest days I’ve ever had mentally in a race car. I’m just so thankful. I think we had the speed to get into the top 12 today, I know we got a little luck with Kanaan bringing out the red [flag]. It’s just good to get that monkey off the back. We left Long Beach saying we wanted to qualify a little better, and we did just that. Hopefully tomorrow when I come back a little more rested, we can make our way further up in the field. There’s so much more I want to develop. My end goal is miles away from where I’m at right now. I have to say, I did enjoy that last run in qualifying. You’ve got someone like Dixon in front of you, and he’s not pulling you that bad, or you’re running with Bourdais… it’s cool to be around that atmosphere. Once you get inside the top 10 in IndyCar, it’s pretty rarified air. I’m just so thankful and I’m going to keep working. I wasn’t happy until I was winning races in Indy Lights and I’m going to feel the same in IndyCar.”