BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An intense qualifying session at Barber Motorsports Park showed how strong the IndyCar competition is this season.
One other thing made clear Saturday? Defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay can still get the best of Will Power.
Hunter-Reay ended Penske Racing’s ownership of the pole position at Barber by beating Power with a late final lap to claim the top starting spot for today’s race. The Andretti Autosport driver became the first driver not from Penske Racing to win the pole at the road course, where Power and Helio Castroneves have won every pole and every race since IndyCar’s 2010 debut.
The team has done a great job in the offseason of moving forward, especially at this racetrack, Hunter-Reay said.
Power qualified second and was followed by rookie Tristan Vautier, Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Castroneves.
Vautier made it into the Fast Six after IndyCar disqualified Takuma Sato minutes before the session began because he block Justin Wilson during qualifying.
TRUCKS: In Martinsville, Va., Johnny Sauter passed Jeb Burton for the lead on a restart with 17 laps to go and won at Martinsville Speedway, his second victory in two series races this season.
Sauter earned his eighth career victory in the series, and second at Martinsville.
NHRA: In Las Vegas, Allen Johnson raced to victory in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, the special Pro Stock bonus event, at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. In other racing action, Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) earned No. 1 qualifying positions.