Barber Preview

Today’s schedule:

Friday, April 28 Times Eastern


3:40-4:55 Practice 1 Peacock

Indy NXT


Barber Mtorsports Park had produced some good racing, but more often than not, it’s pit strategy that is the key to victory. In the rain drenched 2018 race, Josef Newgarden took rain tires long before anyone else . he was was slow until the rains came, then ended upmin the lead when the rest of the field had to pit.

A;ex Palou used a two stop strategy to win in 2021. In 2022, while it wasn’t pit strategy that determined the race, it was Rinus VeeKay’s mistake on his out lap after hisfinal stopthat allowed Pato O’Ward to pass the pole sitter and go on to win.

Youth Movement

Before the pandemic, barber was a track for veterans. The last two years, the younger drivers have dominated. In 2021 Pato O’Ward won the pole, but an early pit stop cost hiom the race. Alex Palou won the race.

Last year Rinus VeeKay sat on the pole. O’Ward won the race, Palou was second, and VeeKay third.

Will Kyle Kirkwood be in the mix in 2023? Coming off his dominant victory in Long Beach, it is possible.

The Big Four

Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, and Andretti Autosport have each won a race this year. I think the fourth member of the Big Four, Arrow McLaren, jpoins them this weekend.O’Ward won last year, and the te team has been strong here for the last two races, with a pole in 2021 and a victory last year.

O’Ward could win again. The track has had several drivers win multiple times. Ryan Hunter-Reay, hwon twice, Josef Newgarden has three victories, and Will Power has two wins.

O’Ward’s biggest competiton could come from teammate Alexander Rossi. Rossi does well on natural road courses.

I think O’Ward gets nhis first win of the season Sunday.


Weather is always a potential factor at Barber, although it appears the chances for a dry weekend are increasing. Rain looks more likely to affect qualifying than the race as of this moment.

Barber is a track where qualifying determines your race. The entire podium generally starts in the top 5.


Spreading the Wealth

In 12 previous races, six teams , Penske, Ganassi, Andretti, Rahal, Carpenter, and Arrow McLaren have won at Barber. Penske has won six times, SAndretti has won twice.

The oddity in the list of winners is that Scott Dixon’s name is missing. Dixcon has five podiums at Barber, but has yet to reach the top step.

2023 will be one of the most competitve weekends we have seen in Alabama. Andretti is having a strong resurgence, Team Penske looks to be back to full strength, Arrow McLaren cannot be dismissed, and Ganassi boasts a former winner and the current points leader.

Rinus VeeKay won the pole for Ed Carpenter Racing, and he is eager to finsih what he started last year.

Is this the weekend Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing finds themselves?