McLaughlin Fastest in Barber Friday Practice

Scott McLauhghlin led a strong Team Penske showing in the first practice for the Children’s of Alabama Grand Prix. Will Power finished third after going off track with about 10 minutes left in the session. Josef Newgarden was seventh fastest.

The practice period stopped three times. Helio Castroneves went off track and stopped against the barrier in turn 14. Romain Grosjean lost an engine and stopped on track. Will Power went off track and into the sand trap in turn 2.

Despite the strong Penske showing, Pato O’Ward was the only other Chevy in the top 10.The McLaren driver finished eighth’

Colton Herta had the second quickest time, but was the onle Andretti car in the top 12. Long Beach winner Kyle Kirkwood was just 22nd fastest.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing showed improvement with Christian Lundgaard in sixth and Graham Rahal in 12th.

Practice to set qualifying groups is at 11 am Central time tomorrow, with qualificiations at 2 pm Central.

Laid Back Friday

Today was one of the more relaxing Fridays at Barber. The crowd seemed a little low for Friday.

I had a chance to check mout the Indycat=r merchandise tent. Iy appears each driver has at leasy=t two different shirts available. There are some nice designs and colors. Greenlught cars aren’t available for some of this year’s drivers yet, but hopefully they will be out next month.

An advantage of a small crowd is that the trams ran quickly. That won’t be the case the rest of the weekend.