Power Tops Friday Practice at Barber Motorsports Park

April 8, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 8, 2011) – Will Power led Team Penske's strong showing during Friday's practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power, Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves all posted top-five lap times among the 26-car field around the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course on Friday. The performance continued the strong results for Team Penske at the Barber course as the team topped both days of IZOD IndyCar Series pre-season open testing at the venue in March and the squad returns as defending champions at the picturesque circuit located just outside of Birmingham, Ala.

After leading the rain-shortened morning session at Barber on Friday, Power topped the final practice of the day with a lap of 1:12.836 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. The fastest overall lap of the day was also owned by Power as he clocked a time of 1:12.7502 in the morning practice.

"The Verizon car was good today," said Power, who won the pole last year at Barber before he finished fourth in the race. “This track is very fast and the car is very sensitive to changes. We were trying a couple different things with our set-up and we actually made some pretty significant changes. The No. 12 car was reasonably quick throughout the day so we should be in good shape for qualifying tomorrow."
Briscoe owned the third-fastest lap on Friday at 1:13.116 in the No. 6 IZOD Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"I think we've unloaded a good car here at Barber this weekend," said Briscoe. “Team Penske did some good work and preparation from our pre-season test here. We didn't do a lot of running today, but we know the Penske Truck Rental car is good, now we'll just work on making it better for tomorrow. "
The defending champion at Barber, Castroneves, checked in with the fifth-fastest lap at 1:13.254 in the No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Dallara/Honda.

"The AAA Insurance car was pretty good today and it's good to finish in the top five," said Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. “We're still working on some things, trying to find better balance in the car. The weather was a little bit different today than what we saw in the test here at Barber so we had to adjust. We'll continue working hard and hopefully we'll have an even better result tomorrow in qualifying."
A 20-minute practice session is scheduled before Saturday's qualifying sessions, which are set to begin at 10:25 a.m. ET.

Live coverage of Sunday's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will begin at 3 p.m. ET on Versus.