Birmingham, Alabama (April 6, 2019) - The NTT IndyCar Series races into Birmingham, Alabama this weekend for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama as the super-technical circuit celebrates its 10th anniversary of hosting the IndyCar Series.
With Josef Newgarden laying down a marker after a dominating St. Pete victory and a record-setting first time race winner in Colton Herta, the series has launched the 2019 season with some intriguing storylines.
Adding to that mix of storylines was the huge qualifying performance from Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) as the Ohio-based team locked out the front row in Saturday’s qualifying session with Takuma Sato securing the P1 award over teammate Graham Rahal in the Firestone Fast Six.
“Absolute credit to the team, this is a dream result,” said Sato. “The team is working so hard and today, we got everything together, the team did an outstanding job. I tired the black tires in that final session but the red tire was much faster in the end and I’m happy with my lap.”
Even with some new faces and names emerging on the sharp end of the field, the one constant for IndyCar is the incredible competition. From the first practice of the weekend to the race checkered flag, little more than a blink splits the guys doing interviews after the race and the ones who are left wishing for more
Critical to that success is finding any advantage possible to reach the competitive pinnacle. Three IndyCar teams that will be in action this weekend have turned to AERO Sustainable Paint Technology as part of their toolbox for success. Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing, AJ Foyt Racing, and Meyer Shank Racing/Arrow SPM will look to convert their AERO ® advantage into a big result deep in the heart of NASCAR county this Sunday.
Rahal has run in every of the 10 editions of the event with two podiums (2nd in 2015, 2016) to his credit.
The RLL team not only looks for a performance advantage from AERO, but it has frequently utilized the easy adaptability to support different partner programs with changes between race events.
For this weekend it is something special as Rahal will play host for a One Cure “Meet & Greet” with Graham and Arrow, he and wife Courtney’s malamute, at the team transporter in the paddock.
One Cure, a project led by CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, utilizes research from innovative cancer treatments for pets involved in clinical trials to benefit people. These canine and feline patients help to pioneer cancer research, moving treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope to the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.
“I am extremely excited to represent One Cure again and have them as our primary for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama,” said Rahal. “Together, we can all make a huge difference in cancer research. I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with One Cure.”
The track is one that keeps the drivers busy as some 14 corners make up the 2.3-mile lap.
“There are super-fast sections, and crazy-slow ones,” said Rahal. “It has it all and will challenge us every lap we make. This year I expect a lot more. I think we are well-prepared to show up and have the One Cure Honda be a pretty competitive car. While we didn’t test at Barber like some teams did, I think we have a good baseline to work from. We have had a lot of success there before.”
Meyer Shank Racing with Arrow SPM will be looking for a third consecutive top-ten finish to open the season with driver Jack Harvey as the team has got off to a fast start to the season after revealing its new “AutoNation Drive Pink” livery designed in collaboration with AERO Sustainable Paint Technology.
A.J. Foyt Enterprises, which utilizes AERO from top to bottom on team equipment including everything from the pit box to the transporter, also make use of the quick-change capability of AERO to celebrate key contacts with their long-term sponsor partner ABC Supply.
ABC Supply account Sims Aluminum Construction, Inc., located in St. Augustine, Fla., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet at the Barber event, as guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Tony Kanaan.
L&W Account Reliance Interiors, Inc., based in Kennesaw, Ga., won the ‘Your Name Here’ contest. The company name will be on the engine cover of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet and will spend tie with No. 4 driver Matheus “Matt” Leist.
Kanaan’s best Barber start is sixth (2012 and 2015) and his best finish is sixth (2011). Leist started 21st last year and finished 12th in his first IndyCar event here. AJ Foyt Racing’s best start is fourth in 2012 with Mike Conway who also posted the team’s best finish of seventh.
“Next stop for us is Barber Motorsports Park, a very cool and technical place to race,” said Kanaan. “Weather hasn’t been exactly nice to us in the area, last year we had a downpour in the race and this year our team test got cancelled because of inclement weather. But we’re keeping our hopes up that we’ll have a good race weekend for the No. 14 ABC Supply car and also for the fans that always pack the place.”
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised live on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) on Sunday, April 7, starting at 4:00 p.m. ET.