Canadians good mudders in Barber wet

Canadians good mudders in Barber wet

Postby meteorite » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:18 am

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Considering the uncertainty of rain that wasn’t sure it wanted to be actual rain, then became actual rain and then wasn’t sure again, a third-fourth effort by two teammates proved satisfactory.

James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens began their adventure Monday in fifth and seventh, respectively, as the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First resumed after Sunday's postponement because of rain. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports duo finished third and fourth, respectively, after battling weather that never seemed to know what it wanted to do.

“It was all kind of guesswork,” Hinchcliffe said after finishing third in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda. “Everybody kind of just took their best stab at it. Our predictions had rain at the beginning and dry at the end. When it started dry, we're like, ‘Oh, we're dry for the whole race. We're good.’ We didn't really have anything prepared on the car for any wet running.

“But that's the risk you take, and that's the kind of game of roulette you play with Mother Nature every weekend. We did an all-right job as a team, and (I'm) proud of that. “

Once it began to sprinkle, the radio traffic for both SPM drivers was similar to other drivers in the race: Should we pit for rain tires? For Wickens, though, the rain was a great equalizer.

"I was having to save a lot of fuel in that second stint, so once (Scott) Dixon started getting close to me, I was thinking I might have to give this position up,” Wickens said. “Then the rain came, so the fuel mileage kind of happened naturally. The rain saved us a bit.”

Hinchcliffe described his radio conversation with his crew like this:

“We were driving around out there, and it’s like, 'Right, guys, it’s getting wetter. It’s getting wetter. ... Wet enough for rains? Nah, not wet enough for rains. ... Wet enough for rains? Nah. ... Pit for rains. Are you guys sure?’”

Wickens pitted for rain tires from fourth place in the No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda on Lap 74 – just eight laps from the finish – and emerged in ninth place. He raced back to fourth and maintained his place in the top 10 of the Verizon IndyCar Series standings.

“I was a little gutted that we came out into a big bunch of traffic, but it made the race fun,” Wickens said. “It was also a little bit frustrating as we lost a bit of track position there, and I think we could have both been fighting for higher steps on the podium today.”

After four of 17 races, Hinchcliffe is fifth in the standings, 40 points behind leader Josef Newgarden. Wickens is eighth, 61 points out of the lead, but atop the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

The next Verizon IndyCar Series race is the INDYCAR Grand Prix from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday, May 12 (3:30 p.m. ET). It is followed by the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 27 (11 a.m. ET). Both races air live on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.



Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Race
Monday, April 23, 2018
Rank Driver Car No. Starts Laps Total time Laps Led Status Points Avg.Speed Pit stop
1 Josef Newgarden 1 1 82 02:01:14.4486 73 Running 54 93.335 4
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 28 4 82 02:01:24.4093 - Running 40 93.207 4
3 James Hinchcliffe 5 5 82 02:01:29.9875 - Running 35 93.136 4
4 Robert Wickens 6 10 82 02:01:32.1280 - Running 32 93.109 4
5 Sebastien Bourdais 18 3 82 02:01:41.3383 9 Running 31 92.991 4
6 Scott Dixon 9 6 82 02:01:41.4254 - Running 28 92.99 4
7 Graham Rahal 15 15 82 02:01:44.5680 - Running 26 92.95 4
8 Takuma Sato 30 18 82 02:01:45.0012 - Running 24 92.945 4
9 Simon Pagenaud 22 9 82 02:01:56.9104 - Running 22 92.793 5
10 Marco Andretti 98 7 82 02:01:59.1378 - Running 20 92.765 6
11 Alexander Rossi 27 8 82 02:01:59.6820 - Running 19 92.758 5
12 Matheus Leist 4 21 82 02:02:12.3777 - Running 18 92.598 6
13 Zach Veach 26 11 82 02:02:20.3784 - Running 17 92.497 4
14 Jordan King 20 19 82 02:02:34.4604 - Running 16 92.319 5
15 Spencer Pigot 21 17 81 02:01:20.6730 - Running 15 92.118 5
16 Rene Binder 32 22 80 02:01:19.5105 - Running 14 90.995 5
17 Gabby Chaves 88 20 80 02:01:19.7318 - Running 13 90.992 6
18 Tony Kanaan 14 23 80 02:02:06.2132 - Running 12 90.415 7
19 Zachary Claman De Melo 19 16 80 02:02:06.4108 - Running 11 92.673 5
20 Ed Jones 10 12 64 01:38:15.1018 - Mechanical 10 89.892 4
21 Will Power 12 2 53 01:44:23.3971 - Off Course 9 70.064 2
22 Max Chilton 59 13 34 01:41:34.7058 - Mechanical 8 46.191 4
23 Charlie Kimball 23 14 10 00:15:28.7545 - Contact 7 89.152 0
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