Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama: Starting Grid No Problem for Will Power

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IApril 1, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, AL - MARCH 30: Will Power of Australia driver of the #12 Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet during practice for the IndyCar Series Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy at Barber Motorsports Park on March 30, 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Will Power may have made a record run at Barber Motorsports Park, but it was Helio Castroneves who captured the pole with driver, James Hinchcliffe, on the outside of the front row.

Power drove his No. 12 Penske Chevrolet around the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course at a blazing one minute, 9.8529 second pace in Round 1 of qualifying, but he will start ninth in the 90-lap race.

In only his second year of IndyCar driving, Hinchcliffe is making the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet look impressive so far this season.

The driver who replaced Danica Patrick this year, finished fourth in the first race of the season in St. Petersburg, Fl. Now, in Alabama, Hinchcliffe will start in the front of the field.

Castroneves, who starts from the pole, is off to a good start in 2012 with a win at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.

Dario Franchitti will be starting 18th on the grid with his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The 2011 series champion finished 13th at St. Petersburg.

Two to watch will be Scott Dixon who starts in the third position and Tony Kanaan who will start in the sixth place slot.

The Firestone Fast Six have two surprise drivers with Mike Conway in the No. 14  Honda for A.J. Foyt Racing starting fifth followed by J.R. Hildebrand in his No. 4 Panther Racing Chevrolet.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 07:    James Hinchcliffe of Canada, driver of the #27 Andretti Autosport Chevy DW12 poses for a portrait at the Mahaffey Theater on March 7, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

 This season of Izod IndyCar racing may well be full of surprises with the new cars, new engines and different tire compounds.

Some who may have been counted as long shots to win just might be strong contenders for the podium. It is April Fool's Day, so there could be some upsets when the checkered flag waves.

The Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET.


The race was won by Will Power in the No. 12 Penske Chevrolet, followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves in third.