Will Power won the pole for tomorrow's race at Barber Motorsports Park. That shouldn't surprise anyone, but the showing by Newman/Haas might.
The team's interesting new-look drivers are making a splash early in the season. Oriol Servia had a great opening race of the 2011 IndyCar season, but he wants to make sure everyone knows that is something they will see often this year. He qualified in sixth place for tomorrow's race in Alabama.
Servia is among the most seasoned of all IndyCar drivers, having won the old Indy Lights title in 1999 with Dorricott Racing. He was second in the Champ Car World Series rookie standings in 2000 and spent IndyCar time with the PPI, Forsythe, Coyne, Sigma Autosport, Newman/Haas, Patrick, KV and Rahal Letterman teams along the way.
His best season came in 2005 when he filled in for the injured Bruno Junqueira at Newman/Haas, taking the car to second in the championship.
His new teammate, rookie sensation James Hinchcliffe, is set to start his first race of his IndyCar career. James doesn't seem content with racing with the other rookies towards the rear of the field. On Saturday, he qualified his car in the eighth position.
Hinchcliffe has been a hot topic this week, with many fans anticipating the duel between he and fellow rookie J.R. Hildebrand. He finished second in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season standings after wins in Long Beach, Edmonton and Chicagoland and poles in St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Watkins Glen and Edmonton. In total he earned eight podium finishes in 13 races.
Hinchcliffe progressed through the ranks of the Rotax (2002), F2000 (2003), Formula BMW (2004), Star Mazda (2005), and Atlantic series (2006-2008) before joining the Firestone Indy Lights series in 2009. Hinchcliffe will compete at 15 of the remaining 16 races, skipping only the September race in Japan.
The two Newman/Haas drivers will look to steal the spotlight tomorrow at Barber.
Here is a look at how today's qualifications went down:
1. Will Power, Team Penske
2. Ryan Briscoe, Team Penske
3. Scott Dixon, Ganassi Racing
4. Helio Castroneves, Team Penske
5. Justin Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
6. Oriol Servia, Newman/Haas Racing
7. Dario Franchitti, Ganassi Racing
8. James Hinchcliffe, Newman/Haas Racing
9. Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
10. Graham Rahal, Ganassi Racing
11. Takuma Sato, KV Racing-Lotus
12. Alex Tagliani, Sam Schmidt Motorsports
13. Simona De Silvestro, HVM Racing
14. Raphael Matos, AFS Racing
15. J.R. Hildebrand, Panther Racing
16. Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport
17. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
18. E.J. Viso, KV Racing-Lotus
19. Vitor Meira, A.J. Foyt Racing
20. Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing
21. Charlie Kimball, Ganassi Racing
22. Danica Patrick, Andretti Autosport
23. Simon Pagenaud, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
24. Tony Kanaan, KV Racing-Lotus
25. James Jakes, Dale Coyne Racing
26. Sebastian Saavedra, Conquest Racing
Tomorrow's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will begin at 3:45pm.
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