It has been a difficult start to the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport: across the first three races, Romain Grosjean was the only driver to score a podium finish when he placed runner-up at Long Beach, while Colton Herta won the pole for that race before hitting the wall. Seeking redemption, Andretti’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend is off to a good start as Herta, Alexander Rossi, and Grosjean occupied three of the top four positions in Friday practice.
Herta set a time of 1:06.51 while Rossi and Grosjean respectively placed third and fourth. Breaking up the Andretti party in second was defending race winner Álex Palou, who was .05 slower than Herta. Palou had also topped the first practice for the 2021 race, while Rossi led the second.
“It was awesome to be back at a natural-terrain road course,” said Herta. “It feels great to be where we want to be at the end of the day. Gainbridge car was fast. We were lucky to be able to test here and found some good stuff.”
Palou commented, “The #10 American Legion car was really good. It was a short session as always. A little bit of work to do, but should be a good weekend for us.”
Josef Newgarden, who leads all drivers in wins at Barber Motorsports Park with three, struggled as he was eighteenth. Fellow Team Penske ally Will Power was just two spots ahead, but the team’s third driver Scott McLaughlin was the highest-running Chevrolet in fifth. Penske did not take part in the multi-team test at Barber in early April.
Callum Illott was the fastest rookie in eighth, a considerable margin ahead of Devlin DeFrancesco (fourteenth) and Christian Lundgaard (fifteenth).
Two more practices will take place on Saturday, with qualifying in between, followed by the race on Sunday.
|Position||Number||Driver||Team||Best Time||Best Speed (mph)||Margin||Laps|
|1||26||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||1:06.5149||124.483||Leader||15|
|2||10||Álex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:06.5657||124.388||+ 0.0508||17|
|3||27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||1:06.6657||124.202||+ 0.1508||14|
|4||28||Romain Grosjean||Andretti Autosport||1:06.7046||124.129||+ 0.1897||16|
|5||3||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||1:06.8705||123.821||+ 0.3556||22|
|6||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:06.9251||123.72||+ 0.4102||16|
|7||5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||1:06.9838||123.612||+ 0.4689||16|
|8||77||Callum Ilott||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:07.0861||123.423||+ 0.5712||20|
|9||8||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:07.1012||123.396||+ 0.5863||17|
|10||21||Rinus VeeKay||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:07.1155||123.369||+ 0.6006||18|
|11||45||Jack Harvey||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:07.1841||123.243||+ 0.6692||17|
|12||06||Hélio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||1:07.2293||123.161||+ 0.7144||14|
|13||7||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren SP||1:07.3416||122.955||+ 0.8267||17|
|14||29||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Autosport||1:07.3817||122.882||+ 0.8668||20|
|15||30||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:07.4004||122.848||+ 0.8855||21|
|16||12||Will Power||Team Penske||1:07.4132||122.825||+ 0.8983||22|
|17||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||1:07.4457||122.765||+ 0.9308||17|
|18||2||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||1:07.5505||122.575||+ 1.0356||15|
|19||20||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||1:07.5747||122.531||+ 1.0598||17|
|20||14||Kyle Kirkwood||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||1:07.6110||122.465||+ 1.0961||17|
|21||60||Simon Pagenaud||Meyer Shank Racing||1:07.6916||122.319||+ 1.1767||17|
|22||51||Takuma Sato||Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing||1:07.7473||122.219||+ 1.2324||17|
|23||18||David Malukas||Dale Coyn Racing with HMD Motorsports||1:07.9687||121.821||+ 1.4538||16|
|24||4||Dalton Kellett||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||1:08.4288||121.002||+ 1.9139||19|
|25||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:08.4633||120.941||+ 1.9484||21|
|26||11||Tatiana Calderón||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||1:09.2677||119.536||+ 2.7528||21|