April 4th, 2020 by Chris Leone
After a successful debut race for the IndyCar iRacing Challenge last week at Watkins Glen International, the stakes just got much higher for week two.
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will welcome an expanded field of 29 entries to the virtual Barber Motorsports Park, with nearly every name in the real-world NTT IndyCar Series that didn’t run last weekend’s opener making their debut this week. That includes the series debut of five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon with Chip Ganassi Racing, the return of Ed Carpenter to road course racing for the first time since 2013, and the long-awaited debut of Robert Wickens, who will utilize a custom made iRacing rig to return to his rightful place on the IndyCar grid.
If that wasn’t enough, this week’s race will mark the television debut for the series, as NBCSN takes over at 2:30PM ET/11:30AM PT with Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, and Paul Tracy on the call. TV viewers who missed last weekend’s race will get to see a new element play out for the first time, as a Lap 15 competition caution, followed by a single-file restart, will bunch the field.
The IndyCar iRacing Challenge opener from Watkins Glen saw Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam, one of the most experienced iRacers on the grid, dominate the event and take the win over fellow iRacing veterans Felix Rosenqvist and Will Power. All three are expected to run up front once again, with other veteran iRacers like Scott McLaughlin and Scott Speed also expected to contend for the victory. But the rest of the field is closing the gap quickly, with newcomers like Alexander Rossi and Graham Rahal logging countless hours on their simulators in both practice and independent race sessions to get up to speed.
In the real world, Barber has hosted IndyCar events for a decade, with Team Penske dominating the Alabama road course with wins in six of 10 races. Power, Simon Pagenaud, and defending IndyCar champion have each taken the checkered flag here, with Newgarden’s three wins in four years the high water mark. Zach Veach, Colton Herta, and Pato O’Ward have also each won at Barber in Indy Lights.
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Entry List
The full entry list for today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is as follows:
|1||Josef Newgarden||Hitachi||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|2||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|4||Sebastien Bourdais||Tresiba||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Chevrolet|
|5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow Electronics||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet|
|6||Robert Wickens||Arrow Electronics||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet|
|7||Oliver Askew||Arrow Electronics||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet|
|8||Marcus Ericsson||Huski Chocolate||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|9||Scott Dixon||PNC Bank||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|10||Felix Rosenqvist||NTT Data||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|11||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing||Chevrolet|
|12||Will Power||Verizon||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|14||Tony Kanaan||ABC Supply Co.||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Chevrolet|
|15||Graham Rahal||United Rentals||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda|
|18||Santino Ferrucci||SealMaster||Dale Coyne Vasser Sullivan||Honda|
|20||Conor Daly||US Air Force||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet|
|21||Ed Carpenter||Sonax||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet|
|22||Simon Pagenaud||Menards||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|24||Sage Karam||Wix Filters||Dreyer & Reinbold||Chevrolet|
|26||Zach Veach||Gainbridge||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|27||Alexander Rossi||NAPA/AutoNation||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|28||Kyle Kirkwood||DHL||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|29||James Hinchcliffe||Genesys||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|41||Dalton Kellett||K-Line Insulators||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Chevrolet|
|48||Jimmie Johnson||Ally||Jimmie Johnson Racing||Chevrolet|
|55||Alex Palou||Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh||Honda|
|60||Jack Harvey||AutoNation||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda|
|88||Colton Herta||Capstone||Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport||Honda|
|98||Scott Speed||Surgere/Curb||Andretti Herta Autosport||Honda|
Following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the IndyCar iRacing Challenge will return on April 11 to a track chosen by the drivers. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.