Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin played his race strategy perfectly to take the checkered flag in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the second round of the six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge from Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday. After pitting before anyone else, McLaughlin took the top spot after the rest of the field pit at the competition caution and led a large portion of the race before taking the checkered flag over Team Penske teammate Will Power.

An extra week of practice for returning drivers, a handful of newcomers, and the Lap 15 yellow flag completely changed the complexion of this weekend’s race compared to the season opener from Watkins Glen International. Initially, polesitter Sage Karam looked to make it two for two with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, but he struggled with lapped traffic, made contact with fellow front runner Felix Rosenqvist on Lap 27, and eventually suffered too much damage to continue.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, gambled as the first driver to pit in the early stages of the race. After making his second pit stop, he regained the lead from Andretti Autosport’s Scott Speed in the closing laps of the race. With just a few laps left, McLaughlin had to deal with the pressure of both Power in his mirrors and a number of lapped cars—including five-time IndyCar champion and fellow Kiwi Scott Dixon—to score the checkered flag.

Compared to last week, when seven drivers finished on the lead lap, the count doubled to 14 at race’s end from Barber. Those lead-lap finishers included Robert Wickens, who made his triumphant return to IndyCar and ran in the top five for Arrow McLaren SP before settling in for eighth, and Jimmie Johnson, who came home 12th in his second start.

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Results

Full results from Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge event at Barber Motorsports Park are as follows:

Fin.

St.

No.

Driver

Team

Engine

Laps

Led

Interval

Best

1 8 2 Scott T McLaughlin Team Penske Chevrolet 45 12 1:06.992
2 2 12 Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 45 0 -0.418 1:06.867
3 6 98 Scott Speed Andretti Autosport Honda 45 8 -13.93 1:07.488
4 4 55 Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda 45 0 -14.364 1:07.066
5 5 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 45 0 -14.626 1:07.054
6 3 10 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 45 1 -14.691 1:06.721
7 12 88 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport Honda 45 0 -23.744 1:07.446
8 29 6 Robert Wickens Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 45 0 -45.831 1:08.176
9 7 1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 45 0 -48.468 1:06.755
10 24 18 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda 45 0 -55.004 1:08.207
11 20 41 Dalton Kellett AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet 45 0 -55.779 1:08.051
12 22 48 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Racing Chevrolet 45 0 -1:00.484 1:08.016
13 28 4 Sebastien Bourdais AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet 45 0 -1:02.294 1:07.780
14 10 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 45 0 -1:05.928 1:07.335
15 9 7 Oliver Askew Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 44 0 -1 L 1:07.324
16 16 9 Scott R Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 44 0 -1 L 1:07.810
17 19 29 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda 44 0 -1 L 1:08.088
18 27 21 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 44 0 -1 L 1:08.815
19 23 26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda 44 0 -1 L 1:07.866
20 15 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport Honda 44 0 -1 L 1:07.978
21 21 11 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing Chevrolet 44 0 -1 L 1:08.294
22 13 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 43 0 -2 L 1:08.031
23 26 20 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 43 0 -2 L 1:08.828
24 17 5 Patricio OWard Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 38 0 -7 L 1:07.765
25 14 8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 31 0 -14 L 1:07.568
26 25 14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet 29 0 -16 L 1:08.843
27 1 24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet 29 24 -16 L 1:06.841
28 18 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 27 0 -18 L 1:09.380
29 11 59 Felipe Nasr Carlin Chevrolet 18 0 -27 L 1:09.228

 

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge resumes on Saturday, April 11 from Michigan International Speedway, the driver’s choice track and the first oval on the schedule. Once again, the event can be seen live on NBCSN. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

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