Andretti Autosport Recaps The Honda Grand Prix Of Alabama


Sunday’s 90-lap Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama came with gloomy skies as the day started under wet conditions. With Marco Andretti leading the field of 21 during morning warm-up and Ryan Hunter-Reay starting from the third row, optimism was high for race day at Barber.

Despite a day of challenges for the 27 and 28 teams, the No. 98 of Alexander Rossi came away with a top-five finish while Takuma Soto secured ninth.

From Birmingham, the Verizon IndyCar Series will head west for Round 4 of competition at Phoenix Raceway under the lights on April 29 with broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 9 p.m. ET.

No. 98 Andretti Autosport / Curb Honda
  • Started 18 // Finished 5
  • Gained 13 positions, earning his third career top-five finish (Indianapolis 2016 – first, Sonoma 2016 – fifth)
  • Climbs to 10th in the driver standings
“We knew based on our starting position that we had to come up with something different. We knew we were stopping early, then it was about how fast we can go while saving fuel. The team did a good job and gave me a good car. Considering we started 18th, a top-five is really good. I don’t think it was weather, we worked really hard overnight and tried to understand where we made mistakes this weekend. We’ll use it as a learning experience, Friday and Saturday, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda
  • Started 14 // Finished 9
  • Entering the weekend seventh in the driver standings, drove a steady race advancing his way to a 34th career top-10 finish
“It was a difficult weekend, but I think the start was pretty exciting. I overtook a couple of cars and had a really good start. After that, I struggled on the pace a little bit. During the first stint, I had issues braking. So, first I had to move the bias all the way on the front. Then later on we lost one brake, so it felt like three-wheel braking – that was a shame. Over the course of the stint, I think I was getting better and better over time because we kept making the right adjustments. I think we held on well and the guys did well on the pit stops. Ninth is not perfect, but I think where we are it was a good points day and result for us.”
No. 28 DHL Honda
  • Started 5 // Finished 11
  • Made contact on the opening laps resulting in an off-sequence pit stop for a front wing change
  • Battled his way back to the top 10 before being forced to 11th at the race end and leaves Alabama eighth in the driver standings
“We started fifth with the DHL car, which was positive since we started 18th here last year, so we were looking forward to capitalizing on that and then lost ground on the start. At the beginning of the race (James) Hinchcliffe just tracked out and hit me, the contact broke our front wing. We went to the back and worked our way to what should have been a 10-place finish, but then Mikhail (Aleshin) knocked me off the track right at the end. It was an eventful day, but not the finish we were looking for. Looking forward to moving on to Phoenix.”
No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda
  • Started 13 // Finished 21
  • Suffered from an electronic issue in the engine management system during the parade laps, forcing the No. 27 car into the pits at the start of the race and resulted in a loss of three laps
  • Finished morning warm up in the first position
“Disappointing day for the 27 team. We were fast Friday and fast this morning (in warm up), but issues set us back on the start of the race, and there was just no way to get the laps back. I feel bad for the crew and want to thank them for sticking in there, they worked hard all weekend and gave me a fast car but we just weren’t able to do anything with the hand we were dealt today. This hurts us for the championship, and we’ll be gunning for wins.”

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