James Hinchcliffe spent much of the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park stranded in the infield because of an on-track incident. It was a great vantage point to watch the remainder of the 90-lap race, but being a spectator wasn’t what the Andretti Autosport driver wanted — especially after earning his first series victory two weeks earlier at St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Toronto native, who started 20th last April, is making strides to start much higher April 27 in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car. In the practice preceding qualifications for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Hinchcliffe turned the quickest lap of the weekend at 1 minute, 7.9206 seconds to top the 23-car field on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn course.
Four different teams were represented in the top 5 and the top 18 cars were separated by less than one second.
The three rounds of qualifications, featuring the Firestone Fast Six to determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and the first three rows for the 90-lap race, starts at 3 p.m. (ET).
Sebastien Bourdais, who was second quick through two practices April 25 in the No. 11 Hydroxycut/KVSH Racing car, was .1084 of a second behind Hinchcliffe in the morning session. Scott Dixon, whose No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car experienced electrical issues 24 hours earlier that limited laps, was third quick. The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion has been the race runner-up each of the four years at Barber.
Hinchcliffe’s teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, who topped both 45-minute sessions April 25, was sixth on the time sheet in the No. 28 DHL car. Hunter-Reay won the race last year from the pole. Hinchcliffe had a great view of Hunter-Reay crossing under the twin checkered flags
Results From Practice 3:
|Pos.||Car #||Driver||Best Speed||Best Time||Behind||Total Laps|
|11||34||Carlos Munoz (R)||120.972||1:08.4454||0.5248||17|
|12||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||120.859||1:08.5097||0.5891||17|
|16||7||Mikhall Aleshin (R)||120.562||1:08.6785||0.7579||17|
|22||98||Jack Hawksworth (R)||119.556||1:09.2564||1.3358||17|
|23||18||Carlos Huertas (R)||119.502||1:09.2878||1.3672||19|