The IZOD IndyCar Series will run its second race of the season this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. IndyCar competed at the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course for the first time one year ago.
Helio Castroneves won the inaugural race at Barber. Last month, IndyCar teams spent two days at Barber for pre-season open test, with Castroneves recording the fastest overall lap.
"I was expecting something different from the car, because it kept changing throughout the day based on the track," Castroneves said after the second day of testing at Barber. "I was expecting the car was going to push, but it went the opposite way."
Reigning IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti hopes to make it two in a row this season. Franchitti kicked off the season by winning last month's race at St. Petersburg, FL. It was the first time he won there.
Last year, Franchitti finished just five points ahead of Will Power to clinch his record-tying third IndyCar title.
"There are still a lot of races to go, and we are taking it one at a time," Franchitti said. "I am ready to go back to Barber after the test there earlier in the season."
Franchitti finished third in last year's race at Barber. His Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, was second.
Beginning with Barber, segment two of IndyCar qualifications on road/street courses will be reduced from 15 minutes to 10. The sanctioning body issued a bulletin to teams earlier this week, informing them of the new qualifying procedure.
The second segment includes 12 cars that have advanced from groups one and two in the first stint. The third and final segment fields the six fastest cars from the second one.
"It's a combination of the new rule that allows one set of tires, either primaries or alternates, per segment and the 12 cars in segment two that have clearly demonstrated the ability to be quick so they don't need the 15 minutes," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations for IndyCar.