Colton Herta leads Barber Friday practice in strong Andretti outing

2 Mins read
Credit: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

It has been a difficult start to the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport: across the first three races, Romain Grosjean was the only driver to score a podium finish when he placed runner-up at Long Beach, while Colton Herta won the pole for that race before hitting the wall. Seeking redemption, Andretti’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend is off to a good start as Herta, Alexander Rossi, and Grosjean occupied three of the top four positions in Friday practice.

Herta set a time of 1:06.51 while Rossi and Grosjean respectively placed third and fourth. Breaking up the Andretti party in second was defending race winner Álex Palou, who was .05 slower than Herta. Palou had also topped the first practice for the 2021 race, while Rossi led the second.

“It was awesome to be back at a natural-terrain road course,” said Herta. “It feels great to be where we want to be at the end of the day. Gainbridge car was fast. We were lucky to be able to test here and found some good stuff.”

Palou commented, “The #10 American Legion car was really good. It was a short session as always. A little bit of work to do, but should be a good weekend for us.”

Josef Newgarden, who leads all drivers in wins at Barber Motorsports Park with three, struggled as he was eighteenth. Fellow Team Penske ally Will Power was just two spots ahead, but the team’s third driver Scott McLaughlin was the highest-running Chevrolet in fifth. Penske did not take part in the multi-team test at Barber in early April.

Callum Illott was the fastest rookie in eighth, a considerable margin ahead of Devlin DeFrancesco (fourteenth) and Christian Lundgaard (fifteenth).

Two more practices will take place on Saturday, with qualifying in between, followed by the race on Sunday.

Practice results

PositionNumberDriverTeamBest TimeBest Speed (mph)MarginLaps
126Colton HertaAndretti Autosport1:06.5149124.483Leader15
210Álex PalouChip Ganassi Racing1:06.5657124.388+ 0.050817
327Alexander RossiAndretti Autosport1:06.6657124.202+ 0.150814
428Romain GrosjeanAndretti Autosport1:06.7046124.129+ 0.189716
53Scott McLaughlinTeam Penske1:06.8705123.821+ 0.355622
69Scott DixonChip Ganassi Racing1:06.9251123.72+ 0.410216
75Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SP1:06.9838123.612+ 0.468916
877Callum IlottJuncos Hollinger Racing1:07.0861123.423+ 0.571220
98Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi Racing1:07.1012123.396+ 0.586317
1021Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter Racing1:07.1155123.369+ 0.600618
1145Jack HarveyRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:07.1841123.243+ 0.669217
1206Hélio CastronevesMeyer Shank Racing1:07.2293123.161+ 0.714414
137Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SP1:07.3416122.955+ 0.826717
1429Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti Autosport1:07.3817122.882+ 0.866820
1530Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:07.4004122.848+ 0.885521
1612Will PowerTeam Penske1:07.4132122.825+ 0.898322
1715Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan Racing1:07.4457122.765+ 0.930817
182Josef NewgardenTeam Penske1:07.5505122.575+ 1.035615
1920Conor DalyEd Carpenter Racing1:07.5747122.531+ 1.059817
2014Kyle KirkwoodA.J. Foyt Enterprises1:07.6110122.465+ 1.096117
2160Simon PagenaudMeyer Shank Racing1:07.6916122.319+ 1.176717
2251Takuma SatoDale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing1:07.7473122.219+ 1.232417
2318David MalukasDale Coyn Racing with HMD Motorsports1:07.9687121.821+ 1.453816
244Dalton KellettA.J. Foyt Enterprises1:08.4288121.002+ 1.913919
2548Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi Racing1:08.4633120.941+ 1.948421
2611Tatiana CalderónA.J. Foyt Enterprises1:09.2677119.536+ 2.752821
Italics – Rookie
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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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