Kimball leads IndyCar warmup at Barber

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Charlie Kimball topped this morning’s warm-up session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) with a time of 1 minute, 9.0313 seconds around the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park layout. Kimball is aiming for his second career IZOD IndyCar Series podium and will start fifth on the grid this afternoon after cracking the Firestone Fast Six for the first time ever yesterday in qualifying.

Kimball was followed by fellow Honda-powered driver Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing), who finished P2 in the warm-up with a time of 1 minute, 9.1685 seconds. Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology led the Chevrolet camp this morning with the third-fastest lap (1 minute, 9.3080 seconds), with Scott Dixon (1 minute, 9.4123 seconds) and Simona de Silvestro (1 minute, 9.4301 seconds) completing the top five.

As for your front row for today’s 90-lap main event, defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and defending Barber champion Will Power were 18th and 19th-fastest respectively, with both drivers posting times in the 1:10 range (Hunter-Reay at 1:10.6615, Power at 1:10.6809).

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.

Results are below. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 3:00 p.m. ET.