Rare Franchitti-RHR-Power top three in IndyCar qualifying (VIDEO)

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As Dario Franchitti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power are generally regarded as three of IndyCar’s best, you’d think the three of them would lock out the top three in qualifying more frequently.

It didn’t happen once in 2012. The closest situation came in Brazil a year ago when Power qualified on pole, Franchitti second and Hunter-Reay fifth.

Power – who has now qualified first, second and third in the first three races of 2013 – felt miffed at missing one potential last flier in Long Beach qualifying.

“We got caught out there at the end,” said Power. “Tim (Cindric) came over the radio and said that you’re barely going to make one more lap. I thought he meant fuel, not time, but it was time. So I got to the start of my last lap, and it was the checkered flag.”

Franchitti, who makes his 250th start this weekend, praised the depth of the entire field, not just his two closest rivals in qualifying.

“The depth of the field right now is as good as I’ve ever seen it, and I was lucky enough, as Helio was, to race in the late ’90s against some of the best ever and it’s bloody hard work,” said Franchitti.

“You have to absolutely risk everything to get that last little bit out of the car,” added Hunter-Reay. “It’s that close. It’s enjoyable though. It’s fun. Stressful, for sure.”

Weather prompts INDYCAR to move up start time of today’s race in Alabama

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The scheduled starting time for today’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park has been moved up due to inclement weather in the Birmingham, Alabama area.

The command to start engines is now scheduled for 3:01 p.m. ET, rather than the previous scheduled start of 3:35 p.m. ET.

In addition, the INDY LIGHTS race, previously scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET, saw its starting time moved up to 11:45 a.m. ET.

According to several different weather forecasts, thunderstorms are predicted for the afternoon, with some forecasts calling for up to 100 percent chance of storms.

The rain is expected to continue into the evening and on into Monday.

INDYCAR officials are monitoring the very fluid situation and further schedule adjustments could be made.

We’ll keep readers up to date on further changes here on MotorSportsTalk.