Charlie Kimball crash cuts final warmup short for IndyCar at Barber

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The Chip Ganassi Racing garage at Barber Motorsports Park is likely a very busy place at the moment after Charlie Kimball’s crash halfway through this morning’s warmup for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who qualified 17th for today’s 90-lap Verizon IndyCar Series race (2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), lost control of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet in the Turn 12-13 complex and backed hard into the nearby tire barriers.

INDYCAR has confirmed that Kimball was checked at the infield care center and then cleared to drive.

The impact not only left significant damage to Kimball’s car, but also brought the 30-minute session to an end under red flag conditions with Josef Newgarden’s time of 1:09.2469 (119.572 mph) serving as the fastest.

“I feel badly for the guys, because they’ve worked hard all weekend trying to get me a good car,” Kimball told the IMS Radio Network. “We didn’t quite get there in qualifying – we’re still figuring that out – but I think we have a good race car. I have complete faith in those guys, they’ll get it back together.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the mentality we want to be having going into [today], getting ready for the race. But I think we’ll be in good shape.”

Helio Castroneves was second-quickest in warmup with a time of 1:09.3458, followed by defending Barber race champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in third (1:09.3464).

Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth in the session at 1:09.5179, and today’s pole sitter and current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power completed the Top 5 (1:09.5320).

Rain is in the forecast for today’s race, with a 60 percent chance of the wet stuff this afternoon in the Birmingham region.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”