Dixon fastest in Barber opening practice in the Coca-Cola car


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Scott Dixon has opened the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend with the fastest time in this morning’s first one-hour Verizon IndyCar Series practice at Barber Motorsports Park.

Dixon, the Long Beach winner who is a four-time Barber runner-up and yet to win here, posted a 1:07.7754 in the No. 9 Coca-Cola Chevrolet around the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road circuit.

Coca-Cola signage is present on the Target car this weekend, and it’s also made the rounds to the NBCSN broadcast booth of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Steve Matchett this weekend. Pit reporter Kevin Lee also posted a pic of the specialized Coca-Cola bottle.

Past Barber winner Will Power was second at 1:07.9929 in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, and was the only other driver in the 1:07 bracket in the first session. Barber debutante Luca Filippi, in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, was third.

Of note, Sage Karam was 20th in his first session back in the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Chevrolet after missing Long Beach. The latest driver of the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, series debutante Rodolfo Gonzalez, ended a second clear of teammate Francesco Dracone.

There were no major incidents in a cool session. The start of the session was delayed nine minutes due to track preparations, while the session was declared a “dry session” at the start from a drying track.

Second practice runs from 12:40 to 1:25 p.m. this afternoon. Qualifying will air today at 5 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. CT and local time, on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Times from FP1 are below.