Pagenaud paces eventful Barber morning warmup session

Photo: IndyCar
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Polesitter Simon Pagenaud remained on top on an eventful 30-minute morning warmup session for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (LIVE at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN this afternoon).

Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet, clocked a best time of 1:08.0215 ahead of Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais.

All of those top five in the warmup start in the top six in the race – Rahal, Dixon, Power and Bourdais roll off sixth, fourth, second and fifth respectively. Third-starting Josef Newgarden was only 20th in the warmup.

There were two red flags, one for Carlos Munoz stopping on track with an electrical issue, although the Andretti Autosport crew got the No. 26 Honda out for a final installation lap towards the end of the extended session.

Mikhail Aleshin also had a spin but stopped the car just before pit-in, in the No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.

TV coverage today starts at 2 p.m. ET with the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races from Barber, as a lead-in to IndyCar at 3 p.m. ET.

Warmup times are below.

BarberWarmup

Malcolm Stewart sidelined from Supercross by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.