Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

James Hinchcliffe fastest in second practice at Barber

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James Hinchcliffe was the fastest driver in the second practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a time of 1 minute, 8.9994 seconds, making Hinchcliffe the fastest driver so far this weekend.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver led COTA winner Colton Herta by 0.0090 seconds, with Santino Ferrucci (1 minute, 9.0461 seconds) finishing third.

After a relatively eventful first practice earlier in the day, Friday afternoon’s second practice session was more tame, but still saw drivers veer off-course.

The caution flag came out with 17 minutes to go when Ferrucci went off-course and into a tire barrier in turn 16, and both Zach Veach and Colton Herta found themselves off-course as well.

Sebastien Bourdais (1 minute, 9.0968 seconds), Alexander Rossi (1 minute, 9.1140 seconds) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (1 minute, 9.1545 seconds) rounded out the top six, all in Hondas. Spencer Pigot’s No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing machine was the fastest Chevrolet, finishing the session seventh fastest (1 minute, 9.2055 seconds).

Jack Harvey and Ben Hanley both posted 18 laps, which was the most of all 24 competitors.

With the second practice complete, the stars and cars of the NTT IndyCar Series will return to action tomorrow, with the third and final practice session starting at 11:45 am E.T. and qualifications at 4:00 pm E.T. Both can be viewed on NBC Sports Gold, and qualifying will air live on NBCSN.

Full Practice 2 results

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IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

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