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Today’s iRacing IndyCar race at Barber: Start time, TV, streams, more

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The IndyCar iRacing Challenge will head to Barber Motorsports Park today (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) for the the second round of the six-race series.

Sage Karam of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing dominated the opener, leading 43 of 45 laps at Watkins Glen International last week and finishing 3.6174 seconds ahead of Felix Rosenqvist.

Will Power finished third, and the Team Penske driver will be one of the favorites this week with more than 1,500 starts and 150 wins on iRacing road courses.

RESULTS: Where everyone finished at Watkins Glen

Teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished seventh at the Glen, also could be a factor as the winningest IndyCar driver at real-world Barber (2015, 2017 and 2018).

There are 29 drivers in the field for today’s race at Barber, including seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Four new entrants to the iRacing Challenge are five-time series champion Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens (returning to competition for the first time since his August 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway), Ed Carpenter and Jack Harvey.

After a caution-free run at Watkins Glen, Barber will feature a competition caution to guarantee a restart.

Here is the information on today’s virtual race:

START: The command to start engines will be given by NBA legend Charles Barkley, who starred at Auburn University, at 2:43 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 2:45 p.m.

TV: The race will be shown live on NBCSN starting at 2:30 p.m. ET and also via the NBCSN stream here. The IndyCar on NBC booth of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy will have the call of the race, and Katie Hargitt will interview the race winner on IndyCar’s Instagram Live postrace.

The race also can be viewed through drivers’ individual Twitch channels.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Performed at 2:39 p.m. by Tiara Pennington, Miss Alabama 2019

COMPETITION CAUTION: A new wrinkle in this race will be a planned competition caution to bunch the field on Lap 15. It will consist of three laps, followed by a single-file restart.

DISTANCE: The Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama is 45 laps (107.1 miles) around the virtual 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course.

PUSH TO PASS: There are 10 activations for a 10-second duration.

SETUPS: Fixed; no changes allowed for drivers.

PIT STOPS: One. Cars will be allowed two “Fast Repairs” during the race.

QUALIFYING: The starting lineup will be set through a qualifying session at 2:30 p.m.

REAL WORLD AT BARBER: There have been 10 IndyCar races at the road course. Takuma Sato won the most recent race in 2019. Helio Castroneves won the first Indy car race at Barber in 2010.

NEXT: The Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be the second of six events to be held each Saturday through May 2. Next week is a “Driver’s Choice” track (April 11), then a “Random Draw” track (April 18), Circuit of The Americas (April 25) and a non-INDYCAR “Dream” track (May 2).

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the entry list for the second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.

SPOTTER’S GUIDE: Click here to see the paint schemes being used in today’s race at Barber Motorsports Park.

Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).