Featuring one of its most diverse rookie classes in history, there are 24 cars on the NTT IndyCar Series entry list for Sunday’s season opener at Barber Motorsports Park (3 p.m. ET, NBC).
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (who will be running 13 road and street courses this season but could make his Indy 500 debut next year), three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin and Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean comprise the trio of famous newcomers to IndyCar in 2021.
There also will be some familiar names in new places to start the new season as Felix Rosenqvist moves from Chip Ganassi Racing to Arrow McLaren SP. Alex Palou will take Rosenqvist’s spot in the No. 10 Dallara-Honda at Ganassi. Returning to full-time schedules are James Hinchcliffe (with Andretti Autosport) and four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais (AJ Foyt Racing).
Brazilian Indy 500 winners Helio Castroneves (with Meyer Shank Racing after 20 seasons with Team Penske) and Tony Kanaan (reuniting with Ganassi) also will race with new teams in part-time schedules for 2022.
This will be the 11th IndyCar race at the 17-turn, 2.3-mile road course east of Birmingham, Alabama, but the first since 2019 at Barber, whose 2020 date was scrubbed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
We're ready to bring the action to @BarberMotorPark this weekend.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) April 13, 2021
Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is the most recent winner at Barber.
Six-time and defending series champion Scott Dixon still is seeking his first victory at Barber, where he has six runner-up finishes (including to Sato in 2019). Josef Newgarden leads the series with three victories at Barber.
In addition to the NTT IndyCar Series, all three Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires ladder series also will be racing at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend. Here are links to the entry lists for Indy Lights, Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000.
START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA (all times ET):
11-11:45 a.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock Premium
2:40-3:25 p.m.: IndyCar practice, Peacock Premium
5:55-7:10 p.m.: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama qualifying, Peacock Premium (live); NBCSN (Tape delayed at 10 p.m. ET)
11:30 a.m.-noon: IndyCar warmup, Peacock Premium
3 p.m.: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (90 laps/207 miles), NBC
3:35 p.m.: Command to start engines
3:42 p.m.: Green flag