For the first time in its history, the NTT IndyCar Series will be opening its season on a road course — here are the important start times and stats for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
Sunday’s race (3 p.m. ET, NBC) will mark the 11th IndyCar race held at the track east of Birmingham, Alabama, where Helio Castroneves won the inaugural in 2010. There are five former winners in the field: Josef Newgarden (2015, ’17, ’18), Will Power (2011-12), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2013-14), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Takuma Sato (2019).
This is the first IndyCar race at Barber in two years after last year’s event was canceled because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Sato won the most recent race from the pole position, as did Newgarden in 2018 (five of 10 IndyCar races at Barber have been won from the pole.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH: Jimmie’s debut and all the major storylines for 2021
Six-time and defending series champion Scott Dixon still is seeking his first victory at the track but has six runner-up finishes at Barber (including the past two races).
Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber (all times are ET):
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
TV: 3 p.m., NBC (and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBC with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
COMMAND TO START ENGINES: 3:35 p.m.
GREEN FLAG: 3:42 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 90 laps (207 miles) on a 17-turn, 2.3-mile road course east of Birmingham, Alabama.
TIRE ALLOTMENT: Six sets primary, four sets alternate, one additional set available for rookies for use in first practice.
PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 68 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.
PRACTICE: 11-11:45 a.m., 2:40-3:25 p.m. ET Saturday, live on Peacock Premium
QUALIFYING: 5:55 p.m. ET Saturday, live on Peacock Premium; tape delay on NBCSN at 10 p.m.
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race day schedule
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