Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Veekay Tops Field in Action Packed Second Practice at Barber

Rinus VeeKay at Barber Motorsports Park.
Rinus VeeKay was quickest in second practice for the NTT IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park. Image courtesy of Chris Owens / Penske Entertainment

Rinus Veekay was quickest in the second practice from the Barber Motorsports Park, which included two red flags and multiple off-track excursion for drivers.

The No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet had the alterative red tires fitted and ran a fastest lap at 1m05.9264s around the 2.3-mile Alabama road course. Veekay topped Pato O’Ward who ran a lap time of 1m06.0136s, 0.0872 slower.

A red flag emerged with 31 minutes to go in the session. Alexander Rossi coming off the final turn ran into major troubles when his car stepped from under him.

As he tried to correct the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda, it pushed out to the grass and the rear-end hit the wall. A piece debris hit Helio Castroneves’ front wing who was passing by, cutting down the front right tire.

It will be a complete overhaul for Rossi, as the entire Andretti team is working to replace the engine and repair the cosmetic damage. There is concern that the team will not make it out for qualifying, but Rossi is not worried.

“Unfortunate mistake on my part,” Rossi said, via Peacock. “Huge amount of guys, lot of different colored shirts here and its going to be a team effort, but they’ll get it done. All the confidence and the No. 27 Andretti AutoNation-NAPA was fast, so I think we’ll be alright.”

Another Andretti car had issues and this time it was Romain Grosjean going for a spin in Turn 8 within the final 20 minutes of the session. The No. 28 Honda rolled through the gravel trap as Grosjean managed to keep from getting stuck.

“I was on a super good lap,” Grosjean said, via Peacock. “Rinus was out of the pit in front of me and I kind of focused on him at the braking points so it messed mine and went a bit wide.”

More drivers had issues in front of Saturday’s sellout crowd at Barber. Josef Newgarden and Kyle Kirkwood both had off-track excursions.

Newgarden had troubles in turn one driving over the grass gaining traction on a pavement strip off the corner. Kirkwood was able to get it back together after hitting sponsor signage off turn five and six.

A second red flag came out as Will Power went for a spin in Turn 7 and 8. The No. 12 Chevrolet was stuck into gravel trap after Power ran over the curb in turn seven which whipped the car right around.

Callum Ilott continues his promising start to the weekend with ninth fastest and 1m06.4217s lap time. Meyer Shank Racing pilot, Jack Harvey entered the top-10 today with a 1m06.5588s lap time.

Up Next: Qualifying at 1 p.m. ET, with coverage on Peacock and the IndyCar Radio Network.

Matt Narváez
Matt Narváez
Matthew is a NASCAR contributor apart of the team. A fan of racing since 2011, he has had passion for sports journalism since 2015 and is a current Mass Communications student at the University of South Florida.

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