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Scott McLaughlin Fastest in Opening IndyCar Practice at Barber Motorsports Park

Scott McLaughin tests at Barber Motorsports Park in March.
Scott McLaughin tests at Barber Motorsports Park in March.
Scott McLaughin tests at Barber Motorsports Park in March. Photo courtesy of Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Scott McLaughlin topped the time sheet in the opening practice of the 2023 Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park.

The three-time IndyCar Series winner went around the 17-turn, 2.3-mile natural terrain road course in 1 minute, 6.6610 seconds to average 124.211 mph. The No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet was only .1583 seconds faster than Colton Herta in second.

Three red flags interrupted the practice session. The No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda went slightly airborne after running over the curbs at Turn 9. The car was unable to slow down enough for the corner and the 2010 Barber IndyCar winner lightly hit the tire barrier outside the corner. Castroneves received assistance from the safety team and made it back to the pits.

The second red flag was for Romain Grosjean’s No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda. The Formula 1 veteran’s car stopped on the back side of the circuit after smoke came pouring out of the tail pipes. The safety team towed the Swiss-born Frenchman back to the pits where he spent the rest of the session.

The final red flag was for the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet of Will Power. The 2011 and 2012 Barber IndyCar winner misjudged the exit of Turn 1 and went through the Turn 2 gravel trap, lightly touching the wall exiting the corner. Power ended up setting his fastest lap of the session on the last lap of the session to go third fastest, .2375 seconds slower than McLaughlin.

The next IndyCar practice will be Saturday, April 29th at 11:00 a.m. Central time and will be live on Peacock. IndyCar qualifying will be later the same day at 2:00 p.m. Central, also airing live on Peacock.

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