By Dylan Reynolds, OpenWheel.com
The 2022 INDYCAR season continues with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2022 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. OpenWheel.com will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Preview: Indy Lights Grand Prix of Alabama – Sunday, May 1, 2022 10:55AM (ET) Peacock – Indy Lights returns this weekend after a long layoff since the INDYCAR season-opener at St. Pete. Andretti Autosport dominated the opening weekend with veteran Matthew Brabham winning his return to the series after misfortune knocked out his teammates Christian Rasmussen and Hunter McElrea. HMD Motorsports and Global Racing Group were strong at Barber last year so their returning duo of Benjamin Pedersen and Linus Lundqvist could be the favorites this weekend after solid race results at St. Pete.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Sunday, May 1, 2022 1:00PM (ET) NBC – The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back this weekend at beautiful Barber Motorsports Park. After the first three races of the season the championship battle remains close despite Team Penske domination with just 16 points separating the Top 4 of Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, Alex Palou, and Will Power.
Previous driver experience at Barber shows six former winners in the field in Newgarden (3), Power (2), Helio Castroneves (1), Simon Pagenaud (1), Palou (1), and Takuma Sato (1). Palou and Sato are the last two winners at the circuit. Looking at the box scores from 2021 and 2019, only Scott Dixon has finished in the Top 5 of the last two races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, Dixon is joined by only Marcus Ericsson and Alexander Rossi. The active Top 5 in laps led at the circuit are Power (212), Newgarden (133), Castroneves (93), Pagenaud (87), and Sato (74).
My pick to win: Josef Newgarden – With the momentum of winning the last two races and heading to one of his strongest tracks, it just feels silly to not pick Josef Newgarden this weekend.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Scott McLaughlin $29, Pato O’Ward $28, Alexander Rossi $24, & Kyle Kirkwood $19 – I love Newgarden this weekend but his $34 price is steep. McLaughlin has been ultra quick this season and fairly affordable at $29. I’d go with the highest qualifier between he or Power in the race. O’Ward won the pole at Barber last year, but struggled to make his tires last so we’ll see if he and his Arrow McLaren SP team have figured that out for this year. Rossi isn’t the biggest fan of this track, but performed well in offseason testing and had a solid, if not spectacular, weekend at the circuit last season. Kirkwood remains good value at just $19.