Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) and Josef Newgarden are ready for “take two” on-track at Barber Motorsports Park for the second IZOD IndyCar Series race of the 2013 season.
The first take in St. Petersburg was cut short after 50 laps due to a mechanical issue.
“I think we really just had a hiccup,” Newgarden said. “It’s one of those things that happens sometimes to teams and I don’t think it will slow us down. I still think we have a great package going into Barber and the next couple of races afterwards.”
With a new stage set for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the SFHR crew is prepped for action.
“We learned a lot at St. Pete with the new tires that Firestone has brought on this year,” Newgarden said. “The compound is very different on the street courses compared to last year. It’s difficult figuring out the balance between the front and rear tires and making them work optimally. We learned a lot from that aspect for the future street courses of the season, which is going to be crucial for us.”
The No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car took practice shots at Barber on March 12 and 13 for open testing.
“The track changed at Barber because they did a re-surfacing of the entire track, which added a substantial amount of grip, very different to 2012,” Newgarden said. “So getting some laps before we go there was pretty crucial to figuring out what we need from a race car around the place and learning how to deal with that large of a grip increase.”
Newgarden is excited to race at the 15-turn, 2.38-mile track at Barber Motorsports Park, one of his favorite sets to work on.
“I love the facility. It’s probably one of the nicest if not THE nicest facility that we’ll go to this year for a racing event,” he said. “I also love the fans that come to Barber because they are super passionate about not only racing, but IndyCar specifically. It’s always nice to go to an event that is so popularly supported by people.”
The Nashville, Tenn. native spent most of his time between takes in St. Petersburg and Barber relaxing and rejuvenating in his hometown. Many of his family and friends will be in Barber due to the close proximity of the race to Nashville.
“I really hope to see some more Nashville natives down in Birmingham for the race because it is the closest event to my hometown.”
The No. 67 car will spring into action for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 7. Newgarden will begin practice on Friday, April 5 at 1:45 ET and will qualify at 11:25 ET on Saturday, April 6. Follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates from Barber Motorsports Park.