BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Josef Newgarden has won at Barber Motorsports Park for the third time in four years.
Newgarden led virtually the entire way after starting the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on the pole in a dominant performance that gave him his second win in the first four races this season. Heavy rains on Sunday forced IndyCar to run the final 1 hour, 15 minutes of the timed race on Monday.
The result was familiar: a Newgarden win on the picturesque road course a few hours from his Tennessee hometown, often labeled his "home track."
Well, home sweet home.
Newgarden finished with a 10-second advantage over two-time race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, followed by James Hinchcliffe, rookie Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais.
It was the sixth win in nine years in Alabama for Team Penske. The defending series champion Newgarden got his ninth career victory.
The race restart opened in sunny conditions and finished amid showers that played an important role in determining the late strategy.
Newgarden built a commanding lead before taking his second pit stop with about 15 minutes left. With showers starting to fall, his team switched to rain tires for the stretch run.
Bourdais stayed on the track trying to keep a grip on both the lead and the track. He finally relented for a pit stop and Newgarden wasn't challenged after that.
Bourdais, coming off two 13th-place finishing following an opening win at St. Petersburg, had a big weekend. He has led laps in each of the season's first four races.
Two-time Barber winner Will Power came in on a high note with a second-place Long Beach finish after two subpar performances. The Australian spun out on the first turn of lap 17 Sunday and slammed into the inside wall. That incident, however, can be chalked up to a water-logged track at a place where he typically has been successful.
May is all about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the series heading to the IndyCar Grand Prix on May 12 before the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.
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