BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Helio Castroneves paced the first day of IndyCar practice at Barber Motorsports Park, setting the stage for what could be more domination by Penske Racing.
Castroneves ran a 1:08.5540 around the 17-turn, 2.38-mile permanent road course on Friday in his Penske Chevrolet. Castroneves won the inaugural race at Barber in 2010, and teammate Will Power is the two-time defending champion.
Alex Tagliani was second fastest in his Bryan Herta Autosports Honda, followed by rookie Tristan Vautier of Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports. Vautier was fastest in Friday's first session despite going off course.
Simon Pagenaud was fourth to give Schmidt two cars in the top five, and put three Honda's in the top five.
Power was fifth, and AJ Allmendinger, who will make his IndyCar debut on Sunday, was eighth.