Sports

Hunter-Reay hoping for another pick-me-up at Alabama track, where he's won 2 straight

FILE - In this April 17, 2015, file photo, Ryan Hunter-Reay drives during a practice run for the IndyCar race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. The two-time defending race champion returns to Alabama this weekend after a rough start that included a penalty from IndyCar with which he adamantly disagrees. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

FILE - In this April 17, 2015, file photo, Ryan Hunter-Reay drives during a practice run for the IndyCar race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. The two-time defending race champion returns to Alabama this weekend after a rough start that included a penalty from IndyCar with which he adamantly disagrees. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)  (The Associated Press)

If ever there was a track where Ryan Hunter-Reay can count on a pick-me-up, it's Barber Motorsports Park.

The two-time defending race champion returns this weekend for Sunday's Indy Grand Prix of Alabama after a rough start to the season that included a disappointing performance in Long Beach and a penalty that still mystifies Hunter-Reay.

He built momentum with last year's win at Barber two weeks after touching off a seven-car pileup and went on to win the Indianapolis 500.

Says Hunter-Reay: "Hopefully we can get going on the same tone here this year."

IndyCar docked Hunter-Reay three points and placed him on probation for three races after an accident in New Orleans.