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DATE News (chronologically)
04/13/10
irl
Best and worst of Alabama GP  

A good crowd was on hand Sunday
Best crowd: With warm, sunny weather, fans packed the grandstands and covered the hillsides at Barber Motorsports Park, easily making it the largest crowd to see a race at Barber. Sunday’s crowd was estimated at 53,555.

Best season turnaround: Marco Andretti has not won an Indy race since 2005 and seemed to be snake-bit this season after a hard crash to open the race in Brazil and after colliding with a teammate at St. Petersburg. But he put himself in position to win at Barber and brought home a solid fifth place.

Best medical care: The last time Dario Franchitti raced in Alabama was at Talladega Superspeedway when he was T-boned during a NASCAR Nationwide race in 2008. That sent him to the hospital with a broken ankle. When he was here in February for the Indy test session he also wrecked and had to be treated at the Barber care center. The doctor in the care center asked Franchitti if he recognized him. "I said, ‘No,’" Franchitti said, "And he said, ‘I was the guy that looked after you after your Talladega crash.’"

Worst finish by a fully sponsored driver: Milka Duno, who is from Venezuela, is sponsored by CITGO, an oil company owned by the government of Venezuela. But she struggles to keep up with the rest of the field week after week. At Barber she lived up to her nickname of "rolling chicane" by finishing 24th and next to last.

Worst finish by a sport’s most popular driver: Danica Patrick has never been much of a road-course driver and has said many times that she’d like to see Indy race at more oval tracks. At Barber, one of the more challenging road courses in North America, she struggled to finish 19th and one lap down.

Worst day to be a rookie: The five rookies in the race – Bertrand Baguette, Simona de Silvestro, Mario Romancini, Alex Lloyd and Takuma Sato – finished 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 25th in the 25-car field.

Worst fit: Race grand marshal Charles Barkley was given a tour of the KV Racing Technology operation and one of the team’s IndyCars. But there was no way the Round Mound of Rebound was going to fit inside the cockpit made for the much smaller E.J. Viso. AL.com

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