Friday Morning Update from Birmingham, Alabama

Will the rain predicted for Sunday keep the crowds away?

Good morning from the beautiful Barber Motorsports Park. The sun is shinning but the temperatures right now have just warmed up to 50 degrees. It should warm up more before the first IndyCar practice at 11:15 am local time.

Honda is extremely happy with their last win at the Long Beach Grand Prix this past Sunday. Alexander Rossi, driving for Andretti Autosport in the number 27 entry, ran a flawless race. Rossi led all but 14 laps of the 85 lap event. Rossi has this to say after his dominating performance, "I can't really put into words how good the car was all weekend. I think we proved that and I'm just so glad we were able to capitalize and nothing crazy happened. This one I'll definitely remember for a very long time for a lot of different reasons."

Will Power, driving the number 12 Verizon sponsored Team Penske entry, finished the race second. Power was not able to catch Rossi and thought the push to pass should be changed. IndyCar introduced the push-to-pass option in 2009. It gave the drivers 10 pushes for 20 seconds for an extra 60 horsepower on road and street courses. in 2017, IndyCar changed the system, so the driver can push the button to engage push-to-pass for any length of time with a total of 200 seconds during the race. The drivers are using the option to not allow competitors to get close to them.

Power commented after the race, "Man, that was just absolutely driving as hard as I could go. On the restarts, I couldn't get close. I think the Verizon Team Penske car had better top end, but their drive out of the hairpins was really good. I thought I might have a chance, but the thing is with this push-to-pass system is you can use two or three seconds and really look after it out of each corner and you get almost the same benefit. I think they should go back to 10 hits only and then you would see some passing."

We will keep you updated today on the happenings here at Barber Motorsports Park.

Lucille Dust reporting live from Birmingham, AL

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