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Cooper Tires Winterfest Wrap-up - Day 1 from Barber Motorsports Park
Posted by: newsla on Feb 26, 2014 - 06:20 AM
IndyCar News
Cooper Tires Winterfest Wrap-up - Day 1 from Barber Motorsports Park


Another two-day test commenced this morning in Birmingham, AL at the beautiful 2.38-mile road course. Cold temperatures and rain delayed and shortened two of the three test sessions for our Indy Lights crews.


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Zach Veach, No. 26 RePLAY XD

First session - P4 at 1:26.042
Second session - P1 at 1:17.739
Third session - P9 at 1:18.182

"Today has been pretty tough for us. We were able to get some time on the track in between the rainstorms. We were also able to put in some quick times after only a few laps. Unfortunately, the third session was cut really short for us due to a few problems that happened early on. But, my RePLAY XD guys are doing a great job to get me through it, and we'll keep on fighting to get the car back to how it should be. I just want to thank RePLAY XD and everyone here at Andretti Autosport for fighting through these bad few days with us."

Matthew Brabham, No. 83 United Fiber & Data/MAZDASPEED

First session: P3 at 1:23.545
Second session: P2 at 1:18.039
Third session: P1 at 1:16.417

" Today was a little frustrating because we had two sessions where we didn't really get to run in, so that was pretty frustrating, especially waiting on the rain. This afternoon's session was fantastic; the car felt really good and we're making a lot of improvements, so we are definitely making progress. We'll see what happens tomorrow with the weather, but we'll try to get as much track time as possible with (the Grand Prix of) St. Petersburg coming up. I think we're in a good position at the moment and everything's going well, and the team is working hard."


Day 1 from Barber Motorsports Park provided lots of learning for our Pro Mazda duo who competed in the first of two races here in Alabama.

Garett Grist, No. 27 DaVinci Foods/Lander Property Management

Practice session: P3 at 1:20.757
Qualified P4 at 1:20.553
Finished P4

"We finished fourth today after starting fourth. We had a really good car in the race, but there weren't many places to pass here. I had a few chances, but as soon as I got close, the car's front end would just wash out. I think we had a car that definitely could have finished second, and in the end, if we had been able to make it up to second, I think Spencer (Pigot) would have been too far gone for us to capture the win. But, I can definitely run with those guys in the front... I just have to focus on getting a better start because I know we have the car to get it done. I'd like to thank DaVinci Foods, Lander Property Management, Sofina Foods, Sparco, Bell Helmets and the whole Andretti Autosport gang."

Shelby Blackstock, No. 28 Starstruck

Practice session: P2 at 1:20.716
Qualified P2 at 1:20.512
Finished P6

"Today definitely did not go the way the No. 28 crew had planned. At the start, I made a mistake and went to the inside when I should have gone to the outside. Kyle Kaiser made a really good move going into Turn 2; I caught him going into Turn 5, popped to the inside. But, unfortunately, I didn't have enough room which pushed me to the high side of the curb. That pushed the car off and nearly flipped his car over as we went (right rear to right front). It happens - that's racing. I'm just very happy to get all the bad luck out here at Winterfest instead of during the proper season. Hopefully Race 2 will provide a better outcome; we're starting P3."

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