(Photo: Christian Koelle)

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Postponed

The Verizon IndyCar Series had a battle with Mother Nature on Sunday… and Mother Nature won.

Continuous downpours at Barber Motorsports Park forced the postponement of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama after just 22 of the 45 laps needed for the race to be considered official (halfway) were run. The race will resume on Monday afternoon at 12 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

A wet start kicked off the event with Josef Newgarden and Will Power leading the field to green. Newgarden rocketed it to a sizeable lead over Power before the first caution of the day was displayed. Charlie Kimball and Ed Jones made contact in Turn 17 sending the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet into the outside wall, ultimately ending Kimball’s day.

Four laps later the race resumed but not without some protest from drivers first. Many could be heard telling their teams that visibility was absolutely terrible if there was any at all. The restart continued anyway but the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet of Newgarden and his teammate Power both hydroplaned as the field approached the first turn. Newgarden was able to recover while Power spun and ended up making contact with the wall. The left front wheel suffered heavy damage.

IndyCar then displayed the red flag, bringing cars and drivers down pit road, halting the No. 12 team’s challenge of repairing the car to get back out for points. A little over 30 minutes later, the red flag was lifted, but puddling around the track resulted in IndyCar pulling the cars back down pit road. 90 minutes later, the call was made that track conditions were unsuitable for racing and that the race would be postponed to Monday.

The postponement is the first for the series since the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway was postponed in August 2016. In its nine-year history, the event has never been postponed to Monday. In 2014, the event was shortened after heavy rain and lightning delayed the event. Ryan Hunter-Reay earned his second of two victories at Barber that day.

Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais will lead the field back to green on Monday. Barber Motorsports Park announced that it will open its gates and fans can attend the conclusion of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama without a ticket.

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Christian Koelle returns to Frontstretch in 2020 as the photo editor at Frontstretch. He will continue to contribute content in the ARCA Menards Series, Sioux Chief Challenge, and ARCA East & West Series. He is also engaged and will be getting married during the 2020 NASCAR off-season.

His favorite tracks on the circuit include Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, and Bristol Motor Speedway.

During the season, Christian also spends time as a photographer with multiple other outlets shooting Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Minor League & Major League Baseball, and NCAA Football.

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