Winners and Losers: Barber

Here are the winners, losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2015 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama:

Winners

Josef Newgarden
HE WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Josef Newgarden, who was the second driver to ever follow me on Twitter (first was Martin Plowman, both did so back in 2011), won his first career race with CFH Racing. He drove a great race and won it on his talent and not from some bullshit strategy or caution. He had some great overtakes, especially on the first lap, and was clearly the class of the field. So happy for him and the team. Hopefully Josef can keep this up because he's fourth in the points at the moment. So happy for Josef!


Graham Rahal
Graham Rahal haters have some pondering to do. Through the first four races, Graham has finished 11th, 8th, 11th, and 2nd. Last year, the first four races were 14th, 13th, 17th, and 21st. RLL Racing and Graham clearly found speed or benefited from the increased grip from the aerokits. Any way you slice it, Graham should be a force to be reckon with (at least on road courses).


Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon has managed to finish on the podium for all six races at Barber. *drops mic*


Andretti Autosport
It was staggering that Andretti Autosport did not place any drivers out of the first group of qualifying. Indycar.com has the qualifying results of every race since 2010. Since 2010, Andretti Autosport has put at least one driver into the Fast 12 under the standard qualifying format. That streak ended when Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti, and Ryan Hunter-Reay failed to make it out of round one. Fortunately, the team did great in the race. RHR finished 5th, Munoz 6th, and Andretti 10th. Really impressive race from a team that has struggled so far this season.



Losers

Team Penske
Every Team Penske car faced some adversity at some point during the race. Will Power made contact and got a penalty. Helio Castroneves ran out of fuel on the last lap and was forced to pit. Juan Pablo Montoya sucked all weekend. And Simon Pagenaud got caught out on strategy. A weekend to forget for the team has been dominant as far as speed goes.


Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan was running in the top-ten all day. I'm not sure what happened but Kanaan fell to finish P13. First bad result for the him and the team, but hopefully they rebound for the Month of May.


Sage Karam
Sage Karam had three of the most underwhelming races that a rookie with the persona that he has could ever have. It would be one thing if he was some no-name guy, but Karam has been getting hyped by fans and Chip Ganassi all offseason. Then he came out and gave us three performances? Unimpressed.


Francesco Dracone
The bad news: Francesco Dracone found a way to be a nuisance. In his defense, myself and many others overreacted when leaders were trying to get around him, but that was for position (we are all just used to him being several laps down). The good news: Barber was his last signed race with Dale Coyne, so hopefully this means good riddance to him.



Cone of Shame



Will Power
Will Power is once again adorned the Cone of Shame. Early in the race, Power came out of the pits and merged right into Takuma Sato. Both cars lost time but continued, and Power was issued an avoidable contact penalty. Now, up until this point, nothing here is out of order. Yeah, mistakes happen and I get that. But, Power came into the pits and his radio was put on air. He asked what he was getting penalized for... Umm well let's see here, you just took out a car that had the corner and was faster... Then he said, "Typical." Typical? The only thing typical about the penalty is that it centered around another one of your brainfades. Just when you start liking the guy, he says something like that. Makes it hard to like him at times.


Three weeks of interesting races! Time for a week off then a great Month of May!

-Matthew Hickey