Dixon quick – Johnson gets more comfortable – Barber Motorsports Park tickets on sale

A quartet of Chip Ganassi Racing drivers and cars spent a sunny Tuesday testing at Barber Motorsports Park in preparation for the upcoming Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Not surprisingly, reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon led the way. The Kiwi has a superb average finish of 3.4 in ten previous visits to Barber Motorsports Park, but he is still looking for his first trip to the top step of the podium.

Following Dixon by 0.148 seconds was his newest teammate Álex Palou in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with Marcus Ericsson within a half-second of Dixon.

The No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda piloted by Jimmie Johnson turned the most laps of the day, completing 164 circuits, almost double the usual 90 lap race distance. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion was within 1.3 seconds of Dixon.

The last time Johnson and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammates visited the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course for testing was on November 2nd.

Ericsson led the team during that test, with Dixon and Palou within one-tenth-of-a-second of the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

At that test, Johnson was 2.141 seconds behind Ericsson. During today’s test, the El Cajon, California native shrunk the gap to his teammates to 1.357 seconds.

Johnson’s quick lap of 67.131 seconds this afternoon would have been the eighth fastest lap during a February 23rd test, besting laps by Simon Pagenaud, Dalton Kellett, Ed Jones, Takuma Sato, and Romain Grosjean.

A satisfied Johnson took to social media after the test.

“A great day in the books,” said a smiling Johnson as the sun went down on a day of testing at Barber Motorsports Park. “It’s my fifth day in the race car, and a lot of things came to me. There was a lot of speed in the car, and I’m much closer on pace. I’m really sensing and feeling the car, and I’m really, really happy with the progress I’ve made.

“The next time I’m in this car is here (at Barber Motorsports Park) for the race weekend. I wish I had a few more days in it, but that’s all we get.

“I’m really stoked to have the paint scheme on the car. It looks great on the track, and I can’t wait to come back here and race in a month’s time.”https://twitter.com/CarvanaRacing/status/1369442343154245634

Very unofficial times from the four-car Chip Ganassi Racing test at Barber Motorsports Park.

19Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda65.774 85
210Álex PalouChip Ganassi RacingHonda65.922-0.148110
38Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda66.214-0.44120
448Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi RacingHonda67.131-1.357164

This is where, once again, we insert our usual corollary that testing times don’t matter. Teams will have different drivers working on different programs, so don’t read too much into the times.

The following NTT INDYCAR SERIES tests remain.

  • March 25 – four cars will be validating the package for the Indianapolis 500 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval
  • March 29 – Dale Coyne Racing and Carlin will be at Sebring International Raceway
  • March 31 – A.J. Foyt Racing, Andretti Autosport, Arrow McLaren SP, Ed Carpenter Racing, Meyer-Shank Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Team Penske are scheduled for testing at Texas Motor Speedway
  • April 8-9 – open test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval

2021 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama tickets are now on sale.

A limited number of tickets for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama went on sale to the public today.