BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay overtook Helio Castroneves on Lap 76 of 90 and then held off Scott Dixon to win the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama by .6363 of a second.
Castroneves, who won the inaugural event in 2010 on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course, finished third and Charlie Kimball finished fourth. Will Power, who started on the front row, finished fifth.
"I was driving my tail off trying to stay in front of Dixon," said Hunter-Reay, who rebounded from an 18th-place finish in the season opener at St. Petersburg on March 24.
Hunter-Reay, who earned the Verizon P1 Award the day before in the No. 1 DHL car for Andretti Autsosport, jumped 13 positions to third in the championship standings heading to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 21. Castroneves, with his second podium finish, holds a nine-point lead over Dixon.
The victory was the first by a No. 1 car since Sebastien Bourdais at Mexico City in 2007.
Also on April 7, Carlos Munoz completed his domination of Barber Motorsports Park by winning the Legacy Indy Lights 100. The Andretti Autosport driver swept the weekend, topping the time chart in each practice session and earning his second consecutive pole start.
Jack Hawksworth, the St. Petersburg race winner, was 5.0684 seconds behind in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car. Teammates Gabby Chaves and Sage Karam followed. Jorge Goncalvez was fifth in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing car.
INDYCAR CEO Jeff Belskus and ZOOM Motorsports president and CEO Gene Hallman announced that terms for a three-year extension of the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park have been reached.
"We are pleased to have agreed to terms to continue the tradition of our fast and versatile racing at Barber Motorsports Park," said Belskus, a few hours before the green flag for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
"Not only is Barber a terrific facility to showcase our close and exciting on-track product, it also gives INDYCAR a strong presence in key southeastern markets to further help us grow our sport."
The April 7 race was the fourth for the IZOD IndyCar Series on the 90-lap race on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course. Hallman noted that tickets to the three-day event were sold to people in all 50 states and nine countries. The local economic impact is valued at $28 million annually.
"INDYCAR has become very popular here in the heart of the Deep South and we look forward to continuing to grow the prominence of this race," Hallman said.
"We certainly feel that INDYCAR is the appropriate partner to assist us in showcasing what is considered to be the finest road course facility in the U.S."
The event in 2012 was voted "Best Annual Event" and "Best Sporting Event" by Birmingham Magazine, and the 2011 race earned the "Alabama Event of the Year" award from the state's tourism department.