IRL: Sears Point: Cheever Racing Friday report

SONOMA, Calif. -- In the heart of wine country, the Red Bull Cheever Racing team hit the track in preparation for the season's second road race at Infineon Raceway. The 12 turn, 2.26 mile natural terrain course features dramatic elevation changes...

SONOMA, Calif. -- In the heart of wine country, the Red Bull Cheever Racing team hit the track in preparation for the season's second road race at Infineon Raceway. The 12 turn, 2.26 mile natural terrain course features dramatic elevation changes and some tricky turns, which saw many of the drivers take their cars off of the pavement and into the dirt during practice.

Today's action featured a two-hour, full field practice session this morning followed by a split field 30-minute practice session in the afternoon. During the session, both Alex Barron and Patrick Carpentier ran consistently in the top half of the field. Barron led the way for the team in the #51, turning a best lap with an average speed of 106.800 mph. He was pleased with the effort produced by the team today.

"It's really nice to be back on a road course after having been on so many ovals lately. I think that the testing we did here and Watkins Glen seems to have helped us quite a bit. The engineering staff has done a lot of homework trying to find us grip. We've definitely come a long way. I'm pretty with what we did today. I'm pretty comfortable in the car, and I had a pretty good setup to start the day. Tonight we're going to make a motor change, so hopefully we'll jump up tomorrow and qualify toward the front," Barron said.

Carpentier was just behind his teammate in the practice action. His best lap averaged 106.245 mph.

"It's a beautiful track, but we need to find a little bit more speed. Overall, we were a little disappointed with what we were able to do today. We started out and kind of messed up what would have been my fast lap. The car is sliding around too much right now. We're going to look at some of the data and compare it to what Alex is doing, but I think we can get it figured out tomorrow so we're able to put together a good qualifying run," Carpentier said.

The team will return to the track tomorrow morning for another practice session in the morning before qualifying in the afternoon. The race features a unique qualifying format where the top six fastest cars making an attempt will return to the track for a 10-minute shootout to establish the first three rows. After qualifying, the team will return to the track for the final warm-up session before the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix. The race will be broadcast live on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

-rbcr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron