Apr 5, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Carlos Munoz isn't in a hurry except, of course, on the race course.
The 21-year-old Colombia-born driver for Andretti Autosport, who was quickest in both practice sessions April 5 for the Legacy Indy Lights 100 on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course, takes a measured approach to the race weekends.
"I felt really strong. In St. Pete (two weeks earlier) I was pushing more because the time was more difficult to come by," said Munoz, who earned the Sunoco Pole Award for the season opener March 23. "But here I had a great car and the times came much easier. (April 6) is qualifying so it’s the time of the truth."
Click it: Legacy Indy Lights 100 combined practice results
Munoz, driving the No. 26 Dialy-Ser car, recorded a best lap of 1 minute, 14.3433 seconds in the afternoon session.
"I think here, especially in this second practice, we focused on the race distance and I think we improved a lot compared to last year in the race distance," said Munoz, who started third at Barber but finished 14th because of contact.
Andretti Autosport teammate Zach Veach was third quick (1:14.9433) in the No. 12 K12 car, just behind Sage Karam (1:14.7432) in the No. 8 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian entry.
"They did a grinding of the surface here prior to this year so it’s definitely a whole new mix in the game," said Karam, who competed in Star Mazda in 2012. "I’m learning the car, learning the team, and now I’m learning a whole new track. It’s new to me and it’s new to all the other drivers.
"So all the setups are pretty much changing. Every session we go out there we get faster and learn more about the car, so I think qualifying is going to be quite interesting."
A scheduled Firestone Indy Lights Open Test at Barber on March 11 was canceled because of heavy rain.
Juan Pablo Garcia posted the fourth-best lap (1:15.3927) in the No. 2 TMR-International-Euclid Chemical car. Victor Carbone, the fifth-place finisher at Barber last April and making his 2012 debut this weekend, was fifth-quick on the day in the No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Drilling & Coil Service car.
Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian opted not to use new tires during the second session on the cars of No. 7 Gabby Chaves and No. 77 Jack Hawksworth, the St. Petersburg race winner. Both will have three sets of new tires available for the 45-minute qualifying session.