McLaughlin Wins at Barber

The Children’s of Alabama Grand Prix was won by Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin. It was a battle of tire strategy, and ultimately a battle of wills between McLaughlin and pole-winner Romain Grosjean.

McLaughlin pitted and came out on cold tires. He and Grosjean battled around the track with Grosjean passing McLaughlin on the inside coming off of the final turn and heading onto the main straightaway.

Ultimately, McLaughlin passed Grosjean, who was on older tires, saving fuel and was mysteriously lacking any Push to Pass. Grosjean was certain that he had ninety-nine seconds of P2P when he made his last stop; but when he came back out – he had zero. In the post-race press conference, Grosjean said he either had a brain-freeze and used them all up, or it could be a glitch in his dash. He said the team would look over the data.

Will Power gave Grosjean a run for his money as he was tracking him down in the final stages. But Grosjean held on for second and Power finished third, giving Team Penske two spots on the podium and Andretti Autosport one. Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward finished fourth, while Chip Ganassi racing’s finished fifth.

power int

Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson is still the points leader heading into the Month of May, with O’Ward and Palou hanging on to second and third respectively. But Josef Newgarden fell from fourth to sixth, as he led in the early stages of a race, then fell out of contention for the second race in a row. Long Beach winner, Kyle Kirkwood had a forgettable weekend and fell from fifth to ninth in the point standings.

Grosjean now has two second-place finishes in a row. While he wanted this win desperately, he know he has helped himself a lot as far as the championship goes, after two DNFs to start the season.

gtrosjean int

Congratulations to Scott McLaughlin on his first win of the season. He and Grosjean are still smarting from what happened between them at St. Petersburg, but there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between them – just a ton of respect.


That will wrap it up for us today, but I will still have my Random Thoughts article here tomorrow morning – so please check that out. Thanks to everyone for following along through the weekend. Also, don’t forget that I will be posting here every day in May, all the way through the day after the Indianapolis 500.

George Phillips

3 Responses to “McLaughlin Wins at Barber”

  1. Matthew Lawrenson Says:

    With Grosjean, as the NBC team said, he’s usually good for one “incident” per race that costs him. I was expecting him to go off the road rather than go slightly wide to enable Scotty Mac to pass. I’m not a Grosjean fan, but I’m guessing that’s progress for him.

  2. George, did the National Anthem sound as bad trackside as it did on television. Was there any tie in or significance to having an opera singer perform a rendition.

    TV commentators mentioned largest crowd in 13 years yet looking at the spectator hillsides there seemed plenty of room . There was one place folks were heavily congregated under some trees . Your thoughts on crowd size ?

  3. Yannick Says:

    Thank you Team OilPressure for the trackside coverage on the blog. It’s amazing to see Susan back in action and doing what you both love.
    All the best to both of you.

    Having only watched the highlights reel of this event on youtube so far, I am happily surprised to see how many overtakes these drivers performed using unexpected lines in unexpected places. It must have been a really great race to watch in person.

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