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Indy Lights at Barber Motorsports Park: A Retrospective

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Who wants to win the Indy Lights races at Barber Motorsports Park?

Don’t everybody raise their hands up at once, now, especially considering the history of past Indy Lights winners at Barber.

Indy Lights first ran at Barber in 2010, when the Verizon IndyCar Series debuted at the Alabama track. Jean Karl Vernay won the race, and after winning the Indy Lights title that year, never made the jump to IndyCar.

Instead, he did a small amount of racing in Europe, won the Porsche Carrera Cup in France in 2012, the GTE-Am class at Le Mans in 2013 and has raced in other GT races around Asia in 2014 and 2015. Talk about a career change, right?

In 2011, Victor Garcia scored his one and only win in his career at Barber. After that, Garcia pretty much fell off the racing world, running in one race in a reincarnation of A1GP in 2014, and after that, nothing.

Is there a dark cloud surrounding the winners at this track, or what?

In 2012, Sebastián Saavedra won at Barber.  Since that time, he’s had an IndyCar season at Dragon Racing and another at KV Racing, plus a partial season for Chip Ganassi last year.  His best finish during that time was an eighth at Baltimore in 2013 with three other top ten finishes to his credit.

Carlos Munoz was victorious at Barber in 2013, and so far he’s been the big spoiler in the Barber sink or swim fate that has stricken its winners. Munoz finished second at the Indianapolis 500 that year, winning rookie of the year in the process. Munoz also earned an IndyCar win at Detroit in 2015 while driving for Andretti Autosport and is currently in his third full year of IndyCar competition with the team.

A doubleheader weekend greeted Indy Lights in 2014 with Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves splitting the two races between them. After losing out on the Indy Lights title in the final race weekend of the year, Veach was unable to secure an IndyCar drive for 2015, but he’s back in 2016 to try to win another Indy Lights title.

Chaves, on the other hand, won the Indy Lights title and won rookie of the year in 2015 with Bryan Herta Autosport at Indianapolis and also for the IndyCar championship. Unfortunately, Chaves has found himself on the sidelines in 2016 but is hoping for that to change soon.

Last year, Spencer Pigot swept the race weekend at Barber on his way to winning the championship. Pigot secured a three-race deal in IndyCar this year with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and is hoping to secure more races with the team.

EMAIL CHRISTOPHER AT christopherdeharde@gmail.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularOpenWheel.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement. 

Christopher DeHarde is a native of Luling, Louisiana and has contributed to Motorsport.com, Motorsports Tribune, The New Orleans Advocate and Race22.com. He’s a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in Mass Communication and has been writing about motorsports since 2014. Primarily covering the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Mazda Road to Indy, DeHarde has also covered the FIA World Endurance Championship, Pirelli World Challenge and NASCAR.

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