Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015
Track: Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile (0.894-mile) oval in Newton, Iowa
Entry List: Iowa Corn 300
Race distance: 300 laps / 268.2 miles
Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets for use through the weekend
Twitter: @iowaspeedway @IndyCar, #IowaCorn300, #IndyCar
Event website: http://IowaSpeedway.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Scott Dixon, 34.5588 seconds, 186.256 mph (two laps)
One-lap qualifying record: Helio Castroneves, 17.2283 seconds, 186.809 mph, July 11, 2014
Two-lap qualifying record: Scott Dixon, 34.5588 seconds, 186.256 mph, July 11, 2014
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 18 (same-day tape delay); Race, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, July 18 (live). Brian Till is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes serving as the turn announcer. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209,IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app. Practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.
Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season and this weekend’s qualifying session are available live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, July 17
3-3:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1
6-6:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 2
Saturday, July 18
3-4 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (single-car format, two laps each), NBCSN (same-day tape, 5:30 p.m.)
7 p.m. – NBCSN on air
7:50 p.m. – Iowa Corn 300 (300 laps/268.2 miles), NBCSN (live)
* There have been eight different winners in 12 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Milwaukee) and Graham Rahal (Auto Club Speedway). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners.
* The Iowa Corn 300 will be the fifth of six oval races on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, Dixon won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, Rahal won the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on June 27 and Bourdais won the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile on July 12.
* The Iowa Corn 300 will be the ninth Verizon IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Ryan Hunter-Reay is the only active driver to win at Iowa Speedway more than once. Hunter-Reay has two wins (2012 and 2014). Past winners Marco Andretti (2011) and Tony Kanaan (2010) are also entered in the event.
* Andretti Autosport has won six of the eight races at Iowa Speedway, including the last five in a row (Dario Franchitti 2007, Kanaan 2010, Andretti 2011, Hunter-Reay 2012 and 2014 and James Hinchcliffe 2013). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Franchitti 2009).
* Kanaan has finished on the podium in the last five races at Iowa Speedway after failing to finish better than 15th in his first three starts. Andretti has finished on the podium in four of his eight starts at Iowa Speedway. Dixon has started on pole three times (two earned) and has seven top-10 finishes at Iowa in eight starts, but he has never finished better than third.
* Hunter-Reay and Franchitti are the only drivers to win at Iowa Speedway and win the Verizon IndyCar Series championship in the same season. Hunter-Reay accomplished the feat in 2012 and Franchitti in 2007 and 2009.
* No driver has won the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway from the pole.
* Four drivers have competed in every Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa: Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Dixon and Kanaan. Twelve drivers entered have led laps at the track (Kanaan 453, Castroneves 377, Dixon 125, Andretti 87, Ryan Briscoe 87, Power 32, Ed Carpenter 18, Hunter-Reay 17, Rahal 12, Takuma Sato 7, Justin Wilson 5 and James Jakes 1).
* Kanaan seeks to start his 246th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 187th consecutive start this weekend.
* With its next Verizon IndyCar Series victory, Chip Ganassi Racing will earn its 100th Indy car race win.
* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street course/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer.
* The No. 11 KVSH Racing crew of Bourdais claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on July 12 with a total pit-lane time of 1 minute, 50.931 seconds. The KVSH Racing crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities at the Iowa Corn 300.
IOWA CORN 300 PRE-RACE QUOTES:
WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was certainly unfortunate the way our race ended last weekend in Milwaukee. While we didn’t have our best day, I felt as though we were going to be able to minimize the loss of points to (Juan Pablo) Montoya if we were able to work on the car throughout the race. Fortunately for him, they were able to get a great finish out of the day, but we were left with a torn-up race car that was not of our doing. There is no question it is going to make (the championship battle) tough, but we will keep focused and go on to the next one. You kind of get frustrated but you just have to keep moving on. Eventually it will change and we will have one go right for the Verizon Chevy team. Just got to keep focused and move on to the next one.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I feel like we learned a lot at Milwaukee last weekend that will help us prepare for Iowa. It’s hard because we haven’t raced on a short oval since last year’s race at Milwaukee. We have a new aero kit for this year, but we couldn’t do any testing so we basically had to give it our best guess this past weekend. I’m really proud of everyone on the No. 2 Verizon Chevy team for how hard we worked last weekend. We got a top-five finish and extended our lead in the standings. If you can’t win the race, that is not a bad consolation prize. I felt we were really strong at Iowa last year but didn’t get a chance to show it as we were crashed out of the race. Obviously I’d love to go there and win the race, but we know what we need to do over these last four races to win the championship.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “Wow, what an amazing feeling it was after the Milwaukee race last weekend. Our Sunday, we didn’t have the best start when we didn’t get to qualify (penalty for being late to pre-qualifying technical inspection). That was a mistake – my team doesn’t have many of those – but we kept our focus on what we had to do. We gradually made our way through the field with the Hitachi Chevrolet and I thought a fifth- to eighth-place finish would be realistic. Fortunately we caught a break with the last caution. We were really close to pitting and that gave us a chance to get four Firestone tires and fuel to go to the end. I thought we had a chance to catch (Sebastian) Bourdais, but he was too quick. But that is an example of how quickly your fortune can turn around in racing. Now we go to a really fast place in Iowa. It’s our smallest oval but, man, it’s really fast. You have to really stay alert because you are in traffic a lot. One slip and you can easily find yourself behind the wall losing a lot of points.”
STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “I have a lot to learn this weekend when we go to Iowa. It’s very different to last weekend, high banking and very short with laps taking just over 17 seconds. I have heard that it’s pretty physical to drive and so that will be another factor that will test us. My crew gave me a good car last weekend, so we will take each session as it comes and try and as learn as much as possible and hopefully have a good race.”
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda): “I can’t wait for Iowa. I feel like we have been doing a fantastic job and we’ll keep working hard to continue our strong performances. The No. 5 Arrow Electronics was fast in Milwaukee, but we just didn’t have the finish we wanted, so hopefully we’ll get a positive result to show for it this weekend.”
JAMES JAKES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I’m excited about being able to get back in the car again this weekend at Iowa. We were quick in Milwaukee, but just had a little unfortunate luck. I think we can be very competitive this weekend and, with a little bit of luck on our side, we can get a great result in the No. 7 MediaTech Oculus car.”
SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet): “I feel like we have some momentum on our side with the No. 8 car program after back-to-back weekends where we scored our best starting and finishing positions of the season. I love Iowa and was a big fan of driving this track in the ladder series. We need a good result and to continue to move forward, and I hope we can get it this weekend and capitalize on all the hard work that’s gone into this program.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Iowa is such a little bullring, it’s so fast. The G-loadings that you’re getting and how quick they get the cars to perform around the track is spectacular. I think I’ve been on the pole twice there and I don’t think I’ve ever been on the podium there, so I’ve got a little bit of work to do. Tony Kanaan was very strong there last year and I think we got robbed of a 1-2 finish there with a late caution and a bunch of guys going on new tires. It’s definitely a fun place where the people love coming to our races and I think it’s probably one of the best shows we have all season.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I can’t wait to get back to Iowa this weekend – there’s just something about these short ovals that I love. Over the past five years I’ve had solid results there with five podium finishes, but I haven’t been able to come through with another win since my first and only win there in 2010. It’s always such an exciting race, and with the way we’ve been running this season, I don’t see this weekend’s race being any different.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cigs-KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “I’m very excited about the win in Milwaukee. It is my first on an oval in nine years and to do it the way we did was special. The KVSH Racing guys did an awesome job preparing and setting up the car and in the pits during the race. That was last weekend and in racing it is easy to go from being the hero to a goat. Iowa is, obviously, a different kind of oval than Milwaukee. It is a bit shorter and has high banking, but we had a decent car there last year and have worked very hard on our oval setup this year. Chevy has given us great power and the best aero package, and we have a real chance to finish in the top five in the championship. We just have to keep our nose to the grindstone and keep putting up good results.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Iowa Speedway is small and short but I like it a lot. I think it’s a good contrast from some of superspeedways, but it’s suited for INDYCAR. It’s a different style but it’s so much fun with such close racing with good driver’s actions. I mean, we drive really hard with lots of throttle control. I have great memories of my earlier visits, but I do have a lack of good fortune there. Hopefully we can change that this weekend.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “I said before the three-oval stretch began that these three (Auto Club, Milwaukee, Iowa) would be important to our season-ending rank. I absolutely still think that the biggest thing for us as a team is to try to carry momentum through these races because it’s not only important to us for our season, but because these are areas where we struggled as a team the past couple of years. They are areas that are proving to be pretty good to us right now, but we’ve got a little bit of work to do still. Now we have Iowa coming up. Of all the oval races, I think Iowa has been our strength the last couple of years so I’m pretty excited to get there and see what we can do. For sure, this has been my most successful season of my career so far and I really hope that continues and just keeps improving. I hope we continue to be a frontrunner and contend each and every race. That’s our goal this weekend in Iowa – to make sure we keep putting this team up front where they belong and try to give ourselves the best chance in the championship. It’s going to be hard to catch (Juan Pablo) Montoya to win the championship, but I really don’t see why we can’t be right there, right behind them. That’s our goal. Everyone from Honda continues to work hard. They have kept their heads down and kept working hard and we are putting ourselves in a place where we can succeed and we will. I’m proud of the effort they have put in. It was apparent from the start that we were a little bit behind and the guys have just kept working hard and we have found ourselves right in the thick of this thing in the championship. We’re going to keep pushing hard to get Honda even further up if we can. I’m not worried about the title or standings as much as I am thinking about how we can do the best we can and put ourselves in a great position to compete. If we do those things and take care of that, we are going to be in the hunt come Sonoma (for the season finale), where there are double points.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): “Iowa is always one of my favorite races of the year. It is a really cool and unique track, and Iowa has great open-wheel fans. Josef (Newgarden) and I both had good cars in Milwaukee and I expect that to carry over to Iowa for another great race. Hopefully we can get both cars on the podium together again.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): “Milwaukee was a great preview for us for this weekend’s race at Iowa. It’s nice having these two short ovals on back-to-back weekends since we haven’t been able to test the new aero kit on these types of tracks yet this year. We struggled a bit in qualifying at Milwaukee with the balance on the Penske Truck Rental Chevy, but I was quite happy with the way the car drove in the race. With that race under our belt, we should be a bit more dialed in for Iowa. Everything happens very fast at Iowa so you want to have your balance exactly where you need it. We continue to make small gains with our program; gains that may not be visible to the fans yet, but they will be soon. Things feel like they are really coming together with this team and that has me excited.”
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Iowa is a great track – very challenging with a high banking. Trying to get the car to work right, especially in Turns 1 and 2 with the added bump and then down in (Turns) 3 and 4 the way the banking increases as you start to run higher up, it turns the car and affects the car a lot. It’s a lot of fun, great racing and I hope we can continue the same kind of form that we had at Milwaukee, and get an actual result out of it. It should be good. Andretti Autosport has a great history at Iowa, a lot of strong finishes and a few wins. I hope one of us four can carry on that tradition.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): “So we’re heading to Iowa, another short oval. After a hard weekend in Milwaukee, I’m looking forward to getting to Iowa. Hopefully we’re going to get everything turned around after these past few races that haven’t been great. Iowa is another tough track being a short oval; I’m hoping for a really good result, so we’ll see what we have.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “I’m looking forward to returning to Iowa this weekend. It produces great racing and makes for a great night race, which is cool for the fans. I’m going for my fifth Iowa podium and hope to keep the team’s Iowa win tradition going.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Iowa (Speedway) is another track where we have great history as a team. On the 28 side, we’ve found victory lane twice and are entering the weekend as defending race winners. We hope to get the DHL Honda back up front this weekend.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “When I first saw Iowa Speedway, I was impressed with the banking and just how short the track is. The length of the circuit really makes the cars look and feel incredibly quick. It’s very easy to go a lap down there because it is so short, and catching a yellow at the wrong moment can cost you big.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Wichita State University/CFH Racing Chevrolet):“We’re going to head to Iowa Speedway with a lot of confidence. The team has really responded to anything and everything that has been thrown at them this year. We had a solid performance in Milwaukee, we weren’t able to close the deal on a win, but we were knocking on the door. I feel very confident that we can go to Iowa with a strong race car and keep CFH Racing running up front.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet): “Iowa Speedway is definitely a physically and mentally demanding track, but I think that’s one reason we enjoy the challenge of it. I’m looking forward to racing under the lights Saturday with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. We were strong in qualifying last year and really had it together in the pits with stops and strategy. I know the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet will be fast in clean air, but we’ll just need to work on running in traffic to make sure we can stay up front.”
GABBY CHAVES (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda): “We’re looking forward to Iowa and finding some more speed on the No. 98 Bowers and Wilkins car. We learned a lot last weekend at Milwaukee and are confident that we have a good car for this weekend. It’s nice to come off of a weekend with positive momentum and carry that on to see what results we can make here.”