Iowa Corn Indy 300, Race Report
Seemingly with the weight of the world on Andretti Autosport’s shoulders to maintain its winning streak at Iowa Speedway, the Andretti Four settled in for a 300-lap race around the 0.894-mile oval once the green flag flew around 8 p.m. this evening. The four cars of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Carlos Munoz, Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson were spotted running positions seven through 10 together early on, and later, a series of off-sequence pit stops aided the reigning race winner and the Colombian to make their way to the top five for the latter half of the race.
On Lap 264, RHR acquired the race lead and never looked back; he collected the race win, a back-to-back victory at Iowa Speedway and Andretti Autosport’s sixth-consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series win at the Newton, IA track, with just 37 laps led. Hunter-Reay becomes the only active Verizon IndyCar Series driver to collect three wins at Iowa Speedway. Munoz was seen as high as P3 as late as Lap 283, hoping to join his teammate on the podium, was unable to hold off in the final stage but collected a top-five finish in fifth place. Andretti was also shown as high as the third position during pit rotations and attempted a strategy move with a last effort pit stop for tires and came to the twin checkers in the seventh position. Wilson started from the 18th position and showed promising speed but was set back when he brushed the wall one-third through the race; the Englishman finished in P17.
The team will head next to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the August 2 race. Until the green flag flies again, stay up to date on all things Andretti via AndrettiAutosport.com and @FollowAndretti.
PRESIDENT, CHAIRMAN & CEO, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT
“It was huge to get Ryan (Hunter-Reay) back up there and keep our streak alive at Iowa. We love Iowa, man, it’s unbelievable. I don’t understand why we’re so good here. It’s so great, I couldn’t be happier, so happy for Ryan.” (Why are your cars so good at Iowa?): “I don’t know. If we knew, we’d try to do that everywhere. We’ve just had good luck here. We have good setups here and our drivers love driving here. Ryan does a great job here.”
NO. 28 DHL HONDA
“It felt like we had something (tonight). It certainly was going to be tough to beat them today, but this No. 28 DHL Honda was on rails at the end and I was driving the snot out of it. It was loose and I just kept my foot to the floor. It was barely having to lift at the end. It was a lot of work in the cockpit. This one we really had to work for, this was a hard one. After such a tough season, it was great to be back in Victory Lane. In the beginning of the race the car was really loose and I had a hard time with it. This is just amazing. … We’re having a tough year but we got into Victory Lane in one of the most competitive seasons. It was super tough to get this thing today.”
NO. 26 ANDRETTITV / CINSAY HONDA
“It’s a shame I couldn’t hold the third place – I did everything I could with what we had. I was hopeful for that third place after a tough weekend, but fifth, I’ll take it. Finally an okay result after the last few bad races. Now I’m focusing on Mid-Ohio, I really love that track, and hope to keep the momentum going. Finally a good result in Iowa, so it’s a good day.”
NO. 27 SNAPPLE HONDA
“I really struggled with the car today. We were just getting caught in really bad circumstances on the restarts, and we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of times tonight. Congratulations to Ryan (Hunter-Reay) – it’s good to keep the Andretti (win) streak going.”
NO. 25 ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HONDA
“From where I was sat, it looked like whatever car it was at the bottom, kinda checked up and shot up a lane or two, kinda caught everyone by surprise. I just got careless, got two wheels in the dirt and whitewalled it. It was frustrating – we were staying on the lead lap but at the back of the pack, it was just a bit of a handful after I whitewalled it. It was a case of not throwing it in the wall and trying to be smart. Towards the end, we came in to just try and test some things out – we knew we weren’t going to win and wanted to learn a few things, so that’s what we did. It was a long, frustrating night. You’re just hanging on, trying to get the car to turn… I think we made a good stop, got up to the front early on and then maybe we were a bit optimistic with our downforce level, we were sliding around a lot. It got very difficult late in the tire stint, that’s where we kind of slid back. It’s kind of what we expected and we wanted to try that, but it made for a long night.”
Mazda Road to Indy Race Report: Iowa Speedway
NO. 51 STARSTRUCK MAZDA
* The American racer captured a top-10 finish in ninth place for this afternoon’s Indy Lights Iowa 115
“Our race car today was pretty balanced. The whole race we settled into a groove and ran our lap times consistently while everyone else were able to throw down times and beginning to pull away; once they started to fall off, we were all pretty equal. We definitely need to practice a little bit more in traffic, but other than that we captured P9 for the 51 crew and looking forward to move on to Mid-Ohio.”
NO. 22 WEIRON TAN
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA
* Awarded pole position for today’s Pro Mazda Iowa 100 (originally clinched P2) after three competitors were handed technical infractions and moved to the back of the field
* Kuala Lumpur native captured his second oval win, fourth overall, after leading all 100 laps of the race and moves from fourth to second in the championship points fight (unofficial)
“It’s all thank you to the Andretti Autosport guys. It’s a great experience, I can’t believe it. It’s fantastic, the team deserves it. Certainly the championship is not over yet — four more races to go, we’re never going to give up. We’re just going to keep pushing hard until the season ends and hopefully win the championship; that’s what we are aiming for. Today’s race was really tough, actually; 100 laps — that’s not easy going around at such high speeds. It was difficult midway through the race, especially time management and trying to keep the pace up… The Cooper Tires did really well, thank you to Cooper Tires and to Mazda engines as well.”
NO. 28 K-LINE INSULATORS USA, INC.
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT MAZDA
* Queen’s University graduate started today’s race on the 0.894-mile oval from the fourth position
* Canadian racer fell back to seventh early in the race but chipped away the competition coming home in second, securing an Andretti Autosport 1-2 finish and Kellett’s first podium of 2015
“We’ve been strong on the ovals all year, hopefully we can keep this momentum for the last two rounds of the championship. Off the start we dropped back a little to sixth or seventh, the car was definitely under me once I got it spooled up, and we were just able to pick up spots and move to second. It was a good race. Huge thank you to my K-Line Insulators USA/Andretti Autosport guys.”