NEWTON, Iowa (July 8) – Qualifying for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway today was difficult for many Verizon IndyCar Series competitors due to hot temperatures and slippery track conditions.
It was quite difficult for Carlos Munoz who spun on his first qualifying lap coming off Turn 2 and hit the outside wall, ending his run at the 7/8 mile banked oval. Munoz wasn’t hurt but the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet sustained damage to its rear wing and attenuator. He will start 21st.
“It was super slippery and I lost the rear end of the car and impacted the rear wing,” Munoz explained. “I don’t think the car is that damaged so it shouldn’t be a lot of work to fix. I had a little understeer but then the rear end went loose. The lap times are much slower than this morning and it’s not like we were super-trimmed. It’s a shame. But this track, if you have a good car you can go to the front.”
Conor Daly, who went out later in the day, was conservative in his run due to the track conditions (and also having seen Munoz’s accident). He posted an average lap speed of 178.613 mph and will start 19th.
“We made a lot of changes to be closer to Carlos’ setup from the first practice so the car was a lot different for me in qualifying,” Daly said. “I didn’t want to take too big of swing at it, too big of chance. I think we improved the balance but I wasn’t able to take advantage of it and I think we were a little bit light on downforce for the conditions because the car was definitely sliding around and was difficult to drive. We’re making progress, but it was difficult for everyone.”
Will Power won the pole with a blistering two-lap average speed of 185.210 mph. Second through fifth were J.R. Hildebrand (who crashed in practice in nearly the same area as Munoz), Helio Castroneves, Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato.
There is a final 30 minute practice this evening. The race will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network tomorrow afternoon starting at 5 pm EDT.