Carlos Munoz leads the field into Turn 1 during the pace lap prior to the start of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway — Photo by: Chris Owens
(This was the last IndyCar oval race but was not completed due to rain)
Track: Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile (0.894-mile) oval in Newton, Iowa
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: http://www.IndyCar.com
2015 race winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay
2015 Verizon P1 Award winner: Helio Castroneves, 35.0817 seconds, 183.480 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, 3 p.m. ET Saturday, July 9 (live); Race, 5 p.m. ET Sunday, July 10 (live). Brian Till is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend 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: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season not covered by television will be available on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon Wireless puts fans around the world in the driver’s seat with its INDYCAR Mobile app. The app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR Mobile app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and includes enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; the ability to follow the race in real time with the interactive 3D track; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Saturday, July 9
10 – 11:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
2 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/two timed laps), NBCSN (Live)
6:15 – 6:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Sunday, June 26
1 p.m. – Systems Check
4 p.m. – Driver Introductions
4:35 p.m. – Command to Start Engines
4:40 p.m. – Iowa Corn 300 (300 laps/268.2 miles), NBCSN (Live)
• There have been six different winners in the nine previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix International Raceway), Simon Pagenaud (Streets of Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park and Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-1) and Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Road America). Dixon’s win at Phoenix on April 2 tied him for fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with Al Unser at 39. He is the active leader in wins. Bourdais’ win at Belle Isle on June 4 tied him with Bobby Unser for sixth on the all-time list with 35 wins. Power’s win at Road America on June 26 tied him with Johnny Rutherford for 13th all-time with 27.
• The Iowa Corn 300 will be the fourth of five oval races on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Dixon won at Phoenix on April 2 and Rossi won the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29. The conclusion of the third race, the June 12 Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, will occur on Aug. 27.
• The Iowa Corn 300 will be the 10th 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 three wins (2012, 2014 and 2015). Past winners James Hinchcliffe (2013), Marco Andretti (2011) and Tony Kanaan (2010) are also entered in the event.
• Andretti Autosport has won seven of the nine previous races at Iowa Speedway, including the last six in a row (Dario Franchitti 2007, Kanaan 2010, Andretti 2011, Hunter-Reay 2012, 2014 and 2015 and Hinchcliffe 2013). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Franchitti 2009).
• 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. Fourteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Kanaan 523, Castroneves 427, Hinchcliffe 245, Dixon 125, Josef Newgarden 111, Andretti 87, Hunter-Reay 54, Power 34, Graham Rahal 19, Ed Carpenter 18, Jack Hawksworth 7, Charlie Kimball 7, Takuma Sato 7 and Bourdais 6).
• Hunter-Reay has finished on the podium in every Iowa Speedway race since 2012… Newgarden has finished second in the last two races…Kanaan has finished on the podium in five of the last six races at Iowa Speedway… Andretti has finished on the podium in four of his nine starts at Iowa Speedway…Dixon has started on pole three times (two earned) and has seven top-10 finishes at Iowa in nine starts, but he has never finished better than third.
• Three rookies – Max Chilton, Conor Daly and Rossi – are entered. Rossi leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 71 points over Daly with Chilton, who won at Iowa Speedway in Indy Lights in 2015, 112 points behind.
• Kanaan seeks to start his 259th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 200 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.
• Castroneves will attempt to make his 321st career Indy car start, which would break a tie with Al Unser for fourth on the all-time list. Kanaan would tie Unser for fifth all-time with his 320th start.
• The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the latest technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams – one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals – but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.
• The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.
IOWA CORN 300 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet): “Iowa is not a place where we’ve had a lot of luck up to this point. So obviously, the DeVilbiss Chevy team looks to turn that around. We’re kind of a Murphy’s Law group this year. We had a good car at Road America but got trapped into a bad result in qualifying. Starting back in the field made it very difficult in the race. We just really haven’t gotten too many breaks this year.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “Iowa is one of those funny places for me. We start up front and always have fast cars, but haven’t closed the deal with a victory. You want to win at every track, but I’d really like to get one here. The Hitachi Chevrolet has been fast all season, and as a team, we’ve been consistent. Second in points is good, but we still have a big gap to cover. We just need to keep working hard, win some races and cut down this lead that Simon (Pagenaud) has.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Iowa Speedway obviously has some great memories for me (winning there in 2013). It’s a fun little track and one of the toughest races we do all year. Not just physically, but also because you are always racing someone. There are two great lanes that make for some awesome wheel-to-wheel action. I’m actually sad that it’s not a night race this year, but I’m still looking forward to getting back there after missing last year.”
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): “I’m happy to be back to racing at Iowa Speedway. It’s a small circuit but that’s what will make our racing super intense, so I’m sure it will be a very good race for the fans to watch. The last time I was there, our team looked pretty good so I’m hoping to get a good result in the No. 7 SMP Racing car and keep fighting to move up in the points championship.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I’m really looking forward to Iowa as that was the site of my first win in America in Indy Lights (in 2015). The track is very fast and we just did testing there last week, so it’s one of the few tracks I’m entering my rookie season where I have some confidence and don’t have to come in and learn it when we show up. The Ganassi cars have been fast so far this year, we just need to put together an entire race and I think good results will happen for the Gallagher team.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): “Iowa Speedway is such a tough track for racing Indy cars. You have very high g-force loading and there is always a lot of action on that little bullring-style track. You really have to be on your game with traffic and the quick lap times. It’s got a lot more character having weathered in over the past few years and the bumps in Turns 1 and 2. The track grip has come down a little bit as well, which makes it interesting. I really love this event and especially the fans that attend – they really love Indy car racing and show their support.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): “We’re coming off a really great race at Road America last weekend and I’m looking forward to NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing keeping the momentum going this weekend in Iowa. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the short ovals, especially Iowa Speedway. It can be one of the more challenging tracks with the g forces and high banking, but the racing is always very exciting for both the fans and the drivers. The fans are so supportive in Iowa and really show their love of Indy car racing, so we look forward to coming back as a series to put on a good show for them.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “We made progress with our short oval setup at the Iowa test last week, but the Hydroxycut machine still isn’t 100 percent comfortable and the track’s become trickier than ever. They did a pretty nice job in Turns 1 and 2, shaving some of the bumps, but they are still popping up and now there are bumps in Turns 3 and 4 where they had to patch the surface, so the grip is very uneven. We had a tough qualifying session in Iowa last year with a spin, but came back from last place to finish in the top 10. Providing I don’t make any mistakes in qualifying, I think we can have a pretty good result.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We just want to continue the momentum we’ve built over the last few weeks. The Verizon Chevrolet has been fantastic. Honestly, it’s been great all season, but we kind of kept shooting ourselves in the foot early on. We’ve had some good qualifying efforts at Iowa, but haven’t been as consistent in the finishes. We want to put a full event together which something we’ve been able to do in Detroit and Road America. It’s great to be back in the championship mix. Anything can happen at any of these races and our plan is to keep the pressure on.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Iowa is a great track. It is one of the most exciting short ovals and we have such close battles in very tight competition. It’s physical – we pull over 5 gs – so you can see the cornering speeds are quite impressive. I think Iowa always produces great entertainment because it is a very competitive race. I enjoy driving this challenging track and love the venue. We had a successful test day there on the 29th (of June). We covered many experimental test items, although we had to stop for a while due to rain. We still have a lot to learn and prepare before the race, but we will analyze our results from the test and should come back faster on race weekend.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack/RLL Honda): “Everything that could have gone wrong last year at Iowa went wrong, it seemed. To rebound and come out of the race with a top four felt greater than a victory and actually probably had a greater effect on our championship than anything else, just due to the morale that was built during that night. It was frustrating because I think we had a car that could have won but we were just stuck in sixth gear, pounding around. It was great to get a good result. As a team, we have been pretty good at Iowa the past couple of years. It’s been one of our strong points and we just had a good test there. Honda has worked very hard on their engine and aerodynamic package to get a more efficient car at this downforce level, so we should be pretty good.”
CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda): “It was nice to test at Iowa last week. It didn’t go as well as we would’ve liked, but it was important to be there. We diagnosed some things and that will help us get a better start to the race weekend than if we had not tested there, so that was good. Hopefully we can go back there and start at a better position on ovals than we normally do. The track has changed a lot since I last raced there in 2010 (in Pro Mazda). There’s big bumps all over the track and new patches of pavement and stuff like that, so there’s a lot to it, a lot of differences. There’s always been exciting racing there so hopefully we can keep that up.”
GABBY CHAVES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “As we head into Iowa, we look forward to turning our luck around from the last race weekend and start fresh at one of the toughest ovals on the calendar. This track seems to change a bit every year and it will be very crucial to have a car you can be confident in for long stints.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “We were able to test at Iowa Speedway (June 29) and I thought it went really well. The track has done a nice job of smoothing things out a little in Turn 1. The past few years it has been a night race, so it will be a little challenging this year. The (No.) 20 car needs to be a little better yet to be a race-winning car, but this test gave us a good direction before we get back on track on Saturday.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka/ECR Chevrolet): “I’m excited for Iowa. We should have a really good shot at going there and winning the race with either of the Fuzzy’s Vodka cars. We had a great test and I am super thankful to JR Hildebrand (who substituted for Newgarden at the Iowa test) for getting us in a great spot going into the weekend. We just need to show up and execute well. If we do, I think we have all the ingredients necessary to have a strong weekend.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader): “I’m excited to be back in the Menards Chevy for the Iowa Corn 300. Menards is such a part of the Midwest and I’m very proud to represent them for more races. They’re a fantastic partner with amazing stores where you can find anything you need. It couldn’t be a better fit with my family which for generations has been involved in the same industry back in France.” (About racing at Iowa): “I’m glad we are back oval racing on the bullring of Iowa (Speedway). It’s a very challenging racetrack both physically and on the car handling. We had a great test this past week and I look forward to an action pack race which should be exciting for the fans. The plan is simple: try to extract the best and maximum points out of the situation.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Iowa has been a great track for Andretti the past couple years. We tested there last week and the track is much different than it was last year so we will see how competitive we will be this year. It’s a great track, last year we finished Iowa fifth. It will be important that we qualify and race good so we can keep fighting for the championship.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “I really enjoy the Iowa track, and we’ve had success there with six straight wins as a team. Our focus is on keeping that streak going this weekend. On the 27 side, I need to turn my season around in a big way and hopefully Iowa can be a start for that.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda, 2015 Iowa Corn 300 race winner): “Iowa is certainly one of the highlights on the schedule for our team. Great facility, great racing and we have a pretty impressive record to defend. We’ll be pushing the DHL Honda hard to earn our 4th win there, but it seems every year it becomes harder to achieve.”
JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Iowa is the shortest track on the calendar but also extremely quick. It makes for some of the best racing and mentally one of the most draining races on the calendar for the drivers.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet): “Iowa is always a fun race, for fans and drivers alike. It’s challenging with getting the balance right for the high banking and, of course, the sheer speed around a short oval like Iowa Speedway just adds to it. We’re just making small gains every session, every lap, every weekend, so I think the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team will be strong going into the Iowa Corn 300 on Sunday.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda): “We just tested (at Iowa) last week and I have to say that it’s a pretty crazy track and have no doubt that it will be a very entertaining for the fans. I am looking forward to getting into the car on Saturday and seeing what we can do. Based on our past oval performances, we will be looking for another positive result.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar