Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Iowa for Saturday night short-track action
Race Broadcast Saturday, July 12 8 p.m. (ET) NBCSN
Qualifying Broadcast Friday, July 11 4 p.m. (ET) NBCSN
Track Iowa Speedway (0.875-mile oval)
Distance 300 laps/262.5 miles
Radio IMS Radio Network XM 209/Sirius 213
2013 Race Winner James Hinchcliffe
2013 Pole Sitter Helio Castroneves (Won Heat 3)
Single Lap Helio Castroneves (17.3324, 185.687 mph) June 2013
Two-Lap Qualifying Takuma Sato (35.6857, 180.375 mph) June 2011
First Indy car Race 6/24/2007
Tied at the top
Helio Castroneves took advantage of a double points weekend at Pocono to tie Will Power at the top of the Verizon IndyCar Series standings with a second-place finish. Power leads Castroneves by virtue of the wins tiebreaker, but Simon Pagenaud (44 points back), Juan Pablo Montoya (55 points) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (58 points back) are not too far behind.
Andretti Autosport goes for fifth straight win at Iowa
No team has been more successful at Iowa Speedway that Andretti Autosport, which has won five of seven races at INDYCAR's shortest track, including the last four. James Hinchcliffe became the fourth different Andretti Autosport driver to win during that stretch. Can Andretti Autosport maintain its mastery of Iowa Speedway?
Montoya looks to give Team Penske its first Iowa win
The hottest driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series races for Team Penske but it isn't Will Power or Helio Castroneves, who are tied atop the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. Juan Pablo Montoya has scored the most points in the series over the last six races and will look to give the team its first win at Iowa Speedway. Montoya raced in the first race at Iowa - an ARCA race in 2006. Can he break Penske's winless streak at the track?
Andretti at home in Iowa
Marco Andretti may hail from Pennsylvania, but he is at home at Iowa Speedway. Andretti is aiming for his first win of 2014 but has four podium finishes in seven Iowa Speedway starts. Andretti last won a Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa in 2011. Can he add another win this year?
Kanaan, Dixon try to recapture success on series' shortest track
Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan return to Iowa Speedway hoping to return to their winning ways. Kanaan won the Iowa Corn Indy 250 in 2010 when he drove for Andretti Green Racing. Now he drives Target Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 10 car, which won the race in 2008 with Dan Wheldon and in 2009 with Dario Franchitti. Dixon has six top-10 finishes at Iowa, but has never finished better than third. Can either win another gas pump trophy and give the team a third Iowa win?
Iowa racers make name as part of top teams
Even though there are no native Iowans behind the wheel of any Verizon IndyCar Series car, several native Hawkeyes will play key roles in this weekend's race as over-the-wall crew members: Travis Law of Maquoketa is the chief mechanic/outside front tire changer for Helio Castroneves' car; Jeremy Baker from Clear Lake is the inside rear tire changer for Will Power; Brett Snyder from Muscatine is the fueler for Sebastian Saavedra; Doug Bradley from Esterville is the inside rear tire changer for Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rob Channel of Altoona is the airjack operator for Jack Hawksworth.
James Hinchcliffe, Simon Pagenaud and Charlie Kimball all scored their first win in 2013, finished top 10 in the championship standings and established themselves as the next stars of the sport. The trio of young stars is joined by a talented rookie class that has already produced a race winner in Carlos Huertas. Will another young star be a threat to win this weekend?
• The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will be the eighth Verizon IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Past winners entered are James Hinchcliffe (2013), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Marco Andretti (2011), Tony Kanaan (2010).
• Teams will race an extra 50 laps on the .875-mile oval for the first time this year. The seven previous races were 250 laps.
• Five drivers entered in the event - Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth, Carlos Huertas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz - will make their first attempt to start a Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway. Munoz and Hawksworth competed in Indy Lights at the track in 2013. Montoya raced in an ARCA stock car race at the track in 2006.
• Andretti Autosport has won five of the seven races at Iowa Speedway, including the last four (Kanaan 2010, Andretti 2011, Hunter-Reay 2012, Hinchcliffe 2013). Target Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Dario Franchitti 2009).
• Team Penske has never won at Iowa Speedway, but has won three poles at the track, most recently with Helio Castroneves in 2013.
• Scott Dixon has started third or better in four of his seven starts at Iowa. Dixon has six top-10 finishes at Iowa, but has never finished better than third.
• Tony Kanaan has finished on the podium in the last four races at Iowa Speedway after failing to finish better than 15th in his first three starts.
• Marco Andretti has finished on the podium in four of his seven starts at Iowa Speedway.
• Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario 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 accomplished the feat 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 - Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan.
• The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will be the fourth race on an oval in 2014. There have been three winners in as many races: Ryan Hunter-Reay (Indianapolis 500), Ed Carpenter (Texas), Juan Pablo Montoya (Pocono).
Season to Date:
• Will Power won the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It was the 22nd win of his Indy car career, tying Tony Bettenhausen and Emerson Fittipaldi for 19th all time.
• Mike Conway won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the second time in his career. It was his third Indy car win.
• Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama for the second consecutive season.
• Simon Pagenaud won the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis, becoming the fourth different winner in as many races.
• Ryan Hunter-Reay won the 98th Indianapolis 500, becoming the first driver to win multiple races in 2014.
• Will Power and Helio Castroneves split the doubleheader races at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans - helping Team Penske sweep the wins in Detroit for the first time.
• Ed Carpenter won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time in his career. It was his third Indy car win.
• Carlos Huertas claimed the first win of his career when he won the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 1. He became the 211th different winner in Indy car racing.
• Simon Pagenaud won the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 2. It was his second win of the season and fourth of his career.
• Juan Pablo Montoya became the eighth different winner in 11 races when he won the Pocono INDYCAR 500 from the pole. It was his 12th career win. He was the first driver to win the Verizon P1 Award winner and race this season.
• Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Huertas started their first career Verizon IndyCar Series race at St. Petersburg.
Milestones & Records:
• Should Scott Dixon win the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship, he will join A.J. Foyt, Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais and Mario Andretti as the only drivers to win four Indy car titles in his career. Foyt won seven championships in his career, while Andretti, Bourdais and Franchitti each won four titles.
• With his next victory, Scott Dixon will tie Al Unser Jr., for sixth on the all-time wins list. Dixon, the active leader for wins, won his 33rd race at Houston's Reliant Park in October 2013.
• With a victory in 2014, Scott Dixon will extend his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to 10.
• Helio Castroneves tied Rick Mears for 11th place on the all-time wins list with his 29th race win at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park on June 1.
• Will Power tied Tommy Milton for 18th place on the all-time wins list with his 23rd race win at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park on May 31.
• Will Power's win at St. Petersburg extended his streak of consecutive seasons with a win to eight.
• With his next victory, Sebastien Bourdais will move into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time wins list. Bourdais is tied with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy with 31 wins.
• Helio Castroneves reached 40 career poles in his Indy car career by earning the pole for the second race at Houston. Castroneves is the active leader with 40 pole positions, which is tied with Rick Mears for fourth all time.
• With one pole in 2014, Scott Dixon will extend his Verizon IndyCar Series streak to eight consecutive seasons with at least one pole position earned.
• Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 227th consecutive start, which would extend his all-time record. Scott Dixon with 168 straight starts (fourth all time), Marco Andretti with 144 straight starts (11th all time) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (16th all time) with 119 straight starts are the only active drivers with a streak of more than 100 consecutive starts.
• Helio Castroneves is the active leader in starts with 288, which is eighth on the all-time list.
• Tony Kanaan has 287 starts, which is ninth on the all-time list.
• Helio Castroneves is the active leader in top-five finishes with 117, which is eighth on the all-time list.
• Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon passed Bobby Unser for ninth on the all-time list with 113 top-five finishes.
At-Track Schedule (all times local):
Friday, July 11
10 - 11:15 a.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1
2 - 3 p.m. - Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (Single car/Cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (Taped, 4 p.m. ET)
6 - 6:30 p.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series final practice
Saturday, July 12
4 p.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series systems check
7 p.m. - Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB pre-race
7:50 p.m. - Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB (300 laps/262.5 miles), NBCSN (Live)