The IndyCars Hit the Bullring at Iowa [Iowa Corn Indy 250 Live Thread]
Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay come into the race 1 and 2 in the points, but both disappointingly start midpack, together in row 6. Hunter-Reay never got it going in qualifying or in the heat races that set the field. For Helio, however, it was a different story. He won the heat race that set the front of the field, and thus was awarded the pole and the championship points that went with it. However, the #3 Penske team later changed the engine, and thus took a 10 spot grid penalty. There have been multiple engine changes and penalties this week, including by both Target cars. They will start mid-pack (Scott Dixon in 15th) and towards the very back of the pack (Dario Franchitti in 21st).
The beneficiary of Helio's engine change is his teammate Will Power, who will lead the field to the green. Power desperately needs to get his season going if he's to have any chance of getting back in the title hunt. A win here, especially since it would come on an oval, would do just the trick. Starting alongside Power will be James Hinchcliffe. Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, and Tony Kanaan complete an all-Chevy top five, yet another dominant session for the Bowtie on an oval. The top Honda starter is Graham Rahal (who desperately need a good result) in 6th.
Iowa Speedway is different from any other track on the schedule. It's the shortest track IndyCar visits, but drives almost like a superspeedway. The result is another driver's track, and the variable of traffic, very much like what we saw last week in Milwaukee.
It rained quite hard this morning at Iowa, but it's clear now and the track is drying. Hopefully we'll be ready to race once the broadcast begins at 2:30 on ABC, with green flag scheduled for 3:05. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's Event Summary can be found here. Q it up throughout the Iowa Corn Indy 250.