IndyCar Goes Short Tracking in Iowa [Iowa Corn Indy 250 Live Thread]
Iowa is unlike any other track IndyCar visits. While its a short track, it drives like a superspeedway. IndyCars can lap this course at over 180 mph, meaning it goes real fast. The speeds have climbed even higher this weekend despite the decreased downforce with the DW12 compared to the old car. The lower downforce has produced lesser speeds at Texas and Milwaukee, but here it's been the opposite.
Last year, Marco Andretti won his first race in 5 years after a duel with Tony Kanaan. Marco has been strong again this year, starting 3rd. Kanaan has had his moments this weekend as well, but starts 19th after a 10 grid penalty for an engine change.
IndyCar tried something different for this race, holding heat races instead of normal qualifying. Those races can be seen at 8:00 on NBC Sports Network. Dario Franchitti got the best of it though, winning the final heat (which involved the top 8 in practice) to take the pole. Helio Castroneves finished 2nd in the heat, and thus will be on the outside of the front row. Andretti and James Hinchcliffe will make up the second row. Those to watch in the back (primarily due to engine penalties) include Kanaan and Graham Rahal.
Iowa Speedway almost always produces great racing, and so far the DW12 has resulted in good to great racing (expect Detroit, but that just means its not a miracle worker). Thus, we can expect another good race tonight. That is, if the weather cooperates. It has been raining most of the day, and there's no guarantee its over. If Mother Nature gives IndyCar a break, green flag is scheduled for 10 eastern (yes, I agree the late start time is dumb). Currently on is INDYCAR36 with Charlie Kimball. At 8 are the heat races on tape delay, with pre-race at 9. After the IndyCar race will be the Indy Lights race. It was to be taped delay, but now could be live (if it happens at all) after the big cars.
While yet again, Dario on pole means he could dominate, my pick is Marco Andretti. As last year showed, he likes this track, and while he certainly can blow it (see: Indianapolis), he's got the car to get it done. It's hard to pick a darkhorse, since the big three teams took the top 8 starting spot, but I'll go with TK. If anyone can go from 19th to 1st, it's him.
Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's Event Summary can be found here. Q it up here throughout the race.