Notes from trackside and the Versus broadcast of the Iowa Corn Indy 250, Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa, June 25, 2011.
Yo yo yo and welcome to Iowa, home to me and 3 million other people, 13 million acres of corn and 15(ish) million hogs. I was at Iowa Speedway for the wonderment of this race, along with 35,117 other people. Iowa Speedway thinks attendance IS your business and usually announces said figures.
Cue Versus with the mandatory corn shot and mandatory tractor shot. Kevin Lee is in the Sky Lair with Tony Kanaan. Tony in Iowa montage. Three wall shots and then a win last year. Lindy Thackston with your pole sitter, Takuma Sato. Story HERE about qualifying results so shocking it caused human sacrifice ... dogs and cats ... living together ... MASS HYSTERIA.
Danica Patrick with Robbie Floyd talking about her P2 start. Danica missed the pole by 0.03 seconds. Story here. She was happy for P2, but filled with chagrin at coming THAT close to the pole. Still, best start for Danica in a long time.
LindyCar interviews Craig Floss, CEO of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Corn Promotion Board, which sponsors the race. Iowa is the BIG DOG in corn production. About 2.5 BILLION bushels a year (about a 20% of the entire national crop). We're easily the top corn producing state in the country. (Illinois is usually number 2). We're also number one in production of hogs and soybeans, P6 in beef, P9 in turkey, etc. Ag superpower! Iowa is number 1 in ethanol production as well and ethanol plants employ 50,000 Iowans who all spend their paychecks in Saudi Arabia. KIDDING. That's foreign oil production workers. Ethanol production workers spend every dollar right here in the American economy.
Speaking of pork production .. JUDAS H. PRIEST on a palomino ...The Iowa Pork Producers were at Iowa Speedway cooking pork chops for the masses. The cooks at such events are usually actual pork producers (farmers!) and they have it down to an art. I have eaten (I'm sure literally) a TON of pork chops in my 47 years, but NONE better than what the Pork Producers grill up. Seriously. So good they'd convert a vegetarian to a carnivore. If you go to the race at Iowa Speedway, you HAVE to have a Iowa Pork Producers pork chop.
Dan Wheldon is a VERSUS analysis for this show. Viewing enhanced. Danny and Robin Miller are at the flat screen. Replay of Milwaukee and Wheldon agrees with Dario Franchitti that Helio Castroneves threw a block party for Dario. Overhead camera replay of Sato going into Ryan Briscoe's pit at Milwaukee. The right front changer had to go to Evasive Maneuver Tango Bravo Sierra to jump out of the way as Sato crashed in there. Awesome video. Too bad ABC didn't show it during the Milwaukee race because it would have reduced a lot of "why was Sato penalized?" questions.
GRID WALK. OMG, Robin Miller and Dan Wheldon start on opposite ends of the grid and do a grid walk. I am breathing into a bag here. What happens in a "grid walk" is a guy goes with a camera guy, and they walk through the grid, kind of randomly stopping and talking to drivers, owners, etc. Robin Miller was BORN to do this, because he always has something quippy to say to every driver, and every driver is more than happy to give Robin shit back, and Robin knows how to take it. Dan Wheldon also does a stellar job here. This is an awesome feature that should get MORE time next race. Viewing majorly enhanced.
Anthem which sounded better at the track than on TV, flyover by a P-51 Mustang (didn't see it at the track, but saw it on TV).
Trackside Online starting lineup. Trackside Online is a reader-supported subscription news service. Joe was in the hizzy at Iowa kicking out tasty updates to all TSO subscribers, like me. $22 for a calendar year of killer coverage of every IndyCar race and most open tests. COMPLETE no brainer for the serious fan. Subscribe today.
1. (5) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 180.375
2. (7) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 180.210
3. (82) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 179.833
4. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 179.569
5. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 179.474
6. (10) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 179.474 (Dario and Power's times were separated by 0.0001 seconds. Seriously.)
7. (06) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 179.385
8. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 179.305
9. (27) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 179.185
10. (6) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 178.771
11. (2) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 178.742
12. (22) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 178.631
13. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 178.570
14. (67) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 178.510
15. (77) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 178.426
16. (14) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 178.365
17. (26) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 178.165
18. (24) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 177.821
19. (59) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 177.680
20. (38) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 177.509
21. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 177.280
22. (19) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 177.257
23. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 175.784
24. (18) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 173.365
25. (34) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, no speed
26. (78) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, no speed.
Simona De Silvestro was still suffering concussion symptoms after Milwaukee and withdrew from the race on Friday. The HVM posse packed up and headed back to Indy late Friday. We all wish Simona a speedy recovery. Saavedra did not make a qualifying run because his car was stupid loose and they figured they'd get last so why risk it?
35,000 are ready to rock it. I'm in section 104 of the Rusty Grandstand and locked and loaded with Mrs. pdog. Scanner choices today are Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Ed Carpenter. So let's wave our Iowa Corn 250 flags and light this Iowa soybean-based candle ... We are ... green green green.
Danica gets a shitty start and is inhaled by Dario! Dixon is immediately up four spots by lap 4.
Lap 7 -- THREE WIDE into the corner, Dario under TK, CLEAR. P2. Sato staves off Dario for a lap, then ... LEADER INHALED. Dario leads.
Lap 10 -- Danica settles in to P4.
Lap 12 -- Ed radios that he has understeer.
Lap 13 -- Briscoe inhales Hinch. Shout outs for Hinch who is off to a good start.
Versus has a low angle-boom cam shot that shows yellow-suited IndyCar pit officials standing on pit lane when the cars come around the front straight which makes the officials look completely bad-ass.
Bob Jenkins, booth stallion, says Marco has moved up the most positions of anyone.
Lap 24 -- (18-second laps fly by) yellow yellow yellow. James Jakes into turn 2 wall. Turn 2 is the hungry wall at Iowa Speedway. There's a bump in the middle between turn 2 and 3 that can (f-bomb) you up if you hit it wrong. It's right over the tunnel. Big debate over whether the track should try to fix it or leave it there as part of the character of the track. It's not CERTAIN DEATH if you hit it, but it's REALLY BAD if you hit it at the wrong angle or in the wrong way.
Jakes is OK. Booth Stallion Jon Beekhuis says everyone will pit because on a short track, you need to take advantage of every yellow to pit since you lose one or even two laps by pitting under green.
Replay. Bump. Wheldon says dirty air accentuates the problem if you hit the bump wrong. You need tons of airflow to keep your car from hoping out on you. Viewing enhanced by this tidbit.
Danica in and gets wing. As she's leaving her pit tells her to "Work on fuel. Work on fuel."
Cue the circus music! Power and Kimball have crashed in the pits. Power finished his stop, got waved out then the two collided when Kimball tried to pull into his pit in front of Power. Festival of Carbon Fiber for Power whose car got its nose mangled. Power's pit crew sends him back out a couple times under yellow to stay on the lead lap while trying to replace the nose, etc.
A tiny tractor pulls up on pit lane and 19 clowns use air guns to fire a dozens of Iowa-grown chicken eggs into the stands. (Iowa ... number 1 in egg production too. Don't hate!)
Kimball's car is toast. Pushing it back behind the wall for repairs or retirement.
Lap 33 -- after a nine-lap caution that included sweeping the track and jet-dryer blowing off marbles ... we're GREEN. Power stayed on the lead lap through about five stops to fix the front end.
Lap 35 -- Ed radios he nearly rolled it on the restart. Pit -- "Let the pressures come up. You'll be all right." Ed -- "Next stop we need to (F-bombing) do something about it because I can't be crashing coming to the green."
Lap 36 -- Festival of Contrails off the rear wings. Cool looking in person and on TV. Beek says Danica's starts are crap. She lost three on that start as well (from P4 to P7).
Lap 38 -- Danica and Marco go two wide then Marco inhales Danica for P7.
Lap 39 -- Danica radios she has a vibration. Pit "OK. We're OK. Wait on it."
Lap 40 -- Dario, TK, Sato, Helio, Servia, Briscoe, Marco, Danica, Hildebrand.
Lap 43 -- Kevin Lee says Hinch has fallen to P22 due to a fuel probe issue during his pit stop.
Lap 44 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Conway and Bia ... guess where ... turn 2. This is a serious Festival of Carbon Fiber because we got confetti-like bits EVERYWHERE. Wheldon reiterates that a car in traffic handles the bumps a lot differently than a car in clean air. Replay. Vitor BASHED into a big piece of debris seconds after the crash. Sucks to be him.
Corn people get more love. Replay of Bia getting loose over the bump and then becoming just a passenger, much to Conweezy's chagrin. I interviewed Conway over the weekend. Story coming soon, FYI.
Robin MIller says Helio is kind of the forgotten guy on Penske and needs a win. Nobody will be happier to see the twisties again than Conway.
They are working on Vitor's car. Front toe link is trashed. Much wrenching.
Danica reports that JR "came up on me" at the exit of a turn. Pit says they have alerted the league.
It's a Festival of Crowd Shots on Versus. We're looking good. It's nice that they don't have to come up with ideas and camera angles that DE-emphasize the sparse crowd. Much on-camera love for the crowd.
Wheldon says Dixon is now up to P8. Has picked up 15 positions.
Lap 52 -- Marco radios "That was a big hit. Are they OK?" Pit responds yes. At least they know Conway is OK for sure.
Lap 61 -- Since this yellow started some time in the Carter Administration, Danica in P12 and most the cars behind her including Ed eventually pit. Marco stays out. Ed's pit says they made a pressure adjustment so that should help the restart issues.
Lap 64 after a 19-lap (!) yellow -- GREEN.
Helio under TK .. CLEAR .. P2. Marco under Sato for P4 .. CLEAR. Now Marco under TK for P3 .. CLEAR. Festival of overtaking.
Marco closing on Helio. The Young Prince is on fire. He's much beloved in Iowa. Big cheers for Marco here in introductions, etc.
Beek says cars here have about 4000+ pounds of downforce on them. Wheldon makes the point with all that force pushing down on the car, it's harder to turn the wheel and you end up exhausted after the race.
Lap 71 -- Ed says his car is "just so edgy."
Lap 72 -- Lindy is impressive here going through the field basically on her own, at least she did about five cars in a row before "throwing" it to someone else.
Lap 78 -- Helio pitting. SHIT. Green-flag pit for a cut tire. Sucks to be Helio and his bad tire karma lately (had a puncture in Milwaukee as well). Dario has led all but 7 laps. Luckily there has enough overtaking behind him to make it interesting.
Lap 80 -- Dario, Marco, TK, Sato, JR, Briscoe, Dixon, Servia, Rahal, Danica.
Lap 91 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Will Power backed it into the wall ... guess where .. turn 2. Go figure.
I watched this one at the track. I saw Power inhale Vitor who was going about the speed of smell into turn 1, then Power came out and BAM, wall. Beek says Power maybe ran a tighter line over the bump due to overtaking Vitor and ... oooohhh SNAP .. around goes the ass end. Bad attenuator-first impact.
This will be a SIXTEEN-LAP yellow. Sweepers and blowers come out to clear marbles every time. Good for the racing, I guess, but 16 laps? EVERYONE except Helio and Vitor pitted on Lap 95. Helio got his lap back.
Replay of Hildebrand leaving his pit box and he has to go to evasive maneuver Xray Charles Robert to avoid ASS ENDING Marco. Nice reaction.
Danica comes out of the pit and it's a crowd scene at the pit out line. Pit -- Good job. Danica -- Just about didn't give me enough room to not hit that (f-bombing) cone. (The pit out line cone.)
Lap 99 -- Danica pit -- You beat your teammate out. Danica -- Well, that's good. Danica asks for and gets the lap times of the leaders.
Lap 107-- GREEN. Dixon now P5 after starting P23.
Marco is all up in TK's busienss for P3. Running the high line.
Lap 115 -- Yellow yellow yellow. Saavedra .. guess where .. turn 2. Replays. Specuation if something went SPROING (broke) on the back of Saavedra's car. Possibly. Taking their time getting him out. Eventually he's out and looks to be OK. Dario's pit tells him to save fuel.
Lap 118 -- Dario says the bump in turn 2 is the most "oversteery" part of the track, and that the track in general is getting "more oversteery" as the night goes on.
Lap 119 -- Danica is snarking on someone, but I missed it. I think it was Tags. Danica's pit says they went down and talked to Tag's pit and they say the car is working perfectly. "Yep, that's about right," Danica says. Sarcasm! BAM. Danica is saving her car for the end of the race, or at least trying to.
Lap 122 -- TK radio on TV. Says Sato is chopping him off every time. "One more time and he's going to learn a lesson he'll never forget." WHAM. Teammate pissyness.
Kevin with Power -- crash rang my bell a little. Power says "shit, man" right out loud. Car was hosed after the pit crash. "Caught me out." Power says he's OK but he seriously looks punchy to me.
Lindy is all over the inter-KV friction with team boss Jimmy Vasser. Jimmy says the allegation was that Sato was taking air off Tony. They've had a talk about it.
Lap 129 -- (after 14 laps of yellow) -- GREEN. Beek says "momentum." Then Wheldon says "momentum." DRINK, ye BASTARDS.
Lap 130 -- Dario, Sato, TK, Marco, JR, Dixon, Tag, Danica, Briscoe, Servia.
Lap 136 -- Wheldon says "momentum" again. DRINK.
Beek says staying on the high line preserves your tires because of the bigger radius. Wheldon gives him credit for a good point.
Lap 140 -- Beek says Momentum. Drink, bitches.
Lap 141 -- Marco under TK into turn 1. Booth - "Wooooeeee" nearly touch. CLEAR. Marco inhales Kanaan.
JR dives under TK, almost touch, Wheldon says "momentum," drink ye bastards.
Lap 145 -- Danica says the car is pushing in 1 and 2.
Lap 149 -- Danica pit -- I think you can get Scotty (Dixon).
Lap 151 -- Marco outside Sato. Dives UNDER into turn 3, inhaled. Outstanding outside-then-under "overtaking maneuver." Marco has large attachments.
Lap 155 -- Danistar tries to dive under Dixon, NO. Has to lift and gets inhaled by Briscoe for her trouble.
Lap 156 -- Marco under Dario for the LEAD ... CLEAR, bitches. Marco leads. Crowd froths.
Wheldon says Dario is going to think Power is out of the race and Marco is desperate to win, so maybe I'll lie back. Dario immediately attacks. Lap 161 -- Dario under Marco. CLEAR. Retakes lead.
Lap 169 -- Marco yells something into his radio. No idea what it was.
Lap 170 -- Dario, Marco, Sato, TK, JR, Servia, Tag, Briscoe, Dixon, Danica.
Lap 172 -- Coming through lapped cars. Replay. TK goes by EJ and EJ has to dirt track it but saves it. Nice job there. Pit window is open.
Lap 175 -- Danica's pit says she has 10 laps to go. She wants half a turn of wing OUT.
Lap 181 -- Sato pits.
Lap 183 -- Vitor throwing sparks off the front of his car. Just a tip he might need to come in.
Lap 185 -- Marco and Dario pit together.
Yellow yellow yellow. SATO ... WALL ... guess where .. Turn 2. Marco and Dario were over the pit line when the yellow came out, so they can stop. Merry Christmas. Marco beats Dario out. Passed in the pits. Marco "Good job, boys. Good job."
Rest of the field pits when pits open. Replay. Exit of 2, Sato comes high and goes ass around.
Ed has a FUBAR pit stop. Issues with the gun. Ed -- (as he joins the field after the pace car passes) We just went a lap down. I did not beat the pace car out. Pit -- Sorry about that, Ed, we had a gun mess up. Ed -- Just when we caught a break, dang it. Ed ends up getting the wave around, but that's a lot of lost track position. Still, better than going a lap down.
Lap 187 -- Floyd with Mike Andretti. Car feels good. Car good enough to win. Floyd prompts Mike with a question that causes Mike to give the Venom pit crew a shout out. BAM. Send your check to Floyd, Venom.
Ganassi says 55 to go. Plenty of time. Ganassi says virtually the same thing every time they talk to him. Good driver. Strong car. Lots of good competition. Long way to go.
Lap 199 (after 14 laps of yellow) ... Green, gree .. er .. YELLOW. Waved off. Marco got a huge-ass jump on everyone. No start.
Lap 200 -- GREEN. Marco got another jump, maybe not as big, and no wave off. I think Dixon threw a block party for Danica here. Looked to me at the track that he might have.
Lap 201 -- Marco, TK, Dario, Briscoe, Dixon, JR, Danica, Helio, Hinch, Wilson.
Lap 203 -- TK inhales Marco. New leader.
Lap 204 -- Danica to pit "I cannot (F BOMBING) hear you." They've had some radio issues all race. A bit later, she SCREAMS "I. CANNOT. (F-BOMBING). HEAR. YOU." Bunnies and kittens run for their lives.
Lap 205 -- Dario LOOSE.
Lap 207 -- Marco looking high on TK.
Lap 208 -- Inside, Marco around TK. Marco leads.
Lap 211 -- Dario has to lift and gets way high, inhaled by Dixon. Meanwhile Tony overtakes Marco again for the lead. This is like the end of a Rocky movie with both fighters standing toe to toe and throwing the big haymakers.
Lap 212 -- Dixon inhales Dario for P3. BAM. Dixon is rampaging through the field.
Lap 215 -- Wheldon says Tony has "really tighten up his line" which I think is code for "driving defensively."
Lap 218 -- Ed working on Danica. The Sarah Fisher T-shirt I wore to the race starts to smolder.
Lap 221 -- Marco "What the (F-BOMB) was that?" Pretty sure that was an allegation that Tony threw a block party or said Chop You Very Much to Marco.
Lap 225 -- JR gets into the side of EJ. EJ saves it again. Tank slapper. Big time save. Replays.
Lap 230 -- TK, Marco, Dixon, Dario, JR, Briscoe, Hinch, Helio, RHR, Danica.
Lap 232 -- Onboard Tony ... Marco a bit outside and suddenly dives under ... holy shit .. BAM. Dude, that was like a cat-quick move under and inhalation for the lead. Andretti has E-NORMOUS attachments.
Ed radios that he believes Danica is running a defensive line. "She's doing exactly what Brian told us not to do in the meeting."
A random woman is on the split screen praying with her eyes closed in the pits. Must be a relative of someone, but who is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. OK, we're finally told that's Tony's sister. Dramatic and all that, for sure, but why this KNIFE FIGHT on the track is not full screen right here is beyond me.
Lap 235 -- Kevin says Saavedra, Sato OK. Power has a mild concussion.
Dude, enough with the praying woman shot. Come on.
Lap 239 -- Ed says Danica is "blocking like crazy" in 1 and 2.
Tony looks high NO. Had to lift. Marco may have stuck an ass cheek out there. Marco might have said Chops for the Memories there and de-aired Tony's car. Wheldon says that was a little bit of payback for one of Tony's moves previously. I tend to agree. What goes around should come around.
Lap 242 -- Hildebrand inhales Dario for P4. Ed's pit says he has overtake enough to use it every remaining lap. Ed -- doesn't matter (because he can't get around the defensively driving Danica).
Lap 244 -- Briscoe looks under Dario. NO.
Lap 245 -- Marco, TK, Dixon, JR, Dario, Briscoe, Helio, RHR, Hinch, Danica.
Lap 248 -- Marco radio: "You're all clear, kid; now let's blow this thing and go home." (KIDDING. That was me talking in the stands, not Marco's pit people.)
White Flag -- Marco will win barring major brain lock. Makes the turn 2 corner, out of three, out of four. Marco wins. DEATH STAR goes ....
Marco's pit -- "Way to go, Marco. Way to go." Marco -- "Hell of a job. Everybody did a hall of a job today."
Burn out. Marco pit "Atta boy. Light that shit up." (I swear to God.) Marco -- "Well done in the pits, boys. Well done." Death Star shrapnel raining down on Iowa Speedway. Glorious, glorious.
Robbie with Mike. Speechless. So happy and proud of him. "Schooled Tony on that pass." BAZINGA.
Victory Circle. My homey Ryann, Marco's PR operative, gets monster air giving Marco his Venom bottle. Conway comes to congratulate Marco. Lindy with Marco -- Marco says never doubt the Venom boys. Great job in the pits. Gave me a the lead at one point. Marco admits making himself wide ("made it difficult for him") at one point, but "No mercy at this point. I needed it (the win)." Many Venom sips here.
NO CAMERON (IZOD Trophy Girl) in Victory Circle. WTF? Izod did not send Cameron to Iowa. So all the photos of Marco winning are sans IZOD Girl. Dude. Screw up, much? Cameron will be back in Toronto. Let Izod know if you miss Cameron by tweeting them at @IZODApparel or posting on their facebook site HERE.
Tony comes in and shakes hands. Says "If it wasn't for the win, we were going to have to talk about it." Danistar gives Marco a hug. Festival of hugging.
Kevin with TK. TK says if he was in Marco's position would have probably done the same thing. Tony says he loves Iowa Speedway. "Great race. Sold out. Fans are awesome. Perfect place to come for a race." Tony is clearly much beloved by the Iowa Speedway fans as well.
Someone talks to Dixon who finished P3, but my DVR ran out. Damn. Tremendous drive for Dixon up to P3. Transcript of Marco and Kanaan's post-race press conference HERE.
Trackside Online results:
IZOD IndyCar Series
Iowa Corn Indy 250
Newton, Iowa - Results Saturday of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 0.894 mile Iowa Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (17) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
2. (3) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
3. (23) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
4. (4) JR Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
5. (6) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
6. (10) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
7. (13) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
8. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
9. (7) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
10. (2) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
11. (14) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
12. (12) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
13. (22) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
14. (11) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
15. (20) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
16. (15) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
17. (19) EJ Viso, Dallara-Honda, 239, Handling
18. (16) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 227, Handling
19. (1) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 182, Contact
20. (25) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Honda, 114, Contact
21. (5) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 89, Contact
22. (21) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 62, Mechanical
23. (18) Ana Beatriz, Dallara-Honda, 44, Contact
24. (9) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 44, Contact
25. (24) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 22, Contact
26. (26) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 0, DNS
Winners average speed: 118.671
Time of Race: 01:53:00.1074
Margin of victory: 0.7932 seconds
Cautions laps: 72
Lead changes: 9
Sato 1 - 7, Franchitti 8 - 156, Andretti 157 - 160, Franchitti 161 - 183, Hildebrand 184 - 187,Andretti 188 - 202, Kanaan 203 - 207, Andretti 208 - 211, Kanaan 212 - 231, Andretti 232 - 250
Race report and lap chart courtesy IndyCar PR.
Marco Andretti is both the pressdog® B-Feature winner for highest placing non-Death Star driver AND the pressdog® Honey Badger award winner for raw tenacity. Rare sweep of the hardware!
That's it from Iowa. I said Iowa was the best oval last year (including Indy) and this year was BETTER. As far as product on the track, if you can't get into the race at Iowa, I can't help you out. Overtaking all over the place, balls-of-steel moves, late lead changes, three-wide lunacy, strategy, the constant threat of The Bump and 35,000 frothing fans. As good as it gets in IndyCar.
Track announced they were in discussions with IndyCar for a new three-year deal. The current two-year contract ran out this year. Must be close if they talk about it publicly.
HUGE ups to all the fans who showed up. Many were non-Iowans, let's remember, who dropped some real money to come here for a race. Iowa appreciates that economic boost. My state did me proud by being hospitable and welcoming. Manly tears. And finally massive shout outs for IndyCar and its teams, etc. A big part of why Iowa Speedway is constantly stuffed is the Festival of Lunacy IndyCar puts on the track. I heard farmer-looking guys saying "that was some good racin' " as I left the track. That's a huge emotional outburst for a stoic farmer. And I KNOW many people who were there spent Sunday telling their friends about how awesome it was. Well done, IndyCar. The Des Moines Register newspaper went supernova over the thing, with special sections, huge photos, etc.
That's it from Iowa. Thanks for all the pdog love that comes with this race, but I'm just one overly proud fifth-generation Iowa guy. Thank all the random Iowans who make it run and the fans from all over the U.S. who rock the house. They are the real stars of this show.
Tune in Sunday, July 10, 2 p.m. Eastern on VERSUS for the next race in Toronto. Think I'll go grill a pork chop.
Iowa Speedway Highlights from IndyCar HERE: