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Lucas Oil 200 Photo Gallery
Race Photos (Above) By Joe Paolella
Rusty's Walk at the Iowa Speedway
August 1, 2009
Proceeds benefit The NASCAR Foundation
Photo Gallery From Inaugural U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Race at Iowa Sppedway
Photos By Dan & Summer Peters
Kevin Harvick was one of three double duty drivers in the race
Carl Edwards was another...
And Kyle Busch rounded out the trio
FRANCHITTI WINS IOWA CORN INDY 250
NEWTON, IOWA (Sunday, June 21, 2009) - Dario Franchitti is two-for-two at Iowa Speedway. The 2007 winner at the track found his way back to victory lane Sunday, winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 by 5.0132 seconds over Ryan Briscoe.
Franchitti gave the credit to his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew, which turned in a quick pit stop on Lap 196 of 250 as the leaders cycled through green flag stops.
Franchitti trailed Briscoe by less than a second as the stops began and led by more than a second when they were completed. As the drivers worked through lapped traffic over the final 50 laps, Franchitti was able to build his lead to a comfortable margin.
Franchitti's second victory of the season moved him within three points of Briscoe, who remains the IndyCar Series points leader. For the third consecutive race, Briscoe led the most laps but finished second.
Andretti Green Racing's Hideki Mutoh finished third, one spot lower than his career-best finish at the track last year, and Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon finished fourth as the top four finishers came from different teams.
Helio Castroneves, who started on the pole based on entrant points after qualifying was cancelled due to water seepage on the track, finished seventh. He made contact with Scott Dixon early in the race, forcing both cars to pit for repairs. Dixon finished fifth.
The race got off to a rough start with four caution periods in the first 55 laps but finished with stints of 56 and 127 consecutive green-flag laps
PRE Race Notes:
The Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer will be the third IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Past winners Dan Wheldon (2008) and Dario Franchitti (2007) are entered in the event.
Scott Dixon has started on pole for both races at Iowa, winning the pole in 2007 and starting on pole based on points in 2008.
Sixteen drivers entered in the event have competed in previous races at Iowa. Seven of those drivers have led laps: Helio Castroneves (151), Dario Franchitti (96), Tony Kanaan (71), Dan Wheldon (61), Marco Andretti (30), Scott Dixon (10) and Danica Patrick (1).
Marco Andretti has finished on the podium in both races at Iowa, finishing second in 2007 and third in 2008.
Helio Castroneves has started second both years, recording a best finish of eighth in 2007.
Tony Kanaan has finished 16th and 18th in two races at Iowa.
Hideki Mutoh finished a career-best second in 2008.
Milestones & Records:
Schedule (all times local):
Friday, June 19
7-7:45 p.m. – Firestone Indy Lights practice
Saturday, June 20
9:30-11 a.m. – IndyCar Series practice
11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. – Firestone Indy Lights practice (two groups)
1-2:30 p.m. – IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
3-4 p.m. – Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying
4:15 p.m. – PEAK Performance Pole Qualifying
7:20 p.m. – Iowa 100 pre-race
8 p.m. – Iowa 100 (115 laps/100.625 miles)
Sunday, June 21
11:30 a.m. – Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer pre-race12:30 p.m. – Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer (250 laps/218.75 miles)
NASCAR Nationwide Series Includes Date At Iowa Speedway
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will have a 35-race schedule. Changes from this year include a new event at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, replacing Mexico City; a switch of the Atlanta Motor Speedway event from March to September; and moving the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve event in Montreal to Sunday, Aug. 30.
2009 NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 14 Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 21 Auto Club Speedway
Feb. 28 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 21 Bristol Motor Speedway
April 4 Texas Motor Speedway
April 11 Nashville Superspeedway
April 17 Phoenix International Raceway
April 25 Talladega Superspeedway
May 1 Richmond International Raceway
May 8 Darlington Raceway
May 23 Lowe’s Motor Speedway
May 30 Dover International Speedway
June 6 Nashville Superspeedway
June 13 Kentucky Speedway
June 20 Milwaukee Mile
June 27 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 3 Daytona International Speedway
July 10 Chicagoland Speedway
July 18 Gateway International Raceway
July 25 O’Reilly Raceway Park
Aug. 1 Iowa Speedway
Aug. 8 Watkins Glen International
Aug. 15 Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 21 Bristol Motor Speedway
Aug. 30 Circuit Gilles Villenueve
Sept. 5 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 11 Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 26 Dover International Speedway
Oct. 3 Kansas Speedway
Oct. 10 Auto Club Speedway
Oct. 16 Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Oct. 24 Memphis Motorsports Park
Nov. 7 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 14 Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 21 Homestead-Miami Speedway
Photo Gallery 2008 IRL Races at Iowa Speedway Photos By Mark & Yolanda Rotor
Keselowski Holds off Kyle Busch to claim Inaugural U.S Celular 250 at Iowa Speedway.
Keselowski Stalks Kyle Busch.....
Photo By Dan Peters
Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch with eight laps remaining to win Saturday's inaugural Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by Northland Oil and TMC Trucking.
Busch had pitted for two tires under the race's 10th caution, while Keselowski chose to keep his No. 88 Chevrolet on the track. The race went green on Lap 219 of 250, and Busch needed six laps to pass Keselowski.
Then Passes him for the lead!
Photo By Dan Peters
But after another caution, Keselowski stormed back to take the lead and earn his second win of the season. And with the victory, Keselowski won an extra $75,000 via Nationwide Insurance's Dash 4 Cash program, honoring full-time Nationwide drivers who win select races, with Iowa being one of the four.
Photo By Dan Peters
"It sure means a lot to win this race," Keselowski said. "The Dash 4 Cash program that Nationwide has, to be the guy that wins that … and to be a full-time Nationwide guy that wins it that doesn't run full time in the Cup series, it kind of feels like you stake a claim for the series by winning that.
Photo By Dan Peters
"The inaugural race here at Iowa for the Nationwide Series, and, really, for NASCAR, and to win here in front of a crowd we had here today, that's pretty awesome.
"And it was a good race, too. Just everything about today, I couldn't ask for more. I couldn't ask for a better finish."
Keselowski ended up leading four times for 121 laps.
Photo By Summer Peters
Busch finished second, matching the series record of nine for consecutive races finishing first or second.
"I wish they were all first," Busch said. "That'd certainly be nice, and then we'd have broken another record: We'd have the most wins in a single season. Man, I should be so grateful and so happy to finish second, but I am not. … Whether it's me, the car, I have no idea. But I put all the pressure on myself to come out here and win these things, and when I don't get the job done, I feel like I let my team down."
Busch did increase his series point lead to 207 over Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards, who finished fourth.
Photo By Dan Peters
Jason Leffler finished third and Kelly Bires fifth.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Jason Keller, Kenny Wallace, Michael McDowell, Scott Lagasse Jr. and Stephen Leicht.
Brad Keselowski won the U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by Northland Oil and TMC Trucking, his fourth victoru in 90 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts.
Tis is Brad's second victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2009
Stenhouse Jr Grabs Inaugual Pole in Iowa for U.S Cellular 250
Pole Speed of 135.135
Photo By Dan Peters
Justin Allgaier started second
Photo By Dan Peters
Roush Driver Erik Darnell starts 3rd
Photo By Dan Peters
Last weeks pole sitter Trevor Bayne continues his impressive rookie season and starts fourth
Photo By Dan Peters
Kyle Busch is already a winner in Iowa
Photo By Dan Peters
Annett’s Big Week
The last two stand-alone events have been special to local drivers – Justin Allgaier (Riverton, Ill.) at Gateway and Shelby Howard (Warsaw, Ind.) at ORP. This week, it’s Michael Annett’s turn. The rookie driver is truly in his backyard; he’s from Des Moines, about 20 minutes from the Newton, Iowa-based track.
Annett, 23, is a hockey player turned racer and has fared well thus far in his first full season in NASCAR national series competition. Currently 15th in the driver standings, he’s also fifth in the Raybestos Rookie standings. He set and tied his career best seventh-place finish at Kentucky and Gateway but is looking for redemption at his home track after an accident relegated him to a disappointing 35th-place finish last week at ORP.
Photo By Dan Peters
Annett is very familiar with the track. In his first career ARCA start there in 2007, he earned the pole and finished third. He also holds the track record for most competitive laps. He’ll also run in Friday’s USAC Silver Crown race there.
Photo Gallery From US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway
Photos By Dan Peters
Drivers look forward to challenge at Iowa
Photo By Mark Rotor
Iowa Speedway is just three years old, but already it has produced exciting, side-by-side racing. In 2007, Dario Franchitti won the first IndyCar Series event at the .875-mile oval by .0681 of a second ahead of Marco Andretti. Last year, Dan Wheldon edged Hideki Mutoh by .1430 of a second.
Billed as a short oval when it opened, the track's variably banked corners (12-14 degrees) lends itself to racing more like a speedway.
"The key to Iowa Speedway is getting your car balanced so that it works in both the low and high grooves," said Ryan Hunter-Reay, who will race with A.J. Foyt Racing for the first time. "It races like a 1.5-mile track because of the banking, so in that sense you approach it the same as you would a 1.5 mile track only with more downforce."
One team that has found the right setup for its cars at Iowa in the past has been Andretti Green Racing. Franchitti's win came with the team, while Andretti and Mutoh's second-place finishes also came with the team.
"I'm looking forward to returning to Iowa Speedway," said Andretti, who earned his first top-five finish of the season June 6 at Texas. "It's a track where I think the No. 26 car and Andretti Green as a whole have been very strong. Hideki (Mutoh) and I both finished on the podium last year, and I brought home second the year before that. Hopefully we can keep at least the podium streak alive, although maybe on the top step this year."
Also looking forward to returning is Wheldon, who is eyeing his first victory with Panther Racing after recording five consecutive top-10 finishes.
"It's always a nice feeling going back to a track were you've won, and Iowa is going to be a very competitive race," said Wheldon, whose win at Iowa came with Target Chip Ganassi Racing. "They key here is having a car that works well through Turns 1 and 2. If you're good through there, then Iowa is a fun place to race. I figured I had to win the race last year after crashing on the first lap two years ago. Last year, I was actually quicker with old tires if that makes sense. I was a lot slower after our pit stops, so we decided to not stop late in the race and leave the old tires on. The Panther Racing guys have been working very hard on the National Guard car, and we're continuing to get better. The key for us is if we've got a chance to win a race, we have to take advantage."
Photo By Yolanda Rotor
Firestone Indy Lights to race under the lights at Iowa
Firestone Indy Lights drivers return to action June 20 at Iowa Speedway, three weeks after Mario Romancini won at Milwaukee, the fifth driver to win in the season's first six races. The race will mark the third time the series has raced under the lights - the first time at Iowa.
While technically Iowa is another short oval - .875 mile as compared to 1 mile at Milwaukee - it races like a superspeedway.
Panther Racing drivers have been strong at the track the past two seasons. Dillon Battistini won last June with a late-race pass of Arie Luyendyk Jr. and teammate Brent Sherman finished fourth. In 2007, Hideki Mutoh posted a third-place finish (Alex Lloyd gave Sam Schmidt Motorsports the victory).
The results - and the data collected through two years of racing at the facility - should benefit Panther drivers Pippa Mann and Martin Plowman. At Milwaukee, Mann recorded a season-high ninth place.
"Milwaukee was my first short-track experience, and that turned out pretty well with a top-10 finish, so I'm confident going into Iowa that we will have a good weekend," said Mann, driver of the No. 16 entry. "Panther raced exceptionally well there, winning the race last season with one car and finishing in fourth position with the other. Having a good base setup helps a lot when you go to a track that you never raced before, so I'm looking forward into this race to bring the car home with a good result and help us build our points in the championship."
The Panther rookies are 15th (Plowman) and 17th (Mann) in the standings, with a mix of road/street circuits and 1.5-mile ovals ahead. J.R. Hildebrand, driving the No. 26 ARPRO car for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing, is the championship front-runner. Sebastian Saavedra is 10 points behind and Romancini is 17 points off the pace.
"We've had a few weeks off to get prepared for Iowa," said Saavedra, an 18-year-old rookie who drives the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. car for AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing. "We'll work even harder to get as many points as possible, since I think the points we get around this time of the season are most important for the championship."
Teams stay busy during 'off-week'
After five consecutive weekends of practice/qualifying/racing at Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Texas, the series takes this weekend off.
Many teams/drivers will pack in testing this week at venues hosting the next three races. It's one of the few opportunities -- Indy Racing League rules state there is no testing allowed within seven days of an event -- this summer. Also, Ed Carpenter will participate in a Firestone tire test at Chicagoland Speedway on June 10.
Dario Franchitti will be in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car at Iowa Speedway on June 10. The speedway hosts the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights on June 21-22. Franchitti won the inaugural race at the 0.875-mile track in 2007, and Dan Wheldon was the victor last year.
2008 Iowa Corn 250 Indy Car at the Iowa Speedway
Photos By Mark & Yolanda Rotor
Birthday Wishes Come True Dan Wheldon… Wheldon Wins IOWA CORN INDY 250
By Mark Rotor
The 30 year old Target Chip Ganassi race car driver Dan Wheldon really knows how to celebrate birthday! Wheldon claimed the Iowa Corn Indy trophy in Newton Iowa on Sunday, June 22 on his birthday.
"What a great day for Target Chip Ganassi Racing and a great birthday present for myself." Wheldon’s strategy to stay out during a caution flag with 60 laps to go placed the Target Chip Ganassi #10 car in position to run to the front of the pack past the Andretti Green Racing drivers Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti. "It was a good call not to do it, but Chip's (Ganassi) not here, so if they had called me in, I don't think I would have come in anyway."
Early in the race, Helio Castroneves Penske Racing and Tony Kanaan of Andretti Green Racing swapped the race lead with Castroneves out front on the first twelve laps and Kanaan leading laps 16-51. However it was not to be a victory for either competitor on Sunday.
On lap 211 of 250, Kanaan lost control of his Dolra in turn 2 as he pushed high into the turn and lost control hitting the wall. “I lost it. It’s tough to say because I may have heard someone say that something broke on the car, but I can’t really say. I lost it coming into turn #1 behind Wheldon and Mutoh.
It’s unfortunate because we were having a good race and we were competitive. I was setting myself up for the end of the race. Turn 2 has not been a good turn for me at this race.”
Castroneves ran in to difficulty with 20 laps to go when his right rear tire began to loose pressure requiring him to pit under green flag conditions causing him to plummet from 8 position to 14 position at the end of the race.
Hideki Mutoh's raced Wheldon to the checker flag taking 2nd place followed by his Andretti Green Racing teammate Marco Andretti who capture 3rd place. Mutoh archived his career-best finish with previous best finish of three sixth-place finishes. Mutoh in the #27 Formula Dream car stated, “I am very happy to finish second. I am almost there, so maybe next time.” Thus far Mutoh is the season leader in the Bombadier Rookie of the Year standings.
Teammate Marco Andretti pursued Mutoh for the final 10 laps of the racing aggressively running side by side with the #27 car of Mutoh. ”It’s good clean racing” said Andretti. “It had to be good for the fans. It was good fun out there. I am proud of the Blockbuster boys. We were towards the front all day and Hideki is on it this year for sure.” Running in traffic is tough. The track was pretty good. It was kind of what we set up for. We matched the setup with the conditions and how we thought the race would play out. It was completely different from last year.”
Danica Patrick finished 6th place on the day and initially gained advantage by staying out on the race track during yellow flag pit-stop on lap #189. With Wheldon and Andretti Green Racing teammate Mutoh, Patrick was 3rd from the front. However, on a restart with 24 laps to go Marco Andretti passed Patrick on low side and Scott Dixon passed high leaving Patrick behind eventually finishing 6th. Andretti commented, “On the restart I knew I could trust my teammate. Danica was looking out for me and she could have made it very tough for me and put me below the line. When you get a good run, you got go with it, and I had a good run.” Andretti had his best finish since placing third in the Indy 500. Patrick said, "The Motorola car ran well today. I wish that I was able to keep position on the last restart, but what's done is done. I have to thank my crew for all their hard work. I just wish had a better finish."
Wheldon's win gave Target Chip Ganassi Racing its fifth win in nine IndyCar Series events this season. Wheldon and teammate Scott Dixon, who finished fourth, plan to donate their combined winnings (approximately $60,000) to the victims of Iowa's recent floods and tornados. Wheldon said "My wife and I drove from Chicago to here and we saw the flooding and it was just heartbreaking. I thought it was something that Scott (Dixon) and I should do and fortunately, we were able to."
Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dixon remains the IndyCar Series points leader, holding a 48-point advantage over Team Penske's Helio Castroneves.
· Dan Wheldon records his second victory of the season and the 15th of his career.
· This is the 21st IndyCar Series victory for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
· Marco Andretti recorded his third podium finish of the season. He finished second at Homestead-Miami and third at Indianapolis.
· This was A.J. Foyt IV's best finish of the season. His previous best was eighth at Kansas.
· Will Power finished ninth, his best finish on an oval this season. His previous best was 13th at Indianapolis and Texas. Power finished eighth at St. Petersburg.
· Graham Rahal finished 10th, his first top-10 finish on an oval.
· John Andretti finished 11th, his best finish of the season and the best finish ever for Roth Racing. The team's previous best finish was 13th with driver Jay Howard at Kansas and Motegi earlier this season.
Battistini Sling-Shots to Victory in Firestone Indy Lights JELD-WEN 100 Race…Battistini Charges to Lights Series Points Leader.
By Mark Rotor
Milwaukee Pole Sitter Denoso leads this pack.
With fourteen laps until the checkered flag, Arie Luyendyk Jr was passed by the unrelenting Dillon Battistini of Panther Racing to win the Jeld-Wen 100 on Saturday at the Iowa Speedway. Luyendyk Jr. the son of two time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk Sr., lead the first 101 laps until the #15 car of Dillon Battistini sling-shot pass Luyendyk Jr’s. #26 Andretti Green/AFS car blocked lap traffic.
Battistini said after his win, “I'm just amazed. What a race; I really enjoyed that. Our cars were very close to matching pace. I new it was my best chance to get past (Luyendyk). I tried staying right on his gearbox when we were catching lap traffic. My hope was that he’d have to back off and I would be able to stay flat. That’s luckily for me, how it worked out. But, I feel sorry for Arie – there wasn’t much he could do, but he drove a great race.”
James Davison driving the #11 car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports was in the middle of the controversy as race leaders Battistini and Luyendyk attempted to pass lapped car of Davison on lap #101 of the race. Luyendyk stated, “It wasn’t easy for you (Battistini) to get around Davison either.
When he cleared me, you know, you were being blocked by Davision as well. That gave me an opportunity. But luckily for you (Battistini), it went yellow. I think that, in general, is just unsportsmanlike driving.” "Guys just wouldn't get out the way. If you're in the back, just move out of the way. I cannot believe (James) Davison could not let me by. And he wouldn't let Dillon (Battistini) by either when he was up front.
It just messes up our race. We had a clean, fast race car. Andretti Green/AFS Racing did an awesome job. We rolled off the truck, and we were just fast. It just doesn't get any faster than that. It's just frustrating when you have 10 car lengths on a guy for the lead with eight to go, and you come up on lapped traffic and you lose the race."
After a yellow caution flag on lap 106 when Jonny Ried white striped the wall in turn #4, the race returned to green with two laps to go and Battistini charged across the finished line with Luyendyk in 2nd place and Ana Beatriz 3rd. Excitement continued on final lap of the race as Bobby Wilson of Team E racing team spun the #17 car 100 feet from the finish line. No injury to Wilson was reported and finished #16th for the race.
The third place finish was captured by Ana Beatriz of Sam Schmidt Mortorsports, tied her career-best finish since St. Petersburg Grand Prix in April 2008. "It was really hard to pass on this track. I had to set up my passes. I would go back sometimes because I couldn't set up good. But the car was really good. The Healthy Choice Sam Schmidt crew worked perfectly, and my car was great."
In victory, Battistini collected Iowa Speedway’s JELD-WEN 100 winner’s trophy adding to his collection of top honors including victories at Homestead-Miami and Indianapolis. “This is Panther Racing's third victory of the season and 12th overall in Firestone Indy Lights competition. Battistini now takes over the Indy Lights point’s leadership from Richard Antinucci of Sam Schmidt Mortorsports.
Ana Beatriz scores career best on Iowa oval
Through the first half of her initial Firestone Indy Lights season, Ana Beatriz has been soaking up the nuances of oval racing. A third-place finish, tying her series best, in the Jeld-Wen 100 on June 21 at Iowa Speedway was a milestone and stepping stone.Beatriz, driving the No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, started sixth in the 115-lap race. The Brazilian overtook Bobby Wilson for fourth on Lap 78 and Jeff Simmons for third 19 laps later.
"I think we've started really well this season," said Beatriz, who recorded her fourth top-10 finish in seven races. "We had a good race in Homestead. We got on the podium at St. Pete, led the race, which was amazing. After that we just had ovals. It was my lack of experience. So I just have to learn it, improve it. We had a hard weekend at Milwaukee (19th place). Now we have third place, so it's very good."
Iowa Speedway is a 7/8 mile long paved oval motor racing track in Newton, Iowa, approximately 30 miles (48 km) east of Des Moines. The track was designed with influence from Rusty Wallace and patterned after Richmond International Raceway, a short track where Wallace was very successful. It has over 25,000 permanent seats as well as a unique multi-tiered Recreational Vehicle viewing area along the backstretch.
The track opened in September 2006 with the Soy Biodiesel 250, won by Woody Howard, for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Four Champions playoff. The Indy Racing League announced a race there on June 24, 2007, the Iowa Corn Indy 250, which was won by Dario Franchitti, who barely nipped Marco Andretti at the finish line. 2008 race was won by Dan Wheldon.
The track has secured a combined NASCAR Grand National Busch East-AutoZone West race where results will count towards both series' championships. That race delivered a dramatic battle between 17-year old Joey Logano from the Busch East Series, who defeated Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick, 1998 West Series champion, who represented the West Series at the end of the race.
The track is also likely to pursue future NASCAR Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series dates. They also reached an agreement with Indy that they are going to sign a three year contract which means that Indy will race there three more years.
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