Host of one of IndyCar’s most riveting races, Iowa Speedway has seen Andretti Autosport stomp the competition. Nevertheless, a return of the fast cars to an exhilarating short oval is a welcome event. It makes us want to jump with joy.
Photo from iowaspeedway.com
Anticipate three wide oval-tastic fun on the 7/8s mile circuit with speeds exceeding a hundred and eighty miles per hour and plenty of passing. By comparison, NASCAR‘s junior league pole speed this year was in the hundred thirty range. Yawn. Speaking of NASCAR, the SAFER barrier’s certain to get a workout this weekend with Dallara Automobili making back some serious dough. Stomped upon stockholders demand it after an almost perfectly clean (and really boring) race at Road America.
Photo from desmoinesregister.com
A quick, banked bull ring, Iowa Speedway’s one of the best tracks the series visits. The racing is routinely superior, receiving our highest stamp of approval. It’s an excellent track for the big cars and a real oval gem on the schedule. Therefore we wouldn’t be at all surprised if this bunch drops it altogether, and soon. It’s really too bad there aren’t more edge of your seat oval tracks in the lineup. How about scheduling some good ol’ IndyCar stompin’ grounds like Fontana, Michigan, Kentucky and Kansas City?
Like many race fans, we often wonder exactly what Michael Andretti‘s thinking. One thing’s for certain, though – he’s unusually focused when visiting Iowa Speedway. The Autosport’s been so superlative that even Marco managed somehow to win a race. It was his last win – and only his second ever – over five years ago. His daddy’s team has thoroughly stomped the opposition in Iowa, winning seven of nine races.
Images from zimbio.com
Indy 500 winner and Joker dopple-ganger Ryan Hunter-Reay won the last two, and three out of the last four. It appears that Hunter-Reay – with the hyphen-here-to-stay – is dialed in rather well at the track. The last time he failed to win was in 2013, coming in second behind then teammate James Hinchcliffe. Coming from Canada, James is more than familiar with a stampede.
Photo from indianapolismonthly.com
Only the late Dan Wheldon and the retired Dario Franchitti have managed to stop the Andretti stomping. They piloted to victory lane for Chip Ganassi in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Franchitti also won the first race held in Iowa for guess who? That’s right, Andretti Autosport. Before that inaugural event in 2007 there were only vast expanses of cornfields outside tiny Newton. Now there are beer tents and, once a year, IndyCar’s resident Dionysus worshiper Jimmy Vasser stomping grapes.
Photo from edcarpenterracing.com
Miracle healed Josef Newgarden, who got stomped pretty good at Texas, finished runner up the last two years. Despite erroneous reports to the contrary and not testing last week, the young Tennessean will be racing. Coming off a strong 2015 Josef’s had just a decent season, accomplishing only a pair of third place finishes including the 500.
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His owner Ed Carpenter hasn’t even been mediocre, and desperately needs a strong showing. Ed’s been on a horrific streak, scoring DNF’s in six of the last eight races he’s contested. His best finish at Iowa was fourth in 2013. As we’ve pointed out, Ed needs to avoid the stampede and finish a frickin’ race. Else it’s time for JR or someone else to take over the reigns of the 20.
Image from the internet
As for what we think the rest of the weekend’s festivities will look like – free sweet corn, pork chops on a stick, who’ll do the stomping – you’ll have to return soon for our famous predictions. And then again for our race review, after RHR stomps the competition for the third straight time.