IZOD IndyCar Series - Iowa Corn Indy 250 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Saturday, June 23rd
SITE: Iowa Speedway (2007) -- Newton, Iowa
TRACK: 0.875-mile oval - 1,075 feet (Frontstretch); 869 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 25,000 (Grandstand Seating)
TELEVISION: NBC Sports Network
ANNOUNCERS: Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis, Wally Dallenbach
RADIO: IMS Radio Network/ SIRIUS XM Satellite
START TIME: 9 p.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Tony Kanaan
POLE WINNER: Takuma Sato (Finished 19th)
LAPS: 250
MILES: 218.75
QUALIFYING RECORD: Scott Dixon, 2007 (182.360 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Dan Wheldon, 2008 (136.007 m.p.h.)
2011 Finish
1Marco Andretti176Ryan Briscoe10
2Tony Kanaan37Helio Castroneves13
3Scott Dixon238Ryan Hunter-Reay8
4J.R. Hildebrand49James Hinchcliffe7
5Dario Franchitti610Danica Patrick2
2011 Iowa Corn Indy 250 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 118.671 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 53 minutes, 0.1074 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.7932 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 72 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 9 among 5 drivers
POLE WINNER: Takuma Sato (180.375 m.p.h.)
FASTEST LAP: Alex Tagliani, 176.890 m.p.h., Lap 77
Past Iowa Corn Indy 250 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Marco Andretti (17th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 118.671 m.p.h.
2010 -- Tony Kanaan (15th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 131.205 m.p.h.
2009 -- Dario Franchitti (4th) -- Dallara-Honda -- 134.371 m.p.h.
2008 -- Dan Wheldon (3rd) -- Dallara-Honda -- 136.007 m.p.h. (race record)
2007 -- Dario Franchitti (3rd) -- Dallara-Honda -- 123.896 m.p.h.
Past Iowa Corn Indy 250 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Takuma Sato -- 19th
2010 -- Will Power -- 5th
2009 -- None -- Weather
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- Scott Dixon -- 10th
Last Race Results
RACE: Firestone 550k (June 9th)
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway -- Fort Worth, Texas
MILES: 225
LAPS: 225
WINNER: Ryan Hunter-Reay
RUNNER-UP: Tony Kanaan
THIRD: James Hinchcliffe
FOURTH: Oriol Servia
FIFTH: E.J. Viso
POLE WINNER: Dario Franchitti (Finished 19th)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 52 minutes, 17.8119 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 5.1029 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 122.020 m.p.h.
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 51 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 5 among 5 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Dario Franchitti 1-63; Helio Castroneves 64-68; James Hinchcliffe
69; E.J. Viso 70-96; Castroneves 97-141; Ryan Hunter-Reay
Iowa Corn 250 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
2Ryan Briscoe (Sydney, Australia)Hitachi/Team Penske
3Helio Castroneves (Sao Paulo, Brz)Penske Truck Rental/Team Penske
4J.R. Hildebrand (Sausalito, CA)U.S. National Guard/Panther Racing
5E.J. Viso (Caracas, Venezuela)Citgo/PDVSA/KV Racing Technology
6Katherine Legge (Guildford,England)TrueCar/Dragon Racing
8Rubens Barrichello (Sao Paulo, Brz)BMC/Embrase/KV Racing Technology
9Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealand)Target/Chip Ganassi Racing
10Dario Franchitti (Scotland)Cottonelle/Chip Ganassi Racing
11Tony Kanaan (Salvador, Brazil)GEICO/KV Racing Technology
12Will Power (Toowoomba, Australia)Verizon/Team Penske
14Mike Conway (Bromley, England)ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Enterprises
15Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan)Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
18Justin Wilson (Sheffield, England)Sonny's Bar B-Q/Dale Coyne Racing
19Jamie Jakes (Leeds, England)Boy Scouts America/Dale Coyne Racing
20Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis, IN)Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing
22Oriol Servia (Pals, Spain)Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
26 *Marco Andretti (Nazareth, PA)RC Cola/Andretti Autosport
27James Hinchcliffe (Toronto, Canada)GoDaddy.com/Andretti Autosport
28Ryan Hunter-Reay (Boca Raton, FL)DHL/Sun Drop/Andretti Autosport
38Graham Rahal (New Albany, OH)Service Central/Chip Ganassi Racing
67Josef Newgarden (Nashville, TN)Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
77Simon Pagenaud (Poitiers, France)Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports
78Simona de Silvestro (Switzerland)Nuclear Energy/Lotus-HVM Racing
83Charlie Kimball (Camarillo, CA)NovoLog FlexPen/Chip Ganassi Racing
98Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie, Canada)Team Barracuda/Bryan Herta Autosport
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last five years)
Marco Andretti2nd3rd12th15thWon
Tony Kanaan16th18th14thWon2nd
Scott Dixon10th4th5th6th3rd
Dario FranchittiWon---Won18th5th
Ryan Briscoe---7th2nd4th6th
Helio Castroneves8th14th7th2nd7th
Ryan Hunter-Reay---8th19th8th8th
James Hinchcliffe------------9th
Oriol Servia---16th------14th
Graham Rahal---10th11th9th15th
Alex Tagliani---------12th16th
E.J. Viso---13th20th3rd17th
Will Power---9th---5th21st
Simon Pagenaud---------------
Mover of the Week
Oriol Servia - Started 20th on the grid and finished 4th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Will Power
Darkhorse - Ryan Briscoe
Last Week's Pick to Win (Scott Dixon) - Finished 11th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Tony Kanaan) - Finished 2nd
It took almost five years, but Marco Andretti snapped a lengthy drought, as he captured the 2011 running of the Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Andretti wrestled the lead away from his former teammate and defending Iowa race winner Tony Kanaan with 18 laps remaining. Kanaan attempted to reclaim the top position, but Andretti held him off at the finish by 0.8 seconds for his second career IndyCar win but his first since August 2006 at the Infineon Raceway road course in Northern California.

Dario Franchitti dominated most of the race at the 0.875-mile oval by leading 172 of 250 laps. But Andretti and Kanaan took over in the final 70 laps, as the two swapped the lead several times. Franchitti finished fifth.

The field for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be set through three heat races held on June 22 at Iowa Speedway. Qualification groups will be determined by lap times recorded by entries on the .875-mile oval in the second (45-minute) practice session (3:30 p.m. ET).Race 1 will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with the 10th-quickest practice time, and determine the even-numbered positions in the starting field from 10th down. Race 2 will consist of the odd numbered positions, starting with the ninth-quickest practice time, and determine the odd-numbered positions in the starting field from ninth down. Race 3 will consist of drivers ranked one through eight from the practice. Results of Race 3 will determine the first four rows, with the winner taking the pole position.

In 2010, Kanaan from Andretti Autosport snapped a 34-race winless drought in the IZOD IndyCar Series by taking the 2010 race. Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, passed Team Penske's Helio Castroneves with 10 laps remaining and then held off Castroneves at the finish by 4.2 seconds. It was Kanaan's 14th career IndyCar win, but his first since June 2008 at Richmond.

Prior to his win, Kanaan had crashed in the first three races at Iowa and finished no better than 14th here. The Brazilian qualified 15th on Saturday, but charged through the field early in the race before leading a total of 62 laps.

In 2009, Franchitti easily held off Ryan Briscoe at the finish for his 10th career IndyCar win. Briscoe dominated the middle portion of that race, leading from lap 138 through 194. However, Franchitti took over in the late-stages, as he led the final 50 laps. Helio Castroneves started on the pole and led the first 16 laps, but faded to a seventh place finish. Briscoe, who led the most laps with 85, finished in the runner-up position for the third consecutive race.

Castroneves and Tony Kanaan battled for most of the 2008 race, but in the end, it was the late Dan Wheldon who took the checkered flag at Iowa. Castroneves and Kanaan traded the lead through the opening 134 laps, before Marco Andretti took over for the next 26 circuits. Kanaan gained the advantage on lap 161, only to be overtaken by Castroneves six laps later. With 61 laps remaining, Wheldon moved into the lead, and then held it for the rest of the way. He edged Hideki Mutoh by 0.1430 seconds for his 15th of 16 career titles.

When IndyCar competed at Iowa for the first time in 2007, Franchitti avoided numerous crashes and held off Marco Andretti at the finish to win the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Seven drivers were knocked out of the event early due to accidents. Franchitti crossed the finish line 0.0681 seconds ahead of Andretti for his second of four wins during his '07 IndyCar championship season.

Iowa Speedway is the first racetrack in the nation to install the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier as the sole retaining wall surrounding the racetrack. Often called a "soft wall," the SAFER barrier uses high-density foam to absorb the impact during a crash. It has made Iowa Speedway's racing as safe as it is exciting. In addition, the track is the first-ever racing facility to have multiple Track-Cams installed prior to its surface pavement. These wide-angle lens cameras are embedded in the surface of the track itself, providing incredible perspectives for television viewers. The track is owned and operated by U.S. Motorsport Corporation and designed by former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace.

The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the July 8 Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Toronto. Dario Franchitti won last year's race there.

06/19 12:53:12 ET

As of June 19, 2012, at 12:53 PM ET
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