Iowa bullring keeps the action going non-stop (VIDEO)

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NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace was wise to mimic Richmond International Raceway when it came time for him to help design the Iowa Speedway in the early 2000s. Like RIR, Iowa is a short track that “thinks” like a superspeedway and boasts a decent amount of banking that enables drivers to embrace that mentality as well.

This Sunday, the IZOD IndyCar Series will head into the cornfields for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 (2:30 pm ET, check local listings), and they’ll all be looking to get their cars right for the bumps that are situated between Turns 1 and 2. They aren’t as pronounced as they used to be thanks to diligent work by the Iowa staff (a 2012 article from The Eastern Iowa Gazette states that a “hardening tar substance” was injected into the bumps), but they’re still there and they still have the potential to cause trouble. The tight exit coming off of Turn 2 adds to the challenge in that part of the track.

Also, keep an eye on the latter stages of a stint with everybody running on worn tires. Momentum’s always important on bullrings and it’s harder to keep with a lack of grip. If drivers have to lift off the throttle a bit to compensate, they could find themselves quickly losing track position.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofΒ Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.