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.