Newgarden dominates opening half of Iowa Corn 300

Photo: IndyCar

NEWTON, Iowa – Bum hand, repaired clavicle, and nearly a full lapped field – such was the story for Josef Newgarden in the opening 150 laps of the 300-lap Iowa Corn 300 (LIVE, NBCSN).

Newgarden led 134 of the opening 150 laps. Team Penske (Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya) was second through fourth with Scott Dixon in fifth.

The driver of the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet lapped up to second-placed driver Pagenaud, the polesitter, in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet before the first caution just past the 100-lap mark.

Ryan Hunter-Reay lost an engine on his No. 28 DHL Honda in Turn 4, thus capping off a nightmare weekend for him where he had an accident in Saturday practice and qualified 20th. So ended his hopes of a three-peat here.

The ensuing caution meant a wave around occurred and brought nine other cars back on the lead lap.

Meanwhile besides Hunter-Reay’s woes, Ed Carpenter also had woes himself on a pit stop, with the team needing to change the entire gear stack after the car failed to engage.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.