MRTI: Iowa Speedway preview

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda resume action this weekend at Iowa Speedway, the lone short oval on the 2017 calendar for Indy Lights and the only oval period for USF2000.

After completing their fourth double-headers of 2017 at Road America, both series will contest only one race around the .875-mile oval this weekend. Indy Lights will feature a 100-lap affair, dubbed the Mazda Iowa 100, while USF2000’s will be 60 laps, similarly dubbed the Mazda Iowa 60. Both races are scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Below are quick previews for both series.

INDY LIGHTS

  • Top 5 in points: 1. Kyle Kaiser, 199, 2. Matheus Leist, 172, 3. Colton Herta, 161, 4. Nico Jamin, 159, T-5. Aaron Telitz, 149, T-5. Neil Alberico, 149.
  • The Indy Lights field increases to 15 drivers this week, with Chad Boat driving an extra entry for Belardi Auto Racing. This is Boat’s first start in Indy Lights, and will be the first of two starts he’ll make in the 2017 season. He will also race at Gateway Motorsports Park on August 26.
  • Seven drivers entered have raced at Iowa Speedway previously in Indy Lights: Santi Urrutia, Shelby Blackstock, Zachary Claman DeMelo, Neil Alberico, Juan Piedrahita, Dalton Kellett, and Kyle Kaiser.  Chad Boat has also raced at Iowa previously, in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, but never in a single-seater.
  • Matheus Leist won the only other oval race this year (the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway). Points leader Kyle Kaiser suffered his worst finish of the season (ninth) in the same event, but has previously won on a short oval (Phoenix Raceway, 2016).
  • Recent winners at Iowa Speedway: Félix Serrallés (2016), Max Chilton (2015).

 

USF2000

  • Top five in points: 1. Oliver Askew, 215, Rinus van Kalmthout, 191, 3. Kaylen Frederick, 144, 4. Parker Thompson, 134, 5. Calvin Ming, 112.

    Oliver Askew saw his championship lead dramatically reduced at Road America. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
  • This is the first time USF2000 is competing at Iowa Speedway since 2010. Sage Karam was victorious that year.
  • Points leader Oliver Askew is looking to rebound from a difficult outing at Road America, when loose camber shims on the left-front wheel relegated him to a 17th-place finish in Race 1. While he finished third in Race 2, Rinus van Kalmthout swept the weekend, his first victories in USF2000, and only trails Askew by 24 points heading into the weekend.
  • The field sees a slight drop down to 14 entries. Perhaps most notable among the drivers absent is David Malukas, who won the pole and finished second in Race 1 at Road America.

The USF2000 race will roll off at 2:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, with Indy Lights slated for 3:00 p.m. ET.

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