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INDYCAR: Fast Facts for this weekend’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway

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Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway:

Iowa Corn 300 fast facts

Race weekend: Saturday, July 7 – Sunday, July 8

Track: Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile (0.894-mile) oval in Newton, Iowa

Race distance: 300 laps / 268.2 miles

Entry List: Iowa Corn 300 (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets for use through the weekend

Twitter: @iowaspeedway, @IndyCar, #IowaCorn300, #IndyCar

Event website: http://IowaSpeedway.com/

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 34.7541 seconds, 185.210 mph (two laps)

One-lap qualifying record: Helio Castroneves, 17.2283 seconds, 186.809 mph, July 11, 2014

Two-lap qualifying record: Scott Dixon, 34.5588 seconds, 186.256 mph, July 11, 2014

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 7 (live); Race, 2 p.m. ET Sunday, July 8 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, XM 209, Sirius 217, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the Iowa Corn 300 will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

At-track schedule (all times local):

Saturday, July 7

10:15 – 11:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

2:30 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/two timed laps), NBCSN (live)

5:45 – 6:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

Sunday, July 8

1 p.m. – Driver introductions

1:35 p.m. – Command to start engines

1:40 p.m. – Iowa Corn 300 (300 laps/268.2 miles), NBCSN (live)

Race notes:

  • There have been six different winners in the 10 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Texas Motor Speedway) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2). Dixon’s win at Texas on June 9 gave him sole possession of third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 43 wins.
  • The Iowa Corn 300 will be the fourth oval race on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The previous three races were won by Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway), Will Power (Indianapolis 500) and Scott Dixon (Texas Motor Speedway). The remaining two oval races will take place at Pocono Raceway (Aug. 19) and Gateway Motorsports Park (Aug. 25).
  • The Iowa Corn 300 will be the 12th Verizon IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Ryan Hunter-Reay is the only active driver to win at Iowa Speedway more than once. Hunter-Reay has three wins (2012, 2014 and 2015). Past winners Josef Newgarden (2016), James Hinchcliffe (2013), Marco Andretti (2011) and Tony Kanaan (2010) are also entered in the event.
  • Andretti Autosport has won seven of the 11 previous races at Iowa Speedway, including six of the last eight races (Dario Franchitti 2007, Tony Kanaan 2010, Marco Andretti 2011, Ryan Hunter-Reay 2012, 2014 and 2015 and James Hinchcliffe 2013). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Franchitti 2009). Ed Carpenter Racing, which won the event in 2016 with Josef Newgarden, and Team Penske, which won last year’s race with Helio Castroneves, have each won at Iowa once.
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti are the only drivers to win at Iowa Speedway and win the Verizon IndyCar Series championship in the same season. Hunter-Reay accomplished the feat in 2012 and Franchitti in 2007 and 2009.
  • No driver has won the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway from the pole.
  • Four drivers have competed in every Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa: Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. All but Castroneves are entered this year. Fifteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Kanaan 523, Josef Newgarden 394, James Hinchcliffe 245, Dixon 126, Andretti 94, Will Power 57, Ryan Hunter-Reay 54, Graham Rahal 19, Ed Carpenter 18, Charlie Kimball 17, Simon Pagenaud 13, Takuma Sato 7, Sebastien Bourdais 6, Alexander Rossi 4 and Max Chilton 4).
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay finished on the podium in five of the last six Iowa Speedway races (2012-2015 and 2017)… Josef Newgarden has finished on the podium in three of the last four races at Iowa (2014-2016)…Tony Kanaan has finished on the podium in five of his last eight races at Iowa… Marco Andretti has finished on the podium in four of his 11 starts at Iowa Speedway…Scott Dixon has started on pole three times (two earned) and has nine top-10 finishes at Iowa in 11 starts, but he has never finished better than third.
  • Five drivers – Spencer Pigot and rookies Zachary Claman De Melo, Matheus Leist, Zach Veach and Robert Wickens – will be competing at Iowa Speedway for the first time in the Verizon IndyCar Series. All but Wickens raced at Iowa in Indy Lights. Leist won at Iowa in 2017.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 294th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 234 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 210 consecutive starts, and will tie Jimmy Vasser for the third-longest streak in Indy car racing should he start the Iowa Corn 300.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”