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IndyCar: Newgarden, Power fastest in first of two practices at Iowa

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Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Will Power were 1-2 in Saturday’s first of two practice sessions for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway.

Newgarden had a best lap speed of 183.711 mph, followed by Power’s 183.440 mph.

Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (183.196 mph), Alexander Rossi (182.223 mph) and Zach Veach (181.936 mph) were third through fifth, respectively.

Sixth through 10th were Spencer Pigot (181.083 mph), James Hinchcliffe (181.038), Simon Pagenaud (181.038), Marco Andretti (180.947) and Ed Jones (180.726).

There was one incident in the session. About 14 minutes in, rookie Matheus Leist of A.J. Foyt Racing lost control of his car coming out of Turn 2 and slid, backing into the outside wall.

“To be honest, I don’t know what happened, just locked up the rear coming out of (Turn) 2,” Leist told the INDYCAR Radio Network. “That’s racing. Things like this happen.

“It’s actually the first time I’ve ever crashed on an oval. It’s a weird feeling. Let’s get the car ready for qualifying.”

Damage was moderate to the rear of the car, which makes it likely the team will go to a backup car, given that qualifying takes place this afternoon in just a few hours at 3:30 p.m. ET.

One other incident of note came with about four minutes left in the one-hour morning practice when James Hinchcliffe spun coming off pit road. He did not make any contact and was able to continue.

 

The morning practice resumed about nine minutes after Leist’s incident.

A second practice session of the day takes place after qualifying at 6:45 p.m. ET.

Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 will take the green flag around 2:40 p.m. ET and will be televised on NBCSN.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.