Simon Pagenaud wins pole position for Iowa 300

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After winning the Honda Indy Toronto from the pole last weekend, Simon Pagenaud won the pole position for the Iowa 300 Friday afternoon with an average two-lap speed of 180.073 mph around the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway.

The pole is the third of the season for the Frenchman, who also won the Indianapolis 500 from the pole in May.

“Awesome job form the team. The car was really good in quali,” Pagenaud told NBC Sports following his pole run. “It’s really tough. It’s 135 degrees on the racetrack, so to get the balance right is really complicated. Ben Bretzman [Pagenaud’s Crew Chief] did a great job setting it up.

“I just focused on my stuff and just really sent it, quite frankly. It was the most intense two laps I’ve ever lived.”

 

Teammate Will Power will start alongside Pagenaud in Row 1, qualifying second-fastest with an average speed of 179.589 mph. Josef Newgarden completed the Penske 1-2-3 sweep by qualifying third with an average speed of 179.449 mph.

Takuma Sato (179.449 mph) qualified fourth-fastest, while defending Iowa 300 winner James Hinchcliffe (176.200 mph) qualified fifth.

Alexander Rossi (176.057 mph) qualified sixth while Graham Rahal (175.857 mph), Scott Dixon (175.725 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (175.725 mph), and Marcus Ericsson (175.578 mph) qualified seventh through 10th.

Live coverage of the Iowa 300 begins tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full qualifying results 

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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.