Iowa Corn Indy 250 Race Report

6/23/2013 9:57:00 PM

Circuit: Iowa Speedway (0.89-mile oval) Newton, IA
2012 Winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Chevrolet) 129.371 mph average
Weather: Partly sunny, morning showers, 78 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver     

Team

Engine - Chassis

Laps

Average Speed/Notes

1.

2.

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

250

148.559 mph avg., led 226 laps

2.

12.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

250

+1.5009 seconds

3.

5.

Tony Kanaan

KV Racing Technology

Chevrolet Dallara

250

4.

4.

Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

250

Led 18 laps

5.

6.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

250

Led 1 lap

6.

8.

Simon Pagenaud

Schmidt Hamilton

Honda Dallara

250

7.

7.

Oriol Servia

Panther Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

250

8.

11.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

250

9.

3.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

250

Led xx laps

10.

16.

E.J. Viso

Andretti Autosport/HVM

Chevrolet Dallara

250

Other Honda-powered Results:

11.

10.

Justin Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

249

Running, Led 5 laps

12.

14.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda Dallara

249

Running

13.

13.

Tristan Vautier-R

Schmidt Peterson

Honda Dallara

248

Running

15.

22.

Josef Newgarden

Sarah Fisher Hartman

Honda Dallara

248

Running

16.

15.

Scott Dixon

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

247

Did not finish – mechanical

18.

24.

James Jakes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

247

Running

20.

21.

Dario Franchitti

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

246

Running

22.

23.

Ana Beatriz

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

183

Did not finish – suspension

23.

17.

Takuma Sato

A.J. Foyt Racing

Honda Dallara

162

Did not finish – mechanical

24.

9.

Alex Tagliani

Barracuda Racing/BHA

Honda Dallara

139

Did not finish – spin

Rahal Runs Fifth for Honda in Iowa

Winner of one of three IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying heat races on Saturday, Graham Rahal took his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara-Honda to the front of the field Sunday at Iowa Speedway, challenging repeatedly and briefly leading the Iowa Corn Indy 250, before fading slightly in the final laps to a fifth-place finish.

Starting sixth in today's 250-lap feature, it was apparent by mid-race that Rahal had a good-handling car for the tight confines of Iowa Speedway, as he was able to consistently run a high line, yet pass either high or low as needed. Simon Pagenaud, starting from eighth in the Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda, also had a strong car, and the pair battled for position several times during the first 100 laps.

After the second round of pit stops on Lap 120, Rahal was solidly in second, running just behind eventual winner James Hinchcliffe, with Pagenaud in fourth and Honda-powered Scott Dixon, fifth. Rahal and Marco Andretti fought for second place through the third and final round of pit stops. But in the final 10 laps, the handling of Rahal's Dallara appeared to deteriorate, leading to an eventual fifth-place finish.

Pagenaud frequently ran as high as fourth, and remained in the lead group for the duration of the contest, but lost two postions in the final laps to Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter, who pitted off-sequence earlier to have fresher tires for the final laps. Honda-powered Justin Wilson used the same strategy to lead five laps before finishing 11th. Dixon was another driver to run in the lead group, reaching fifth place on Lap 140 before fading with mechanical problems on his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Honda Fastest Seat in Sports winner Kristy Cowart from Austin, Texas, led the field prior to the green flag in the two-seat Honda IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk. For more information on how you can receive the ride of a lifetime in the Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes, go to www.shophonda.com.

After a long run of five consecutive race weekends, the IZOD IndyCar Series now takes a week off before resuming with the second leg of the 2013 oval "Triple Crown" races, the Pocono Indy 400 Presented by Sunoco, July 7 at Pocono Raceway in northeastern Pennsylvania.

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 10 of 19 rounds):

1. Helio Castroneves

332 points (1 win)

6. Simon Pagenaud

241 (1 win)

2. Ryan Hunter-Reay

323 (2 wins)   

7. Scott Dixon

240

3. Marco Andretti

277

8. Takuma Sato

233 (1 win)

4. James Hinchcliffe

266 (3 wins)

9. Justin Wilson

227

5. Tony Kanaan

253 (1 win)

10. Will Power

209

 

Manufacturers' Championship:

1. Chevrolet

81

2. Honda

69

Graham Rahal (#15 Midas/Big O Tires Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Dallara) started 6th, finished 5th, led for the first time this season, second top-five result in 2013: "The race was good. I didn't quite have James' [Hinchcliffe] speed today, but we were close. On the second set [of tires], the car came on for me and felt really, really magical.  That's when we went from 10th to second. I don't know what happened at the end of the race; we just lost overall grip and struggled a little bit. Earlier in that stint, I was chasing Hinchcliffe down. But at the end of the race, I was losing a little bit of everything in the car, and Ed [Carpenter] got me. But I'm proud of my guys because, as I've said, the last few weeks haven't been easy for us. I'm really proud of the engineering staff and everyone on the team. For everybody to keep coming back week after week with their chins up means a lot to me. I felt like I could have won the race today. I feel like I got robbed; I should have had a podium at least today, but we'll take a fifth."

Simon Pagenaud (#77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Racing Honda Dallara) started 8th, finished 6th: "We've really improved our short-oval program in recent weeks. We were really strong on restarts today, and the car was handling really well. At the end of the race, I'm not sure what we were missing, because the car was really hooked up. I had a blast today. The restarts were fun, the racing was fun, and it was just a great day of competition. From the cockpit, it was 'back and forth, back and forth' all the time, on the track. Then, going as hard as you could into pit lane, and out just as fast. Traffic played a big role in the race, but it was great to be up front on an oval today."

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "Obviously we're disappointed with the issues we had with the cars of Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon. We need to work hard and fast to find a resolution to those problems. We were very encouraged by the performances of both Graham [Rahal] and Simon [Pagenaud]. Graham drove a very strong race and looked like he could pass almost anyone for most of the day. It's been a long, hard stretch of races for both our trackside group and the staff at HPD. Everyone has worked extremely hard for eight weeks solid. We're now looking forward to this brief chance to recharge before going on to Pocono."

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