Not exactly a snazzy name for a race but regardless, the racing at Iowa Speedway is snazzy or more like fast and furious. There’s a lot of action around the smallest race track that the IZOD IndyCar series visits. The June 23rd race is 250 laps at a track that is only 7/8th of a mile long. Yes, laps happen fast.
The best of the best drivers have been victorious at this event in central Iowa. Over the past six years, there’ve been five different drivers in Victory Circle including two-time winner Dario Franchitti, the late Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti and last year’s victor, Ryan Hunter-Reay who used the race to catapult himself into the series championship, which he would eventually win.
Oddly enough, the little oval has been a place where drivers, who normally don’t come from the circle track world, do well. So who might the top four potential winners be? The IndyCar season has been a wide open affair so far in 2013 (see related articles) but here they are with the favorite listed last.
Sources: IndyCar, Racing Reference
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To not list Dixon would be a mistake when it comes to Iowa. Although the Kiwi has never won at Iowa, he has never finished outside the Top 10 including five top sixes. The Chip Ganassi owned Honda has been inconsistent thus far in 2013, but Dixon knows how to get around Iowa as evidenced by his two poles. Dixon was sixth last week at Milwaukee, which is not that dissimilar from Iowa and therefore he should be near the front for this race as well.
The 2012 IndyCar champion won this event a year ago after not having done that well previously. The Iowa win last season was the second of three in-a-row that helped the Floridian move into contention for the championship and sitting second in the points currently, Hunter-Reay certainly is capable of winning again. He also qualifies well at Iowa with no starting spot lower than the fourth row – along with two poles. Expect Ryan to be once again near or at the front this weekend.
Except for his outing in his native land of Brazil, this vivacious driver hasn’t finished outside the Top 10 all year and currently sits atop the standings. Is a championship in his sights (see related articles)? Regardless, the spirited Castroneves has a first and second over the past two races, both of which were at ovals. He doesn’t have a win at Iowa but has always started well including a pole and four starts on the front row. Helio was runner-up here in 2010 and should be at least that good this season.
This year has looked like that kind of season we’ve been waiting for from the young Andretti. The Pennsylvanian had a couple of issues this year in different races but when he doesn’t have a problem, he’s been a very solid Top 10 finisher. Marco won Iowa in 2011 and was runner-up last year and that alone should make him one of the favorites. He had the pole last week at Milwaukee and in what appears to be a special season for Andretti, he should be up to the task of winning the Iowa Corn 250 in 2013.