This weekend the IndyCar Series visits the shortest oval on the 2012 calendar in the 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway.
|Date:||22-23 June 2012|
|Venue:||Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa|
|Lap Length:||0.875 miles / 1.4km|
|Event Schedule:||Free Practice Session 1||Fri 10:00-10:45|
|Free Practice Session 2||Fri 14:30-15:15|
|Qualifying Heat Races||Fri 18:15-19:45|
|Race (250 laps, 218.75 miles)||Sat 21:00-23:00|
|Past IndyCar Winners:||Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda)||2011|
|Tony Kanaan (Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda)||2010|
|Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2009|
|Dan Wheldon (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2008|
|Dario Franchitti (Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda)||2007|
Despite being the shortest, it proves to be quite difficult in reaching a suitable setup. Although the corners do not run for long, the banking is fairly steep and a high downforce level can still result in significant speeds.
Because it is the shortest, it can result in a car making a pit stop under green flag conditions to go two laps down, as it takes about 18 seconds to do a lap of the short-oval. Also for that reason, it is important to be good in getting through traffic, as once backmarkers are encountered, they remain quite constant for most of the day. And with the walls so close, a single mistake or offline movement will have you buried in a nearby wall and heading back to pit lane early.
Iowa is one of the best attended races on the calendar. The event is sponsored by Iowa Corn, a major supplier of corn to Sonoco, manufacturer of corn-powered ethanol fuel, a renewable energy form that powers the IndyCar Series machines, so always has a healthy management contingent in attendance to see their product in action on an extreme and competitive open-wheel level.
In five runnings of this event, Team Penske is yet to record its first victory here, with the spoils being shared by Andretti Autosports, the defending champions with Marco Andretti, and Target Chip Ganassi, who have clocked up two victories here.
Will Penske be able to break their Iowa duck, or will another team add their name to the trophy?
For the second time, the race will be held under lights instead of a Sunday afternoon, and last year’s race was a beauty, so there is every indication we are in for a similar show.