After an impressive – but undoubtedly tainted – drive by KVSH Racing’s Sébastien Bourdais to score his second victory of the season last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile, Round 13 of the Verizon IndyCar Series heads to the shortest oval on the calendar at Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 300.

The Circuit

2015 IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300
Date 17-18 July 2015 Lap Length 0.875 mi / 1.4km
Free Practice Session 1 Fri 15:00-15:45 Free Practice Session 2 Fri 18:00-18:45
Qualifying Sat 15:00-16:00 Race (300 laps) Sat 19:50-21:45

Session times quoted in Central Daylight Time (GMT – 05:00)

Iowa Speedway is a 1.4-kilometre (0.875 mile) paved oval racing circuit in Newton, Iowa approximately 30 miles east of the city of Des Moines.

Opened in September 2006, the track was designed with influence from Rusty Wallace and patterned after Richmond International Raceway, a short track oval where Wallace was himself successful. It has played host to a round of the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2007.

Facts and Stats at the Iowa Speedway

  • The Iowa Corn 300 will be the ninth Verizon IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Ryan Hunter-Reay is the only active driver on the grid to win at Iowa Speedway more than once. Hunter-Reay has two wins (2012 and 2014). Past winners include Marco Andretti (2011) and Tony Kanaan (2010), who are also entered in the event.
  • Andretti Autosport has won six of the eight races held at Iowa Speedway, including the last five in a row (Dario Franchitti 2007, Kanaan 2010, Andretti 2011, Hunter-Reay 2012 and 2014 and James Hinchcliffe 2013). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Franchitti 2009).
  • A number of drivers enjoy impressive records at this short-track oval. Tony Kanaan has finished on the podium in the last five races at Iowa Speedway after failing to finish better than 15th in his first three starts. Marco Andretti has finished on the podium in four of his eight starts at Iowa Speedway. Scott Dixon has started on pole three times (two earned) and has seven top-10 finishes at Iowa in eight starts, but has never finished better than third.
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti are the only drivers to win at Iowa Speedway and win the Verizon IndyCar Series championship in the same season. Hunter-Reay accomplished this in 2012, and Franchitti in 2007 and 2009.
  • No driver has ever won the Iowa Corn 300 after qualifying on pole position.

The Entry List and Form Guide

Not surprisingly, the Iowa Corn 300 entry list remains unchanged from last weekend’s other short-track oval round at the Milwaukee Mile.

As the 2015 championship moves into the final stages of the season, Juan Pablo Montoya continues to hold the the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings – which he has held since the start of the season – and looks to be in the box seat to claim his second CART/IndyCar title.

The Colombian holds a 54-point lead over Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon, while Graham Rahal has vaulted into third place 69 points off the lead.

Tied with the American is Montoya’s Penske teammate Hélio Castroneves, while their teammate and defending champion Will Power suffered a critical DNF last weekend at Milwaukee and is now 70 points in arrears.

It marked back-to-back retirements for the Australian, who does not enjoy a good record at three of the remaining four rounds in the championship calendar – he is yet to record a win at Iowa, Mid-Ohio or Pocono. The season ends at Sonoma Raceway, where he’s a three-time winner, but his championship defence could be well and truly over by then.

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Michael Terminello

Journalist at MotorsportM8