IndyCar Series: All-American podium at Iowa Corn 300
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) won Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway and became the ninth different winner in 13 IndyCar races in the 2015 season. It was his third consecutive victory at 0.894-mile Iowa oval and the sixth consecutive victory for Andretti’s team.
For the first time since 2006, at Indianapolis 500 we saw all-American podium after Josef Newgarden (CFH Racing) finished second (same as the last year) and rookie Sage Karam earned his first podium finish for Chip Ganassi Racing. It was more than just an all-American podium because USA drivers took six of the top seven places. Graham Rahal (RLL Racing) finished fourth, Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport) was fifth, Ed Carpenter (CFH Racing) was sixth and Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport) finished 7th.
Hunter-Reay’s win was set up when he made his final stop on Lap 238 of 300, 11 laps earlier than leader Newgarden. Hunter-Reay emerged ahead of the younger American, held off his charge and crossed the line a little over half a second ahead. Third placed Karam was the most aggressive driver on the track, to the displeasure of CFH owner/driver Ed Carpenter. Karam nearly pushed Carpenter into the Turn 2 wall while they were dicing over a top-5 placing, and Carpenter was furious after the race.
The championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske) didn’t finish the race, the first time in 2015 season. At the beggining of the race, in Lap 10, he hit the safety barrier in the Turn 2. Some of the Top 10 championship rivals also didn’t have much luck. Scott Dixon suffered a mechanical failure on the right-rear corner of his Ganassi Chevrolet with 70 laps to go while running in the top five. Tony Kanaan, in another Ganassi Chevrolet, dropped out with engine problems at two-thirds distance.
Montoya remained in the lead, but Rahal moved to second in the standings, 42 points behind. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing), who finished 18th at Iowa Speedway, is 48 points back and fourth placed Montoya’s team-mate Helio Castroneves (11th in the race) has 54 less. Reigning champion Will Power (Team Penske) finished 10th and is 55 points behind Montoya.
The next race is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, scheduled for August 2.