By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 and the Indy Lights Mazda Iowa 100 Presented by Cooper Tires at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Preview: Mazda Iowa 100 Presented by Cooper Tires (Entry List), Sunday, July 8, 2018 12:15PM (ET) – Looking at Indy Lights results at Iowa in 2017 and 2016, Carlin has won this race the last two years so this weekend could be wide open now that the team is out of Indy Lights. Santi Urrutia has finished in the Top 5 in the race in each of the last two years and won on a short oval at Gateway last year so he’s my favorite this weekend. Colton Herta finished P4 last year behind his Andretti Autosport teammate Dalton Kellett and those two are always good on ovals so watch them close. Championship contender Patricio O’Ward has shown speed everywhere this season and also drives for Andretti so he should be in the mix as well. Victor Franzoni is coming off his first Indy Lights win last time out at Road America and won on the short oval at Gateway in Pro Mazda last year. My pick to win: Santi Urrutia
Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: Iowa Corn 300, Sunday, July 8, 2018 2:00PM (ET) NBCSN – Previous driver experience shows five former winners at Iowa Speedway in the field in Ryan Hunter-Reay (3), Marco Andretti (1), James Hinchcliffe (1), Tony Kanaan (1), and Josef Newgarden (1). The active Top 5 in laps led at Iowa are Kanaan (523), Newgarden (394), James Hinchcliffe (245), Scott Dixon (126), and Andretti (94). Hunter-Reay has led only 54 laps at Iowa despite his three wins. The last two winners at Iowa are Castroneves (Team Penske) and Newgarden (Ed Carpenter Racing). Looking at the box scores 2017 and 2016, Power is the only driver to finish in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, he’s joined by Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Dixon, Kanaan, and Hinchcliffe. Matheus Leist won in Lights at Iowa last year making him a driver to watch this weekend. As mentioned above in my Indy Lights preview, Carlin has won the last two Indy Lights races at Iowa so this could be a race where they show their continued improvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The four Andretti Autosport cars topped the test at Iowa Speedway last week so look for them to be strong this weekend. My pick to win: Ryan Hunter-Reay – The three-time winner of the Iowa Corn 300 topped the test at Iowa last week and knows how to get it done at the end of this race. A win this weekend would solidly Hunter-Reay’s championship intentions and he’s probably the favorite going into the weekend.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Sebastien Bourdais, Zach Veach – You know my thoughts on Hunter-Reay. Alexander Rossi has put on a show every time out on an oval this season and Iowa will be no different with the anticipated speed of the Andretti Autosport team. Bourdais was extremely fast earlier this year at Phoenix and is decently priced at $24. Veach could have great value this weekend at just $14. The Andretti cars will be fast and he looked excellent at the last oval race at Texas Motor Speedway.