By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Iowa INDYCAR 250s 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
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Iowa INDYCAR 250s – Race 1 Friday, July 17, 2020 8:30PM (ET) NBCSN & Race 2 Sunday, July 18, 2020 8:30PM (ET) NBCSN – Fans will be in attendance for the second weekend this season as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES enters its second consecutive doubleheader weekend at perhaps the most physical circuit of the year. The two biggest storylines of the weekend, besides the doubleheader itself, will be whether Ganassi can keep up its perfect record to start the year after 3 wins by Scott Dixon and 1 win for Felix Rosenqvist and just how dominant Josef Newgarden can be as he’s owned Iowa in recent years and will be eager to make up for his error to throw away Race 1 at Road America.
Previous driver experience at Iowa shows four former winners in the field in Ryan Hunter-Reay (3), Josef Newgarden (2), Marco Andretti (1), and Tony Kanaan (1). The active Top 5 in laps led are Newgarden (868), Kanaan (523), Will Power (129), Dixon (128), and Andretti (94). The two most recent winners are Newgarden and James Hinchcliffe, who isn’t scheduled to drive this weekend. Looking at the box scores from 2019 and 2018, only Newgarden has finished in the Top 5 in each of the last two races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, Newgarden is joined by Pagenaud, Rossi, and Rahal.
My picks to win: Josef Newgarden & Simon Pagenaud – The Team Penske cars have started on the first two rows of the grid in each of the past two races and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue. As dominant as Newgarden has been both with Ed Carpenter Racing and now Team Penske, it would be almost silly not to pick him for at least one win this weekend. Pagenaud hasn’t had the best qualifying luck to this point this year, but has raced well and may just sneak his first win at Iowa this weekend.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, Tony Kanaan, & Oliver Askew – You know my thoughts on Pagenaud and Newgarden is too difficult to build a pre-qualifying team around at $31. Rossi has finished well at Iowa and may be back on track after a podium finish in Race 2 at Road America. TK has shown improved speed with Foyt over the last 12 months and will no doubt be a threat for a Top 10 or even Top 5 finish. Watch out for the Arrow McLaren SP rookies this weekend the former SPM cars were always quick at Iowa and each of these two rookies knew how to put on a show on ovals in Indy Lights.