Saturday, July 12, 2014

Morning Warm-Up: Iowa 2014

Scott Dixon will lead the field to the green flag for tonight's Iowa Corn Indy 300. It is Dixon's twenty-first career pole position. Dixon's best career finish at Iowa is fourth on two occasions. Tony Kanaan joins his Ganassi teammate on row one. Besides Andretti Autosport, the only other team to win at Iowa is Ganassi and the #10 car has rolled into victory lane on both occasions. Kanaan is looking for his fifth consecutive Iowa podium.

Hélio Castroneves rolls off in third next to his former Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe. Castroneves and Team Penske are looking for their first victory at Iowa. Briscoe is looking for consecutive top five finishes. The Australian finished fourth last week at Pocono. Carlos Muñoz rounds out the top five. Muñoz finished seventh and eighth in his two Indy Lights starts at Iowa but one both occasions he finished a lap down. Joining Muñoz on row three will be Sébastien Bourdais. This will be the Frenchman's second career start at Iowa. He finished fourteenth last year.

Charlie Kimball starts seventh, it is first top ten start of the season. His previous best was Houston 1. Marco Andretti starts eighth. He has finished on the podium at Iowa in four of seven starts at the track. Will Power starts ninth. The last three year's Power has finished outside the top fifteen at Iowa. Ed Carpenter rounds out the top ten. Carpenter scored his first career Iowa top five last year.

Row six features Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin. The Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports teammates started eleventh and twelfth last week at Pocono and both finished in the top ten. Ryan Hunter-Reay starts thirteenth. He has back-to-back Iowa podiums. James Hinchcliffe starts fourteenth. Hinchcliffe has yet to finish better than his starting position in 2014, losing on average 7.727 positions during a race. Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato start on row eight. Rahal normally finds away to the front at Iowa, with an average starting position of 14.714 at Iowa but an average finish of 9.833 at the track. Sato is looking for his first career top ten at Iowa. His best Iowa finish is twelfth.

Sebastián Saavedra starts seventeenth. He won the Indy Lights race at Iowa in 2010. Justin Wilson joins him on row nine. Wilson's average finish at Iowa is 14.5 in six starts. Juan Pablo Montoya qualified nineteenth. His lone appearance at Iowa was the inaugural ARCA race in 2006. He started third but finished twenty-fourth, 42 laps down after an accident. Jack Hawksworth rounds out the top twenty after missing Pocono last week due to injury. The final row will be Josef Newgarden and Carlos Huertas. This is Newgarden's second consecutive race starting twenty-first. He finished eighth last week at Pocono. This is Huertas' first start at Iowa.

NBCSN's coverage of the Iowa Corn Indy 300 begins at 8:00 p.m. ET with green flag at 8:50 p.m. ET.