Saturday, July 18, 2015

Morning Warm-Up: Iowa 2015

Tony Kanaan led the way on Friday at Iowa
As with Milwaukee last week, both qualifying and the race will occur on the same day at Iowa, meaning two practice sessions were completed on Friday in preparation for the 13th round of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

Tony Kanaan was fastest in both sessions with his top lap coming in the second session at 17.7544 seconds (181.273 MPH). Kanaan is looking for his second career Iowa victory and the Brazilian has finished on the podium in the last five Iowa races. Scott Dixon made it a 1-2 for Ganassi on Friday. He was 0.0043 seconds behind Kanaan. Last year, Kanaan and Dixon led a combined 264 of 300 laps before being passed late by Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden and having to settle for third and fourth. Will Power was third quickest in practice. While Power averages a starting position of 5.5 at Iowa, his average finish is 14.8 in six starts. Simon Pagenaud was fourth on Friday as the Frenchman looks for his second podium of the season. He finished third at Belle Isle 1. Pagenaud has never finished on the podium in an oval race. He has two top five finishes on ovals. He finished fifth at Iowa in 2012 and fourth at Texas last year. Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top five. The top five were covered by 0.0786 seconds.

Charlie Kimball was sixth. Last year, Kimball finished a career-best tenth at Iowa. His average finish at Iowa is 13.8. The most recent winner in IndyCar, Sébastien Bourdais, was seventh fastest as he looks for his second consecutive victory and third on the season. His best finish in two Iowa starts is 14th. Hélio Castroneves was eight fastest as he searches for his first victory of 2015 and tries to stay in the championship hunt. Ed Carpenter is looking for consecutive top ten finishes after starting the season with three consecutive finishes outside the top twenty. Carpenter has two consecutive top fives at Iowa. Sage Karam bookended the top ten for Ganassi. The rookie was 0.174 seconds back of his elder teammate.

Josef Newgarden made it a clean sweep of the top eleven for Chevrolet. The top Honda was Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was 12th fastest, 0.2769 seconds back of Kanaan. No Honda was able to run a lap in the 17-second bracket during practice. Justin Wilson and Marco Andretti followed their teammate Hunter-Reay on the timesheet. Graham Rahal rounded out the top fifteen, 0.3331 seconds back. Rahal has consecutive podium finishes. He has never had three consecutive podiums in his career.

Stefano Coletti was the slowest Chevrolet in 16th, as he was 0.0019 seconds back of Rahal. Carlos Muñoz was 17th followed by James Jakes. Takuma Sato was 19th with rookie Gabby Chaves rounding out the top twenty and sandwiched between AJ Foyt Racing cars, as Jack Hawksworth was 21st. The Dale Coyne Racing entries of Tristan Vautier and Pippa Mann were 22nd and 23rd respectively. Ryan Briscoe rounded out the timesheet, as the Australian was 0.9396 seconds back of his former Ganassi teammate.

Qualifying for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 will take place at 4:00 p.m. ET. NBCSN's coverage of the race will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET with green flag scheduled for 8:50 p.m. ET.