While a lot of people seemed to think last year's inaugural race at Iowa Speedway was a boatload of fun, others like your humble host saw it as a total dog of an event. Part of the excitement of short-tracks is seeing drivers working through traffic more, but the wing setup seemed all wrong because the cars couldn't very well complete passes and instead it was just a lot of collisions.
So the this year the powers that be went back to the drawing board and held multiple testing sessions to determine what could be changed on the car to make it work better here. The solution: nothing. Just write it off to the freakish cold weather in June and hope for the best this year.
Oh, and add more cars with a bunch of series rookies.
Well, the weather is indeed warmer this year, but that hasn't shown to change much as there has already several hard crashes in practice, two of which resulting in entry withdrawals. Ladies and gentlemen, start your festival of carbon fiber.
Favorite: Delphi Safety Team. 24 cars going flat out all the way around a sub-mile oval sound like a great idea in theory, but so far it's only working out for parts suppliers. Expect the very large men in the orange and black jumpsuits to garner the most airtime on Sunday.
Contender: Helio Castroneves. Despite being winless Helio has finished in the Top 5 in every race this year. Were it not for his mishap at Belle Isle last year he would be riding a streak of 10 such races right now. FUN-tastic!
Longshot: Buddy Rice. Not only has Rice finished in the Top 10 in three straight races, but he finished 4th here last year. Fourth is like a 3-race winning streak for Dreyer & Reinbold. Now he just has to decide which Red Bull hat to wear.
Driver to Watch: Marco Andretti. Marco finished second here last year and has looked very good on ovals this season, except for part about the crashing in the last few laps. He's going to be a factor in the win, or in a crash, possibly both.
Danica Threat Level: DanCon One. Probably the last race of the year at the highest level, but AGR has this track figured out and Danica led early practice times. With all of the traffic she'll certainly have her anger on, so I'm personally hoping she's included in this week's Race Control product.
Stat of the Race: Last year the Iowa Corn Indy 250 started with 19 cars and finished with 10 running. Again, who thought this was a good race?
Drinking term: "Collected", and we ain't talking about payments.
pressdog says: "Greetings from Iowa Speedway. I'd say Iceman is going to win this, but he's got the Commit car and that was the kiss of death last year. He'll probably still win, but let's get nutty and call this one for the Fun-tastic Driver, El-eee-o Castroneves."
I would be remiss if I did not mention that pressdog is covering this event live since it's right in his backyard. Check out his site for pics and stories to enhance your viewing, and enjoy the show!
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