IndyCar: What Drivers Are Saying About Racing At Iowa Speedway This Weekend

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SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): “We have qualified very well this year including the ovals and the car has been strong in the races, so I am pretty happy about that. However, Iowa’s track is trickier, especially with the lower level of downforce we will use this year and what is expected to be a hot weather race. We, unfortunately, didn’t get an opportunity to test unlike half of the field, so we won’t know what we have until we unload the car and get to it, but I count on my SealMaster crew to give me another very competitive car. At this point in the season, I’m just looking to have a good result and see how things play out. We’ll just need to keep working hard and hopefully catch a break.”

ZACHARY CLAMAN DE MELO (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): “I raced at Iowa in the Indy Lights the last couple of years so I’m familiar with the track. It’s certainly an interesting oval with it being so short. I’m not sure what to expect as I have not driven an Indy car there yet, but I’m confident my No. 19 Paysafe Dale Coyne Racing team will once again give me a good car this weekend and we can bounce back from our difficult weekend at Road America two weeks ago.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I am always excited to race at Iowa Speedway and be a part of the Iowa Corn 300. It has always been a track where I have been comfortable and enjoyed racing at. It’s such a small track for our cars and how quick we can run. It’s a constant challenge, both physically and mentally. We were able to test last week and it gave us a good direction before we get back on track on Saturday.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I haven’t raced at Iowa Speedway since 2015 and that was in Indy Lights. I’m looking forward to the challenge of racing here in an Indy car this weekend. A pass can take four to five laps to get done while you’re running side by side, which is pretty unique for us. There’s not a lot of places we get to do that and as a driver, it’s a lot of fun. We tried a lot of things on the car at the test last week and have a good direction to work towards heading into the race. Hopefully, we can have a strong race in the Fuzzy’s Vodka car.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m excited to head to Iowa with the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team. It’s a short track which is really fun and also challenging. The fans there are always so excited to see INDYCAR so we’re ready to get back there to put on a good show while also chasing the win.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): “I’m looking forward to getting back to a short track. At Phoenix, we learned a lot during the race and I think we were pretty competitive toward the end of the race. I know the Carlin team has worked really hard on the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet car since then. We’ve gained a ton of experience since that second race on to just past the midpoint of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. It’s always a great weekend – the Iowa fans come out in droves and with it being the weekend after the Fourth of July, there will probably be some fireworks both off and on the track.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Relay Group 1001 Honda): “I have a lot of good memories from Iowa coming through the ladder series. It’s a place that’s always challenging to race and that adds to what makes it a good show. We had one of our strongest tests last week there, so I’m really excited for what we can accomplish this weekend in the Relay car.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “Iowa has been one of my favorite ovals since Day 1. I love how short, fast, banked and bumpy it is. We had four very strong cars in the test last week, so hopefully, we can convert that into a big result for the NAPA team in order to get the momentum swinging back in our favor once more.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Iowa Speedway is certainly a special place for me and the team as a whole. I love short oval racing, but Iowa is one of my favorites. We’ve had lots of success here in the past, winning three times, however with a new car and a completely different aero package we have our work cut out for us to develop a new setup that will suit this car. We’re coming off a productive test, so we’re looking to keep the momentum we have rolling into the Iowa Corn 300 weekend and bring home another good result for the DHL Honda.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “Iowa Speedway is just non-stop cornering with usually the highest lateral G-force loads recorded during the season. I simply like Iowa and hopefully that continues this year with the lower-downforce package which will make it even more challenging. Also, there is a bump in Turn 2 which is tricky but generally it’s a fun, great track and racing there is exciting. It will be a tough race. It’s a lower-downforce package so it’s possibly the lowest one in recent years, so I’m sure it’s going to be very challenging to follow cars. If we could run in the second lane, then it will be quite exciting one but we will see. It’s extremely important to carry good momentum to Iowa and I am sure we will be able to achieve another strong result. We have been a little too unlucky in many circumstances but the last race showed our speed and strength very well in a no-caution, straightforward race so I am looking forward to having another good weekend.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “It’s hard to believe that we’re over halfway through this season already. Last race at Road America was definitely a learning experience for us and I think we all took quite a bit of perspective from that weekend heading into the second half of the season. It’s nice to have a weekend between Road America and Iowa to really regroup and get our heads back into a short oval mindset. I’m actually pretty excited to get back to Iowa. Iowa was the first race I won here (in Indy Lights) in the U.S. and for it to be on an oval with Carlin was pretty special. Even though there’s a big difference between INDYCAR and Indy Lights and everything that goes into it, it’ll be exciting to go back to Iowa with a team (Carlin) who has won at Iowa Speedway every time they have raced there.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “I’m really excited for the Iowa Corn 300 this weekend. We had an extremely productive test last week with the team, so we’re already ahead going into Practice 1 on Saturday. Iowa Speedway always brings a nice crowd, so looking forward to a fun weekend with the Harding Racing team! It should really be a great race.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “Iowa hasn’t been very nice to me the last few years, during the aero kit era, but I’m looking to regain my strength there. We had a strong test last week and we’ll build on that for the race this weekend.”

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