INDYCAR & MRTI: IOWA RACE REPORT
Photographer: IMS Photography
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES - SUNDAY, JULY 10
- Rookie Alexander Rossi started from the 17th position and came out on top for the Andretti quartet in Iowa, leading four laps on his way to a 6th-place finish in his first race at the short oval.
- It was a night of frustration for Colombian Carlos Munoz. Struggling with handling issues in the No. 26 car, he was unable to make large gains and finished 12th after a 15th-place start.
- Former Iowa champion Marco Andretti rolled off 19th and made up ground for a 14th-place finish with the Snapple machine. Andretti will take on new colors for next weekend's Toronto race as the No. 27 will be rebranded for a Dr Pepper outing.
- Reigning Iowa Corn 300 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was not meant for a fourth win in America's corn belt this weekend. After battling handling, the No. 28 suffered engine issues with 105 of 300 laps complete, ending the day early for the DHL team.
No. 98 Castrol EDGE / Curb Honda
“Starting 17th made our life hard. I think we were unlucky in terms of the yellows when they came out because our strength today was in the second half of our tire life. We had really, really good tire life and everyone else was struggling. We were able to stay out but we were never able to take advantage of that. None-the-less a good result from where we started and we’re looking forward to Toronto.”
No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda
“Man, that was the longest race of my career in IndyCar. We struggled a lot for grip – I didn’t have any confidence in the car. We were just chasing the car the whole race, changing and never could get the balance in the car. We have to now think about Toronto. This was a tough race for the whole team.”
No. 27 United Fiber & Data / Snapple Honda
“Another disappointing result. I had to come from the back and it was hard to pass. We gave it all we had. We took a risk on strategy, which of course didn’t pay off – so here we are with a 14th-place finish.”
No. 28 DHL Honda
“It [the engine] just popped without warning but that was the least of our problems today. That was the most out of shape I think we have ever been. I’m not really sure. We’re going to have to look at it. I couldn’t get out on my own way out there on a track that I absolutely love and that this team has historically been so good at. It just goes to show you that you can never get ahead of yourself. You always have to keep working. You always have to find a way to be faster. We came here for a test and it was a pretty productive test and had some hard times there but wow this was really bad today. It was something I just couldn’t find a solution to. We tried some significant changes. Not huge but significant ones trying to settle the rear. My big problem was I could not get around a car at all. If I got around a car it felt like I lost two thousand pounds of downforce. On mid to late tires I was just skating around on top of the track like I had no wings on the car. It was amazing. I had never felt anything like that.”
INDYLIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES - SUNDAY, JULY 10
This morning's rain made today's schedule questionable of whether or not the event would run on time. Unfortunately, qualifying was cancelled for today's Indy Lights Iowa Challenge Presented by Cooper Tires which meant the drivers would start off of championship point standings. Dean Stoneman lined up the grid on the outside of Row 1, seeing the green flag from second. Shelby Blackstock, ranked eighth in championship standings took the green from the outside of Row 4. Dalton Kellett began the 100-Lap race from the 11th position.
We're headed across the border for the next race on the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule. Rounds 12 and 13 of competition will see the streets of Toronto, Ontario Friday when the Andretti trio hits the track for the first practice session of the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday will see Kellett, Blackstock and Stoneman battling for more championship points. Follow along on social media for news and updates regarding the event using #MRTI and #TeamCooperTire.
No. 27 Stellrecht Mazda
• Top Andretti finisher, completing the 100-lap race just off of the podium in fourth position
“I feel like we missed a huge chance to make up ground on the championship today. Struggled with understeer from the start. We had a great battle with Veach. It’s just a shame we didn’t get on the Stellrecht car on the podium again. Now we shift our focus to Toronto.”
No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda
• Ran as high as eighth position, saw the twin checkers from ninth
“Great start for the No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA machine. It’s a shame we missed out on qualifying – we didn’t get to fight for a good grid position. We just had to battle our way through the field, we made up some good position on the start. The only issue I had was terminal understeer. I think we cooked the front tires off about halfway through the race and I was just playing with the tools I have in the car, but I couldn’t quite get it figured out. I think overall the team did a good job this weekend considering we had to work around some weather issues and what not. I definitely would’ve like a better result, but we’re on to Toronto for my hometown race.”
No. 51 Starstruck Mazda
• Suffered through balance issues through most of the race, finishing in 12th position
“Definitely not the result we wanted. I wasn’t very happy with the car the entire weekend and then we tried to do something different for qualifying and qualifying was rained out, so we had to stick with it for the race. Unfortunately, the car was a handful through the entire race. About three-quarters into the race I was just trying to catch the back end, it was all over the place. I’m happy to move on to Toronto and I know we’ll have a good weekend in Toronto.”