Andretti outduels Kanaan in Iowa
Then with 18 laps to go, contrails cascading off the rear wings, and 30,000 fans on their feet cheering, Andretti dove under Kanaan and they ran side-by-side for over a lap before Andretti pulled clear. Andretti then held off Kanaan's repeated attempt to pass him back before Andretti finally prevailed by 0.79 sec..
Scott Dixon charged from 23rd on the starting grid to finish third and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti, who led the most laps, was fifth. Rookie JR Hildebrand, the Indianapolis 500 runner-up, passed Franchitti on Lap 242 for fourth place.
"We were down a little bit on the bigger ovals but we know when it comes down to handling we’d be OK," said Andretti, who started 17th in the No. 26 Team Venom Energy car. "These guys did a great job with pits. They got me the lead back. We had some good racing with T.K. It was good fun."
"Knowing TK, I knew he would do exactly what I did to him," Andretti said. "He’d make his car very wide. I didn’t want to wait until two to go because he was just going to chop me and I would have been done. I knew I had to get it done earlier and actually make my car wide."
Added Kanaan: "Congratulations to him. He did a great job. It was a great battle, a great race. We didn't quite have the car. I think toward the end we got a little stronger. I'm happy for the team."
Will Power suffered a minor concussion when his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car made hard right-side contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier at Iowa Speedway on Lap 90 of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer, according to INDYCAR director of medical services Dr. Michael Olinger.
Power, who was started fifth, was running 19th at the time. He was involved in a pit lane incident on Lap 26 when his car exiting its pit stall rammed the left side of the No. 83 car driven by Charlie Kimball as it was entering its pit stall. It broke the front wing assembly and bent a toe (front handling).
All five caution periods during the race occurred in Turn 2. Four of the five were single-car incidents, and several drivers said the bump between Turns 1 and 2 was a factor and is a concern.
Per INDYCAR rules, Power will have to take the ImPACT test and be re-evaluated before be cleared to drive in the Honda Indy Toronto on July 10.
POST RACE QUOTES
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, winner Iowa Corn Indy 250): (About tonight's win): We were down a little bit on the bigger ovals but we know when it comes down to handling we'd be alright. These guys did a great job with pits. They got me the lead back. We had some good racing with T.K. (Tony Kanaan). It was good fun. The Venom boys were on it tonight. (About battling Kanaan for the win): Knowing TK, I knew he would do exactly what I did to him. He'd make his car very wide. I didn't want to wait until two to go because he was just going to chop me and I would have been done. I knew I had to get it done earlier and actually make my car wide."
TONY KANAAN (No. 82 GEICO-KV Racing Technology-Lotus, finished second): "It was pretty clean until he chopped me off. Congratulations to him. He did a great job. It was a great battle, a great race. We didn't quite have the car. I think towards the end we got a little stronger. I'm happy for the team."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): "It was a good night for Team Target. We didn't have the best car out there, but it was a tough race with lots of traffic. All in all, great day for both cars. We made some changes and got to work on the car which was really loose. It feels like a win coming from 23rd to third."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing, finished fourth): "That was my first time up front, rubbin' with those boys. There were a couple of spots that were a little dicey. It may be I'll have to go up to some guys and say, 'sorry about that.' This is a tough place to race, but the Panther Racing guys gave me an awesome car. I'm happy how the whole weekend has gone for the National Guard team."
DARIO FRANCHITTI ( No. 10 Suave, finished fifth): "We had a bit of problem on that last pit stop and Marco got ahead. All night we had been getting more and more oversteer, and once we got in traffic I was toast. We struggled at the end."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske, finished sixth): "The PPG Automotive Refinish car was strong tonight. During that last part of the race we had a fast car, it was definitely capable of being a top-three car, but I just couldn't find my way around a couple of the guys in front of me. All in all it was a good night though. Iowa Speedway is a great track, the stands were full and I think we put on a good show for the fans. I am looking forward to Toronto."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske, finished seventh): "The Guidepoint Systems car was very good tonight. We were good enough to fight for the lead and drive through the field. We were running up front, but once again we had the bad misfortune of the tire going flat. It's a shame, but it happens. From there, we did our best to fight our way back up. It was a great job by the No. 3 Guidepoint Systems guys - they gave me great pit stops and it's what we needed to get back in it. We've got great momentum now. We'll keep plugging away and we'll get that good finish. I know it's coming."
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins Schmidt Pelfrey Racing, finished 16th): "I'm very proud of the team and the engineering group. The Bowers & Wilkins group gave me a great car. It was unfortunate that the yellow flag killed us. The car was very, very fast, I think I had one of the fastest laps in the race. It's unfortunate because also later on in the race we developed a fuel pickup problem. I couldn't believe how fast we were even with the misfire. This result tonight wasn't really do justice to how fast this car was tonight."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "I lost at the bump in Turn 2. The tires weren't up to temperature. I'm very disappointed to finish the race this way. I feel very sorry for the team and the fans. It's unfortunate because up until then it was looking good.
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 34 Conquest Racing): "I have no idea what happened. We were solid all night, but we had very little track time here because we lost the first practice of the weekend. The car was solid and we were working to the front with no trouble. We had some mild understeer which we were working through and out of nowhere the rear just snapped without any indication. It is one of those things that we will check out very closely to see what broke and try to figure it out."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen): "It was really disappointing to get hit in pit lane during that first pit stop. There wasn't anything I could do about it, I didn't even see him. It's a shame because the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew worked really hard all weekend and I thought we were going to have a really good race car. As it cooled off, we were only going to get better and better. There's a lot more speed out of the No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen car and I can't wait to take it to Toronto and get back on a street circuit."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "Overall, it was pretty frustrating night. The Service Central team did a great job in the pits. I thought that we had a really good race car yesterday and I thought we did a good job not over reacting, but the No. 38 Service Central car was extremely loose. I was hanging on a bit too much. We got unlucky with that yellow after our pit stop, which put us a lap down. We'll have to regroup and come back. We lost a few positions in the points, but the Service Central team will continue to work hard."
E.J. VISO (No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "I had such a difficult car that I had to battle so hard through the entire race. This is the closest thing to a nightmare. I am more tired after this race than I have ever been. The car I had this weekend was not my primary car, it was the backup, so we are all glad this weekend is over. Now we head to some races where we will have our proper equipment and we know that works because we have it in the past. We just have to keep working as a team. I want to congratulate Tony on his podium finish. Once again we showed we are a strong team and getting better with each race."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing): "I am super-proud of the work done by the team in one day. We knew this track was going to be a challenge and it definitely proved a challenge yesterday. We worked hard, we had long meetings last night and again this morning and Bruno (Couprie) came up with a great car. The Telemundo car really was the class of the field. Pit lane was just not our favorite neighborhood today. With this team, in my life, I have had so many positions gained in the pits but it seems the last couple of races we are lagging behind and that is not typical of Newman/Haas. We are losing positions and today we had lost a couple already before but that wasn't a big deal. But then we had some sort of an issue with the fuel not going in the car. Unfortunately it was the last pit stop where it was the one that kills you; you basically have no time to recover. And then there weren't many yellows to bring any miracles. It's just a shame we couldn't capitalize on the work done. It just proves it's not easy to win one of these things against this competition and we just need to do everything a little bit better. I would catch the top-three every time. I don't want to say we had a car that would have won the race but for sure I had a car that was battling with Marco and Dixon at different stages and we were in front of them. It's not foolish to think we had a car that could challenge for the win. It's a shame to finish 14th and lose a good amount of points that will hurt us in the championship. We have been strong in street and road courses and ovals of all kinds so I know we are going to get back. We just need to have perfect weekends again."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing): "We the exception of Texas the Sprott team has been in the top-10 in every race we've been running at the end. That's something to be proud of. It was another day in the Indy car education here at Iowa. We got caught up in the first pit stop when Will and Charlie got together right in front of us and we fell right down to the back. From there we were just slowly trying to pick them off, we made a couple of moves on track. And again we made some time up in the pits. It was another team effort. We were running as high as seventh there on the last stint but lost some places to guys like Helio and Ryan. It's all experience and laps in the book. I'm just happy to bring it home after another good day especially not knowing what to expect after last night's practice. Credit goes to the guys for getting the car to where we could race in the top-10. We had a few issues with fueling. We got the fuel in on the first stop but not on the second and had to come back in. We had to do a hose switch and that's why we came in under yellow one time. We had to battle a couple of things so it's good to get a top-10 and carry more momentum into Toronto."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team Go Daddy): "The balance from one end of the track to the other was completely different, so that made it difficult to have a consistent lap. The GoDaddy car was strong all weekend, so I was confident that we would be competitive tonight. I was really hoping for a better result, but we'll have to take what we got. Congrats to Marco and his crew for a great race; they deserved the win."
ED CARPENTER (No. 67 Dollar General/Sarah Fisher Racing): "It was a really long race. We were really loose to start the race, luckily we had a lot of early yellows to keep working on the Dollar General car. We got it a lot better, got it to where we could make up some spots on the restarts. We had a yellow work out in our favor but then had a mishap in the pits that cost us track position. Just makes for a frustrating night. "
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda): "We really struggled in the first half of the race with the track being a bit 'green' from the rain. We just really struggled with it. But, once the rubber came in and it went single file, I was able to pick them off. We really needed green-flag running and we just getting yellow after yellow after yellow after yellow. The flow of the race just didn't go our way soon enough or often enough.
"It's a decent result for the DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop team; we just needed to take some points out of here and get on to Toronto. It's just great that Marco won. It's really great for the team. Dr Pepper Snapple, with Venom on the side of the car, really needed a win and they deserve it. Marco deserves it; that whole 26 team really deserves it, so I'm really happy for them and happy for the team as a whole."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "It was definitely a hard hit. The Verizon car was damaged after the incident in the pits and we just had a problem with the steering and it came around me. It's a tough result for us tonight. We'll do our best to get it back next race."
ANA BEATRIZ (No. 24 Team Ipiranga/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing): "We were running a good race, and the car was pretty good. We got loose, I hit the bump and the rear snapped on me."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 27 Andretti Autosport): "It was obviously a disappointing end. I was just following Ana (Beatriz) into Turn 1 and 2, and she just got loose in the corner. I had nowhere to go and we kind of touched wheels. That set me off into the wall. It was a pretty hard hit; not much left of the right side of the car. It's unfortunate. It was a funny day anyway. At the start we had no gears and we drove right to the back. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it goes sometimes."
JAMES JAKES (No. 18 Acorn Stairlifts): "We have difficult conditions out there. It is cold and so difficult to pass. Everyone is trying to get low because that is where the grip seems to be. It is unfortunate because I think I had a quick car here. It is only the third oval I have driven on and I know we are going to have these incidents so I just need to move on to Toronto."
Winners average speed: 118.671
Time of Race: 01:53:00.1074
Margin of victory: 0.7932 seconds
Lead changes: 9
Sato 1 - 7, Franchitti 8 - 156, Andretti 157 - 160, Franchitti 161 - 183, Hildebrand 184 - 187,Andretti 188 - 202, Kanaan 203 - 207, Andretti 208 - 211, Kanaan 212 - 231, Andretti 232 - 250
Point Standings: Franchitti 303, Power 283, Dixon 233, Servia 214, Kanaan 211, Briscoe 193, Rahal 191, Andretti 184, Hildebrand 169, Tagliani 161, Patrick 161.
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