No weepers seen this week in Iowa Iowa Speedway vice president Craig Armstrong said Friday that, despite heavy rain and sultry conditions, he has seen no evidence of “weepers” — areas on the track where moisture oozes out through small cracks in the pavement.
Last season, weepers — an odd, weather-related phenomenon — posed a problem, wiping out qualifying at the Iowa Corn 250.
“It’s groundwater that’s underneath the asphalt and the asphalt heats up quicker than the outside air,” Armstrong said. “So it’s absorbing more sun rays, and if you look at the track temperature, it’s always going to be much higher than the ambient air temperature...
"You’re going to have more heat and it creates hot water underneath the surface. Of course, hot water expands, and finds a way to relieve the pressure.”
NO FAN FEST The fan fest scheduled for Friday night was canceled because of severe weather in the area and safety concerns.
FULL HOUSE Armstrong expects a crowd in excess of 30,000 for Sunday’s race. Three previous IndyCar Series events at Newton have drawn between 35,000 and 40,000.
TOUGH CALL Tony Kanaan groused about the call that negated a possible winning goal in the United States’ World Cup match against Slovenia. Kanaan’s a proud Brazilian, but lives in Miami. The U.S. and Slovenia tied 2-2.
“I just think we got ripped,” Kanaan said. “I say ‘we’ because living here I became an American, as well. So it’s either Brazil or the United States. I think it was a great game and the referee — just crazy. We scored a goal and he didn’t give it to us.”
SATO PSYCHED KV Racing Technology’s Takuma Sato will make his fourth career start on an oval track Sunday at Iowa Speedway.
But it’s the first spin around a short track — a circuit of one-mile length or less — for the former Formula One driver.
“It will be very different from the last two races,” said Sato, who finished as high as eighth in the championship standings during a six-year F1 career. “In oval racing, there are so many ways it’s different. There’s high side, low side. Also, when you follow someone on traffic, the car’s dramatically changing.”
Roger Yasukawa, a currently seat-less driver who has two career top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500 — is Sato’s spotter. The duo mixes English and Japanese to create a unique bond.
“He’s been fantastic,” Sato said. “Unfortunately, the way he has to follow a race is as a spotter right now, so hopefully he can get a good opportunity.”
2007 MEMORIES Trivia question: Who led the second-most laps of the inaugural Iowa Corn 250? Answer: Vitor Meira, who ended up ninth after leading 71 circuits.
He’s back with a new team: A.J. Foyt Racing.
“I’ve had some very good cars but I’ve never been able to capitalize,” said Meira, who last raced at Iowa in 2008 with National Guard Panther Racing, taking 15th. “There’s always been some kind of bump in the road. ... So I hope, at least this time with A.J., we can have better results.” Des Moines Register
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