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DATE News (chronologically)
06/23/13
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Sunday Morning Update from Iowa (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 Yesterday, there was a rumor going around the paddock that IndyCar would not be back at Iowa Speedway. The media got wind of the rumor when Graham Rahal mentioned it in passing after his qualifying attempt.

Anyway, Hulman and Company CEO Mark Miles has been seen making the rounds here today at Iowa Speedway. And according to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star , Miles has apparently told members of the local media that IndyCar will be back in Iowa. Now, no deal has yet been signed. Also, what remains to be determined according to Cavin, is the length of the contract and what the date the race will be in coming years. I imagine IndyCar is seeking a way to give its some relief from this six race 5 weekend stretch that began with the Indianapolis 500, while Iowa Speedway would like to maintain some date equity.

Whatever the case, all indications are that IndyCar will be returning to this very racy oval for years to come.

Brian C. reporting from Iowa

06/23/13
Real quick weather update from Iowa: The rain stopped about 45 minutes ago, and the jet dryers shortly thereafter hit the track. While it is still overcast, you can already see a dry line forming on the track. And as of now (11:55 a.m. CT), we are still on schedule for a 2:05 p.m. green flag.

Brian C. reporting from Iowa

06/23/13 One thing I forgot to mention was there was a bit of a disagreement between Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud stemming from their battle in Heat 2. Now, I was near Rahal's pit box when he got a car. In not so friendly tones, Rahal told father and team owner Bobby, Pagenaud was "driving with his mirrors."

Pagenaud, as you might expect, did not share Rahal's view. "That was a bold pass by Graham (Rahal)," Pagenaud said. "He didn't give me any room and I had to go up in the gray area on the track. I guess I'll have to give him the favor back sometime."  One last thing: Sage Karam is a stud on these short ovals. The young American won last evening's Firestone Indy Lights race, and last week's race at Milwaukee. The 18 year old Nazareth, Pennsylvania product won at Iowa in Star Mazda in 2011 and 2012, and in U.S. F 2000 in 2010. He won also at Milwaukee in Star Mazda in 2012.

Earlier this week on a conference call, Karam noted that he believed the short ovals to be a strength of his. Also, Karam said he is looking to move up to IndyCar as early as 2014. If that is the case, the kid seems more than ready for the short ovals.

Brian C. reporting from Iowa

06/23/13 Good morning from a wet Iowa Speedway. It's about 10:35 a.m local time, about three and a half hours from the scheduled drop of the green flag for today's Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Of course, the rain showers that began about an hour and a half ago continue. One forecast I saw indicates the rain could move out of here within the next half hour to 45 minutes, meaning track officials would have plenty of time for the track to dry.

If that is the case, everything should be go for a green flag start at 2:05 p.m. CT. Further, IndyCar should be ok with the ABC television window, which can be extended to 5 p.m. CT if need be. We will monitor this situation throughout the day, but just heard from track official Craig Armstrong that as of now, we are still on schedule for a 2:05 start.

Also, after we left the track last evening around 9 p.m., five engine changes were announced for today's race. Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Ana Beatriz and James Jakes will take the ten grid spot penalty that comes with the engine change.

Of note, I briefly spoke with Beatriz after the first heat race yesterday. The Brazilian was very racy, passing Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais, and Sebastian Saavedra all within about 10 laps. This despite, not being able to turn qualifying laps, or the luxury of even an installation lap.

Keep in mind, "Bia" won the 2009 Indy Lights race here. Also, she had a very good Indy 500, finishing 15th after starting 29th. Look for Bia to have a very good race today.

That being said, I think IndyCar fans may be treated to something today they've been waiting to happen for quite awhile: Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal battling at the front of the field, possibly for the win.

Andretti, of course, is always fast at Iowa with a win and four career podiums. Rahal stole the show yesterday, winning Heat 2 after starting 8th. Also, it should be noted Rahal bent his front wing during Heat 3 yesterday after contact with Ed Carpenter. Today, he rolls off sixth and clearly has a fast race car.

Otherwise, continue to check in with AR1 for updates throughout the day. Brian C. reporting from Iowa
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