Saturday morning IndyCar update from Iowa (Update)

UPDATE The Scott Dixon penalty was clarified and given to the media this morning right before the practice session. Dixon drove out to pit lane from the paddock and entered the race track after the checkered flag was out in the warm up session Sunday morning at Road America. An angry Dixon had choice words when he had to park his car for 20 minutes during today's practice, part of the penalty IndyCar handed down to the team.

We asked Mike Hull for his thoughts on the penalty, as he was leaving pit lane. "IndyCar does what they want to do and we live by the rules that they make. We are working on Iowa today."

Hull was referring to the severity of the penalty which included a rumored $25,000 penalty to the team along with the 20 minutes exclusion from practice.

The penalty did hurt Dixon's practice position this morning, as he dropped from 3rd to 16th in the last 20 minutes of practice.

Here is the ruling from IndyCar:

INDYCAR has imposed penalties against Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 9 entry for violations of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Rule Book during the KOHLER Grand Prix race weekend June 23-25 at Road America.

The No. 9 entry driven by Scott Dixon was cited for three violations:

  • The No. 9 car entered the track 56 seconds after the checkered flag had waved concluding the race morning warmup practice on June 25, a violation of Rule 7.2.9.1;
  • At the same time, the No. 9 car entered the pit lane from the paddock area under its own power instead of being pushed or towed to pit lane, a violation of Rule 7.9.1;
  • The No. 9 car failed to obey the direction of INDYCAR, a violation of Rule 9.3.1.7.

INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the Verizon IndyCar Series, has imposed a monetary fine against the team and ordered that the No. 9 entry serve a time penalty of 20 minutes at the conclusion of the first practice session today at Iowa Speedway.

We are awaiting JR Hildebrand's condition after his morning practice crash.

Lucille Dust reporting from Iowa

07/08/17 Good morning from the heart of the Midwest, Newton, Iowa. The obvious when driving through Iowa are the acres of corn fields everywhere. And the corn is much higher here than in Northwest Indiana. The weather should be perfect for this two day weekend. Expecting a high today of 85 with no rain in the forecast.

Andretti Autosport is the team you think of when talking about Iowa Speedway. This team has won seven of the 10 previous races at Iowa Speedway, including six of the last seven. Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the number 28 DHL sponsored entry, h as won here three times in his nine starts here.

Hunter-Reay had this to say about the track, "I’ve always loved racing at Iowa Speedway and I think our results show it. The No. 28 team has three wins at Iowa and we’re focused on getting number four for the DHL guys. Ever since the latest downforce rules package has been mandated, we have been struggling to keep up. Hopefully we can find some speed on race weekend to be at the front fighting for another win."

The Andretti Autosport team was one of the IndyCar teams that tested here last week. Hopefully after the test, they have found a way to put their Honda powered cars in victory circle.

Dale Coyne Racing driver Esteban Gutierrez will be making his official oval debut this weekend at the Iowa Corn 300 while teammate Ed Jones will be taking part in his first Verizon IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway. The pair of rookies were able to take part in a successful test day last week with their Dale Coyne Racing team at the 0.894-mile track

Gutierrez, driving the number 18 entry for DCR, had this to say about his rookie test at Iowa, "It’s great to approach the race weekend having done some testing at the track. Obviously, it’s a completely new racing style for me. An oval seems very basic from the outside but it’s actually quite complex. I really enjoyed it at the test and I’m very excited to do my first oval race at Iowa.

"It will definitely take some time for me to adapt, especially racing with other cars around. That will be an interesting experience. I’m looking forward to it. It was really fun to drive on the oval, I think it’s very nice how you can really feel every change, every movement in the car because you are on the limit for so long that you are able to feel everything from the car. It’s given me a lot more knowledge about the Indy car.

The first practice session of this weekend is at 10 am this morning, with qualifying to follow at 2 pm, local time. Then a second practice at 6:15 pm.

More to follow as the days unfolds.

Lucille Dust reporting live from Iowa Speedway

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