Saturday morning update from Iowa (2nd Update)

UPDATE Josef Newgarden finished the first practice session in third place. He talked about the tendons in his right hand still causing him the most discomfort. He is trying to use his left hand more to compensate for the healing right hand. The shoulder is not causing any pain.

"It feels much better than it did at Road America", the American stated. "Doctors told me would take six weeks to heal the broken bones. I was nervous when I first went out on the track and I told myself it will be tough. Then I remembered these cars are hard to drive anyway. "

JR Hildebrand is onsite just in case Newgarden changes his mind. But it looks like the substitute American Driver might be watching this race from the pits. Lucille Dust reporting from Iowa for AutoRacing1.com

07/09/16 In the morning practice, Marco Andretti managed to keep his Snapple car off the wall after a spin coming out of turn 4 and escaped with no damage to the car. His teammate and defending winner of this race, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was not so lucky. . He spun in almost the exact spot and backed into the wall. They are repairing the back wing right now. We are halfway through the 75 minute session and Josef Newgarden is currently running second. Tony Kanaan is the fastest of the field at the moment.

The IndyCars are sharing the track this weekend with the Indy Lights and the ARCA racing series.

Matt Snider hasn’t been racing in the ARCA Racing Series long, but certainly long enough to experience the highs and lows of big-time stock car racing. It started with a big win in the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway. Then the Charlotte, North Carolina, rookie followed up with a solid superspeedway debut at Pocono Raceway where he led 33 laps. However, the celebratory mood ended the very next week at Michigan International Speedway when Snider crashed the primary car in qualifying, and then wrecked the back-up car during the race.

It certainly hasn’t been all bad for Snider in his first three ARCA races. His victory at Toledo came in his ARCA debut, leading the final 34 laps. Then after leading the most laps at Pocono, he was in contention for the win before a late-race pit stop took him out of the mix. He still finished ninth.

Snider, the son of longtime NASCAR TV analyst Marty Snider, will bring his highs and lows to Iowa Speedway ARCA Racing Series ABC Supply Co. 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores. Snider, like all the tracks on the ARCA tour, will see Iowa Speedway for the first time this weekend.

Snider drives the No. 22 Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford for Cunningham Motorsports. NASCAR champion crew chief Paul Andrews manages the team and calls the shots from the pit box. In addition to Toledo, Pocono and Michigan, Snider’s 2016 ARCA schedule has six more races on it with events at Iowa, Pocono, Lucas Oil (Indianapolis), Chicagoland, Kentucky and Kansas. Lucille Dust reporting from Iowa for Autoracing1.com

Can Hunter-Reay do it again?
Can Hunter-Reay do it again?

07/09/16 Good morning from the Iowa Corn 300 in Newton, Iowa. The track is nestled amongst the abundant cornfields here in Newton, IA. It is only 60 degrees now but the temperatures are expected to be in the mid 80s this weekend, a welcome number after the scorching temps at Road America 2 weeks ago.

This track is literally owned by Andretti Autosport. In the last nine races held here, seven have been won by drivers employed by Michael Andretti's team, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, a three time winner here. The other two races were won by Chip Ganassi Racing. Even though Team Penske drivers qualified 1-2-3 here last year, Ryan Hunter-Reay took the checkered flag in the late night race.

Will we see a Team Penske driver win here tomorrow? The top three drivers in the points this season are Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves and Will Power. Power, coming off a strong win at Road America, had the pole here last year. But no driver has ever won this race starting from the pole position. This year the race will start at 4:45 pm instead of the 8 pm start time in past years.

The schedule for today is practice at 10 am for 75 minutes, qualifying at 2 pm and then another practice session at 6:15 pm for the IndyCars. Does not give the teams much time to get the car setup for qualifying and test some race setups.

I will update you as the day goes on….

Lucille Dust reporting from Iowa Speedway

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