Good Morning from Iowa

The two-time Indy 500 pole winner, three-time IndyCar race winner, team owner, and father of four, has now added newspaper columnist to his very busy schedule. Rumor has it however, Ed Carpenter does in fact occasionally find time to sleep.

It's about 10 a.m. local time here north of Des Moines on a sunny, somewhat hazy Iowa morning. After a bit of a long day yesterday and with the Verizon IndyCar Series not running until tonight, I took the rare opportunity to sleep in on a race weekend, and just returned from breakfast. Allow me to briefly repeat, something I have noticed ever since arriving in Iowa late Thursday morning: people here are as nice and friendly as anywhere I've been.

On my way to breakfast I picked up a copy of this morning's Des Moines Register. There are two very good articles on page C3 of the sports section about the event. One, compares the Camping World Truck Series event with the IndyCar race speaking with NCWTS driver Jason Peters and Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. As the article states, Peters and Hunter-Reay grew up together racing each other in go-karts.

The second article was written by none other than owner/driver Ed Carpenter. It was not a long article (probably a few hundred words) but it was the kind of article that builds interest in the event. Carpenter was presented as the pole of the past two Indianapolis 500s and winner of the recent Texas race. In the article, Carpenter spoke about the unique challenges the 7/8-mile Iowa track presents, and what the challenges were for the teams yesterday with the weather and competing on the same track after the Camping World Truck Series cars would lay down a different compound of rubber.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hopes to win again in Iowa. The big question going into this evening is will the weather cooperate.

In short, both articles were the kind that build interest in the event, and potentially sells tickets. The Hunter-Reay/Peters article highlights two drivers who competed against each other before making it to the big time, and the contrasting style of racing fans can see between the Trucks and IndyCars.Whereas, the Trucks beat and bang, the Indy cars are described as going Mach 5.

With Carpenter, fans are given a brief, inside look at the race weekend, and the challenges an Indy 500 pole winner faces.

In short, these are the kind of articles the series needs to do with the local papers everywhere they race.

Unfortunately, what may spoil this evening's race is something no one can control: the weather.

The tireless staff at AR1's Central Iowa Weather Bureau has informed me as there is a strong chance of rain starting sometime early this afternoon, and possibly worsening around, get this: 7-9 p.m. Of course, the green flag is scheduled for around 8 p.m. local time.

There is even the possibility of some hail.

Iowa is a favorite of Graham Rahal.

That said, I imagine IndyCar will do everything in its power to race this evening, even if it’s very late this evening. I will follow this throughout the day, and pass along any info I receive. But as of right now, I'm sad to report things do not look good.

Real quick, before I sign off, I forgot to mention something yesterday that I found very interesting. When meeting with the media, Graham Rahal said Iowa Speedway provided the most intense sensation of speed of any track the series visits. I don't know necessarily why that is, but I did find that interesting.

Stay tuned to AR1 for updates throughout the day.

Brian C. reporting from Iowa

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