INDYCAR field set for Saturday’s Iowa 300
NEWTON, Iowa (July 19, 2019) – Chandler Smith backed up his performance in practice by taking his fourth pole position start of the season for the ARCA Menards Series Fans With Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway. Smith turned a fast lap of 130.262 mph to edge his Venturini Motorsports teammate Michael Self. In addition to being Smith’s fourth pole of the season, it was 13th pole in 14 races for Venturini Motorsports so far.
"To say it’s hot is an understatement," Smith said of the ambient and track conditions at Iowa Speedway following qualifying. "It’s hot in the car and we’re are just slipping and sliding out there on the track. The sun will go down and the track conditions will be totally different for the race, though."
Smith’s words proved prophetic but Smith was able to lead the first 106 laps of the race. Driving the No. 20 Craftsman Tools car, Smith had only one mishap with a slow pit stop during the second caution for debris and lost the race off pit road to Ty Gibbs. After dropping to sixth it did not take to long for Smith to regain control of the top position as he passed Gibbs with 35 laps to go.
"I think the experience really paid off there at the end of the race when we had to start from sixth, but I think we got to first in like 5 laps or something like that," said Smith post-race. "That definitely paid off when I raced here in the [NASCAR Gander Outdoors] trucks considering I had to come from the back twice and I raced well."
This was the second time this season Smith has raced at Iowa Speedway. He led the first 55 laps of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series M&Ms 200 presented by Casey’s General Store earlier in the season in his debut driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
The trip to Casey’s General Store Victory Lane for Smith marked the 13th different ARCA winners in as many races in Iowa Speedway’s 14-year history. Iowa Speedway is one of 11 tracks one mile in length or shorter on the ARCA Menards Series schedule, making it Round 7 of the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge. Smith leads the standings over 16-year-old Ty Gibbs.
The championship-within-a-championship offers drivers that cannot compete on the superspeedways due to age restrictions a chance at racing for a championship. Smith finished second in the 2018 ARCA Menards Series Fans With Benefits 150 race at Iowa Speedway, crossing the finish line just about a quarter of second behind winner and eventual series champion Sheldon Creed.
"It definitely took a really good handling race car … this is our 5th consecutive win on a short track for this organization in general, so really proud of these guys. And it is our first Venturini win here at Iowa and I am glad my name was written on it."
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is Pocono Raceway on Friday, July 26 (3:00 p.m. CT on FS1).
Friday Iowa Speedway Notebook
- Pagenaud leads a Team Penske 1-2-3 sweep in qualifying for the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300
- Kids Q&A at Crash Course presented by U.S. Cellular
- Sweet Corn Feed Presented by Chevrolet
- Classic Racing Times
- Fans Reminded to Be Careful in Extreme Heat
Simon Pagenaud leads a Team Penske 1-2-3 sweep in qualifying for the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300
Team Penske picked up where it left off last year by winning the pole for tomorrow’s NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300. Simon Pagenaud will lead the field to the green flag alongside teammate and 2018 polesitter Will Power.
Pagenaud, who won in Toronto last weekend starting from the front row, posted an average speed of 180.073 mph to capture his third pole of 2019 and his 13th overall. It was also Team Penske’s fifth straight qualifying win at The Fastest Short Track on the Planet.
"(The qualifying session) was very intense, with the temperature being so high. The tarmac (track temperature) was 135 degrees Fahrenheit," said Pagenaud. "In these conditions, the car slides around quite a bit. It’s all about having the right balance on the race car."
Will Power qualified second, followed by series leader Josef Newgarden and Takuma Sato. Defending Iowa 300 champion James Hinchcliffe was fifth and Alexander Rossi, just four points behind Newgarden, will round out the third row.
"I love this place. It’s a real tough little bullring oval and man, I’ve been trying to win this for so long," said Power. "I think it will be a very difficult race, tires degrade a lot, but it will make for great racing."
Three active drivers have competed in every NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway – Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. No driver has won at Iowa after winning the pole position.
The NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 is scheduled to start at 6:20 p.m. CT. Fans should plan to arrive at Iowa Speedway early to avoid congestion.
On Saturday, July 20 at 2:10 p.m. CT, Iowa Speedway will host another installment of the popular Kids Q&A session. The exclusive "Q&A" sessions allow our younger fans to pose their own questions to star drivers. Recognizing that kids are often interested in hearing answers to less conventional questions than those typically posed to drivers by media. Rookie sensation Colton Herta and team owner George Steinbrenner IV will be in for an amusing press conference as they field questions on a wide assortment of topics at Crash Course presented by U.S. Cellular located on the Concourse outside Turn 1.
Parents are also invited to attend. Like working press, no autographs of drivers or racing personalities will be allowed.
SWEET CORN FEED PRESENTED BY CHEVROLET
For the sixth consecutive year, fans can enjoy a free ear of sweet corn prior to the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300, courtesy of Chevrolet. A.J. Foyt Racing drivers Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist will hand out sweet corn to fans.
Fans are invited to enjoy this summer treat in the Chevrolet Display on Saturday, July 20 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT.
CLASSIC RACING TIMES
When Iowa Speedway hosts the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 tomorrow evening, the cars of the premier open-wheel racing series in North America will be joined by a representative sampling of their ancestors. The addition of Classic Racing Times to the Iowa 300 weekend will feature two on-track sessions ahead of some of the best INDYCAR racing of the season (1:45 and 4:00 p.m. CT).
FANS REMINDED TO BE CAREFUL IN EXTREME HEAT
With this being the first heat wave of the summer, people are urged to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke due to overexertion and overexposure.
- Fans are encouraged to bring sealed bottles of water or empty water containers to the speedway. Water refilling stations are located on the exterior of Concourse bathrooms and misting fans are installed at both ends of the Concourse.
- Fans are permitted to bring one soft-sided cooler (14"x14"x14" or smaller) with them through the gates and are invited to visit the Arctic Glacier Cooling Zones located on both ends of the Concourse.
- Iowa Speedway’s MercyOne Concourse Medical Center will be open at the same time as spectator gates and available for fans needing medical attention. The Concourse Medical Center is located near Turn 1 next to the bathrooms and concession stands.
TRACK SCHEDULE: NTT INDYCAR SERIES IOWA 300 – SATURDAY, JULY 20
11:00 a.m. Infield Fan Walk Opens
11:00 a.m. Public Paddock Access Open (purchase of paddock pass is needed for access)
1:45 p.m. Classic Racing Times Demo Laps
2:00 p.m. Spectator Gates Open
2:10 p.m. Kids Q&A (Kid’s Crash Course) featuring Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske
2:35 p.m. NTT IndyCar Series Driver / Crew Chief Meeting (Mediacom Media Center)
4:00 p.m. Classic Racing Times Demo Laps
6:00 p.m. NTT IndyCar Series Driver Introductions
6:35 p.m. NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 (300 laps, 262.5 miles)
About Iowa Speedway
Iowa Speedway, The Fastest Short Track on the Planet, is a state-of-the-art 7/8-mile asphalt paved tri-oval racetrack and motorsports facility located in Newton, Iowa. Our 2019 schedule includes three exciting race weekends: June 15-16 (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series M&M’S 200 presented by Casey’s General Store and NASCAR Xfinity Series CircuitCity.com 250 presented by Tamron), July 19-20 (ARCA Menards Series Fans With Benefits 150 and NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300) and July 26-27 (NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Store 150 and NASCAR Xfinity Series U.S. Cellular 250). For tickets, call 1.866.787.8946. To learn more, visit www.IowaSpeedway.com, "like" us on Facebook or follow us onTwitter and Instagram.