Franchitti Wins Heat Race, Pole for Iowa Corn Indy 250Press Release
NEWTON, Iowa (Friday, June 22, 2012) - Dario Franchitti, who leaped into the top eight on the time chart in the final seconds of practice to qualify for the heat race, passed Marco Andretti on Lap 8 of 30 and went on the claim the pole for the 250-lap race under the lights June 23.
It was the second consecutive week that Franchitti has started on pole, and was the 28th of his Indy car career (passing Al Unser for seventh on the all-time list).
Results of the second practice session determined the fields for the 30-lap qualifying races. The top eight comprised Race 3, while Race 1 consisted of even-numbered positions in practice to determine the even-numbered spots in the starting lineup starting from 10th down. Race 3 followed the same format for odd-numbered cars.
Franchitti led Helio Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Penske Truck Rental car, to the start-finish line of the .894-mile track by 1.4671 seconds. It will be the second front-row start of the season and the fourth at Iowa Speedway for Castroneves, who won the opener at St. Petersburg.
Andretti, who topped the time chart in the two practice sessions, and Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe will be on Row 2.
Team Penske teammates Ryan Briscoe and Will Power, the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader, will start on Row 3. Ryan Hunter-Reay, the winner last week at Milwaukee, will be on Row 4 with Scott Dixon.
Tony Kanaan and Graham Rahal were the other heat race winners to qualifying ninth and 10th, respectively, but they’ll incur 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes. Alex Tagliani and Josef Newgarden will take their spots on Row 5.
Also on June 22, Tristan Vautier’s first qualifying lap of 160.066 mph on the .894-mile Iowa Speedway oval paved the way to a two-lap average of 159.973 mph (40.2368 seconds) and the pole position for the Firestone Indy Lights Sukup 100 on June 23.
Vautier, driving the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Sam Schmidt Motorsports with Curb Agajanian car, earned his third pole of the season — and second in a row. He went on to win the race last weekend at the Milwaukee Mile.
Esteban Guerrieri will start on the front row for the third time this season, posting a qualifying speed of 159.597 mph (40.3316 seconds). He started from the pole in the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights race at Iowa Speedway.
Victor Carbone, the final qualifier, jumped to third in the No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/SSM with Curb Agajanian car to provide the sixth 1-2-3 starting lineup for the team in Firestone Indy Lights. Sebastian Saavedra will join Carbone on Row 2 in the No. 27 Team AFS car.
DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:
The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in Iowa Corn Indy 250, a 250-lap race at 9 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Firestone Indy Lights will compete in the Sukup 100, a 115-lap race at 6:40 p.m., Saturday. The Star Mazda Championship, part of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder, will compete in the Iowa Speedway Foundation 100 at 5:20 p.m., on Saturday.
This is the sixth IZOD IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway. Marco Andretti won the race last year. Past winners Andretti, Tony Kanaan (2010) and Dario Franchitti (2007 and 2009) are entered in the event.
The following cars will have 10-grid spot penalties for unapproved engine changes following the event at Milwaukee: #5 Viso, #11 Kanaan
The field for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 will be set through three heat races today.
Qualification groups will be determined by lap times recorded by entries on the .875-mile oval in the second (45-minute) practice session (2:30 p.m).
Race 1 will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with the 10th-quickest practice time, and determine the even-numbered positions in the starting field from 10th down.
Race 2 will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with the ninth-quickest practice time, and determine the odd-numbered positions in the starting field from ninth down. Race 3 will consist of drivers ranked one through eight from the practice.Results of Race 3 will determine the first four rows, with the winner taking the pole position.
ABC’s telecast of the Milwaukee IndyFest showed an increase in national ratings and viewership over the same race in 2011.
Based on data numbers provided by Neilsen Media Research and ESPN, the race on June 16 won by Ryan Hunter-Reay delivered a 1.0 household rating and 1,409,000 viewers – an increase of 14 percent over 2011′s race, which was also televised by ABC.
The rating is a 20 percent increase among households (1.0 vs. 0.8) from last year’s race.
Bunkers straddle the fairway on the 321-yard (women’s tee), par-4 18th hole at the TPC River Highlands, placing a premium on accuracy. No problem for Simona de Silvestro, who drives it as straight as her Nuclear Clean Energy car for Lotus HVM Racing.
“Good power on her drives just like her drives,” said playing partner, PGA Tour pro Y.E. Yang, during the pro-am of the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., on June 20.
De Silvestro was particularly pleased as she closed with a birdie for the round.
“I made a really long putt, but I think it was because Y.E. gave me a new putter,” she said of Yang, who has two tour victories. “I can drive the ball, but chipping is pretty terrible. He helped me out and helped me read the putts. He was a really cool person to play with.
“I had an unbelievable time, the first time I ever did a pro-am. It was just a lot of fun, especially with the people from (sponsors) Entergy and Westinghouse. It was cool that they invited me.
“It was fun to play with things like grandstands and having a caddie. Even the driving range was so nice and the course was really beautiful.”
De Silvestro took up the sport when she was 12 or 13 in her native Switzerland, which doesn’t quickly come to mind as a European golf destination (it has about 60 courses).
“That’s when they just opened a course about 5 minutes from our house,” she said. “That’s where I first started, me and my dad. I started watching golf on TV last year and started to get into it. I got new clubs and started playing more often. I’m still not great, but it’s a fun game and it kind of gets your mind off all the craziness we go through (during the IZOD IndyCar Series season).”
More than 80 Boy Scouts and Webelos from the Mid-Iowa Council visited Iowa Speedway on Friday as part of a post-school year field trip to the track ..
The trip was used emphasize how science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) are woven into the IZOD IndyCar Series and the students’ everyday life. STEM is part of a Boy Scouts of America initiative to use the IZOD IndyCar Series as a platform to expose members to and cultivate their interest in potential career paths that require critical thinking and innovation.
“It’s what the future is for these students,” said Scout Master Tim Linahon of Newton his troop listened to INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips explain why carbon fiber instead of sheet metal sheaths the new Dallara chassis. “Some kids have a natural instinct to be curious, but the more you expose them to all the technology in the (IZOD IndyCar Series) the more interest there will be. I think this is wicked cool.”
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which started the STEM program in January 2011, is a promotional partner with INDYCAR. Such track visits, driver meet-and-greets and Pinewood Derby events associated with select IZOD IndyCar Series race weekends complement members cheering on the Boy Scouts of America car driven by James Jakes for Dale Coyne Racing on the racetrack.
Additionally, what’s developed at the racetrack, such as the new 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engine that runs on E85 supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus for the IZOD IndyCar Series cars, soon will be in the scouts’ driveways.
Article Tags: 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Series, 2012 IICS, 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, Dario Franchitti, Firestone, Firestone Indy Lights, Firestone Indy Lights Series, IICS, IndyCar, Iowa Corn Indy 250, Iowa Speedway, Iowa Speedway Foundation 100, IZOD, IZOD IndyCar Series, Mazda, Newton (IA), Star Mazda Championship Series, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR), TCGR, USF2000