Thanks for stopping back to the Iowa Speedway blog here on Indycar.com! Like the drivers who will be thanking their sponsors before and after racing in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer on June 25th, we too need to thank some people first before we get into this months topic – our readers. Without you we wouldn’t even be writing this story so thank you!
Watching this year’s Indy 500, which by the way was amazing, and seeing the final pass for the win an idea popped into my head – this month’s topic.
JR took the lead with three laps to go; I thought for sure the race would be over in the neighborhood of 120 seconds since drivers completed laps at just over 40 seconds when running at full speed. Could I have been more wrong?! Maybe. When JR took reins of this year’s 500 and until the winner, Dan Weldon, crossed the finish line there was an elapse time of 128 seconds. Eight seconds is a big deal in the world of motorsports!
A combination of Weldon being behind JR and not running at full speed to conserve fuel makes up that eight second difference. In my opinion, that final eight seconds is and probably will always be the longest of JR’s racing career, sadly.
Shall we compare the last 128 seconds of the Indy 500 to what might be the last 128 seconds here at Iowa Speedway so you can see how vastly different things can be from track to track? Lets!
In the time they turned those three laps at Indianapolis they would’ve completed over seven laps at Iowa Speedway. Circuits around this 7/8 or .875 mile oval are 17.5 seconds long at full speed in an IZOD IndyCar. That is a total of 28 turns here compared to only 12 they completed at Indianapolis, plus the lap traffic.
Look back to 2010 when TK took the lead with 10 laps to go, about 175 seconds left in the race, and you can really see there was a greater chance of something going wrong. He had 40 turns to get through while dealing with several lap down cars. The winner is never known until the car crosses the finish line, and never has that been more true following this year’s 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
Be sure to come out to Iowa Speedway on June 25th to see if we have that same excitement during the final seconds/laps of this year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!