Posts Tagged ‘ Iowa Speedway ’

With You Japan At Iowa Speedway

Posted on: June 25, 2011 | Comments (0) | Drivers | By: Admin

Takuma Sato is one of those drivers that somehow manages to fly just under the radar. Quiet, calm and patient he’s been out there racing his sophomore IndyCar season for KV Racing-Technology Lotus and gradually picking up speed, currently sitting 9th in the points standings.

At Indianapolis, arguably his biggest story came from his support of With You Japan, rather than his performance on track. Partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR to support t-shirt sales promoting Japanese tsunami relief efforts (see the shirt here).

Yesterday, everything changed as Takuma thrust himself into the spotlight by picking up his first PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season.

Takuma proudly holds the Japan flag

Takuma waves the Japanese Flag proudly

The best part of his Pole Award came behind the scenes though, so I am taking a moment to share with fans my very favorite photo from the entire weekend. Regardless of race results, the true emotion of this race weekend at Iowa comes from the foreign press.

How exciting to watch the Japanese media celebrate with Takuma as if he had just won the entire Iowa Indy Corn 250, not only P1. They ran, they high-fived, they snapped photos right and left and, by some sort of magic, happened to be captured in the picture below:

Takuma Sato celebrates with his entourage of photographers

A driver worth traveling to see

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the video highlights from Qualifications complete with an interview with Takuma has garnered hit after hit on the IndyCar YouTube page. 32,000 views and counting, enjoy:

Flickr, 5000 photographs later

Posted on: June 21, 2011 | Comments(2) | Flickr | By: Daniel

I write from time to time on this blog. And if you follow this blog or my posts, you’ll notice I often write about Flickr. I mean, a lot.

To date we have uploaded 5,264 photographs or graphics. We have created 100 sets. We administer 11 groups. Our most viewed image has over 5,800 views. Will Power’s jump at Barber Motorsports Park this year has been favorited 26 times. And out most commented image, is Guess the Driver, with 16 comments. Oh, and we have 448 Flickr contacts.

Jump!

Great photo of Will Power by Paul Webb, LAT Photo USA

I’ve been thrilled with our experience on Flickr so far (just a season and a half). We think you have too.

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The Final Laps

Posted on: June 7, 2011 | Comments(2) | Race Tracks | By: Iowa Speedway

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!

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Tony Kanaan leading at the Iowa Speedway in 2010

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.

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Kanaan and Castroneves after the 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 250

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!

Iowa Improvements

Posted on: May 11, 2011 | Comments(2) | Race Tracks | By: Iowa Speedway

For this month’s blog from Iowa Speedway we are switching it up a little.

We normally would talk about all the great racing you will see for the 2011 Iowa Corn 250 presented by Pioneer, which is under the lights this year, but instead we thought visuals would be short, sweet and to the point.

Lets start with parking as that is typically the first impression of the speed factory here in Newton, Iowa. The biggest improvement in the parking lots this year is the addition of more than a dozen 20 foot tall polls in and around the parking lots with numbers and letters to help identify where your at. Many of our fans have said it has been hard to find their car post race and we listened.

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Next is the fan walk which runs behind pit road and by victory lane. Casey’s General Store has come on to sponsor the fan walk and the things which are going to take place there are just too many to list. So that means you’ll have to come out to take in all the experiences!

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Do you have a motorhome or tailgating bus? Why not get your party moved inside the fence with one of our new RV spots. We have over 100 of these spots on the back stretch and located off turn four 20 more RV spots have been added for this 2011 season.

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Lets finish off this article with the Pizza Ranch Victory Lane and a picture of the construction going on there as this is where a driver wants to end up at the end of the race. In the past the winner has drove down the fan walk three foot away from fans on either side. Yes this was cool, but a huge safety hazard.  Starting this year the driver will now come in behind victory lane. Make sure to come down to the Casey’s Fan Walk following the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to enjoy victory lane. Maybe you will even get a slice of Pizza Ranch Pizza from the winner as winners have done that in the past!

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Thanks for reading (viewing our pictures). Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!

IZOD IndyCars. What do you think of when you see one? High speeds? Handling? Indianapolis? Ethanol? Iowa?

What about G-forces? If you go far enough down your list you might think of it.

We all have heard this line before: “All they do is turn left; it can’t be that hard.” IndyCar drivers who currently race at Iowa Speedway will argue it’s much harder than just turning left.

During the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the pole sitter Helio Castroneves had a four-lap average of 227.9710 mph. His teammate from Penske Racing, Will Power won the pole here in Iowa with a four-lap average of 181.337 or about 17.5 seconds.

Kelby Krauss, Senior Manager of PR at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, consented to help out with this month’s blog. He contacted engineers on the team who provided the information you’re about to read.

Forces at Indianapolis, a 2.5-mile oval, for when a driver completes a lap under a 40 seconds will peak right at about 4 G’s, and the time spent feeling over 1 G of force(1 G is the force you feel sitting at your desk chair) is 21 seconds or 50% of the lap.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Catch the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25

At Texas, a 1.5-mile high banked oval (24 degrees), the lap time is about 24.5 seconds; max G’s are 4.5 and drivers will feel more than 1 G for 18.5 seconds or 76% of the lap.

For drivers that compete in the Iowa Corn Indy 250, which takes place on a .875-mile oval with compound banking in the turns of 12-13-14, the forces are much different. Though drivers ‘only’ feel forces greater than 1 G for 75% of the lap, drivers will consistently hit G-forces over 5. A driver weighing 155 will feel like they’re 775 pounds at 5 G’s. Quick note: If you feel 5 G’s for more than a couple seconds you will start to lose consciousness.

Iowa Corn Indy 250

Catch the Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25

With long straight-aways at Texas and Indianapolis, IndyCar drivers can rest, check gauges, think of how they’ll setup a pass and breath in-between turns. Typically about seven seconds between turns. At Iowa, however, drivers only get a break from these forces for about two seconds — if you can call that a break.

Plus, being a short track, drivers are much busier turning the wheel, watching out for traffic, getting back to the gas, etc., as everything is more compact.

These numbers are pretty mind blowing. So — just because Indy cars are slower in Iowa than other ovals, do not think for one second that it is easier!

Catch the G’s and excitement during this year’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 on June 25th. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!

When race fans think of the Iowa Corn Indy 250, they think of Father’s Day weekend and a Sunday afternoon treat. But if you were to ask race goers in Iowa — and short track fans across the country — when a race should take place, a vast majority will tell you “At night, under the lights.”

We at Iowa Speedway agree.

At night, under the lights at Iowa Speedway

At night, under the lights at Iowa Speedway

So the only race on the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule featuring cars fueled by 100 percent corn ethanol has been shifted to the weekend following Father’s Day, June 24th and 25th.

Wait! I said the 24th and 25th. Not just the night where the fastest and most versatile drivers in the world ascend the stage for the June 25th Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Friday, June 24th will also produce high speeds, if not world records, when USAC’s best start their engines and power around the Rusty Wallace-designed 7/8-mile tri-oval. It’s the first time ever USAC’s best join the multi-talented stars of IndyCar on the same weekend at Iowa Speedway. Both sanctioning bodies have been making an annual stop at the super speedway (to USAC) or short track (to IndyCar), since the first full racing season in 2007. USAC also raced in the inaugural fall race weekend in 2006.

Iowa Speedway

Iowa Speedway - The 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 225

Needless to say, we’re excited about bringing together USAC, The Mazda Road to Indy and IZOD IndyCar Series drivers for one thrill-packed weekend – and think you will be, too.

Seeing dirt Midgets and Silver Crown cars take to the track Friday night, and Star Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights and IZOD IndyCar drivers battle it out all day Saturday will truly be something an action junkie won’t want to miss.

Casey's General Stores USAC Triple Crown race in Newton, IA.

Casey's General Stores USAC Triple Crown race at Iowa Speedway

Heads or Tails? Why not both? Come out to Iowa Speedway and enjoy the 48-hour open wheel racing extravaganza. It’s also the second and last night race of 2011 for the IZOD IndyCar Series, providing the perfect cap to a best of both worlds weekend!

If you can’t tell, we’re stoked. Thanks for reading. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming. We’re listening – and thanks again for the support!

Iowa Speedway – the IndyCar Series’ shortest circuit – emerged, literally, from a corn field.

Small wonder, then, the Iowa Corn Growers Association has been the title sponsor of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 – which will again bring the established stars and hungry upstarts of the IZOD IndyCar Series to Newton’s fast 7/8-mile tri-oval on June 25.

We’re proud of our agricultural roots, from the rich soil beneath the facility to the high-performance fuel powering the car engines.

Iowa Speedway

A fan demonstrates their pride for Iowa Speedway's agricultural roots

Extreme excitement – from the grandstands to the garage – has rippled through the first four renditions of the popular event and the spirited crowd has topped the 35,000 mark each time.

Drivers hail the 7/8-mile Rusty Wallace-designed track as racy, ultra-demanding, and a pleasure to navigate.

“I love the track and I love the fans at Iowa,” Tony Kanaan, who won the 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 250 after three hard-luck runs/DNFs at Newton. The place is always packed – beyond packed – with people everywhere.  It is a track that races both like a short track and a super-speedway, so it is a lot of fun to drive.”

Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves at Iowa Speedway

Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves jokingly celebrate at Iowa Speedway

And despite being carved out of prime farmland, there’s plenty of fun - racing and otherwise – to be found in Newton and within a half hour or so from here. The venerable “Sprint Car Capital of the World,” Knoxville Raceway, surrounds a hallowed half-mile ring of dirt a mere 30 miles from Iowa Speedway. Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, is about the same distance away and a straight shot on Interstate 80. We draw from central Iowa and beyond – with fans from 26 states enjoying the speedway.

And rest assured, if there’s a race, Iowans line up to attend.

They tailgate enthusiastically. They get involved – cheering, discussing, dissecting the day’s (or night’s) action. They’re knowledgeable, but not snobbish about it. They’ll say, ‘Hi,’ and ask how you’re doing with a genuine interest in your answer. You’ll feel right at home here, on IndyCar’s only short track of less than a mile in length – nestled in small town Iowa, but criss-crossed by well-traveled, coast-spanning interstate highways.

Yes, there’s that corn, both around the track and fueling the car’s engines. And that’s a good thing – for the economy, for the environment, and for performance.

We think when you come see us, you’ll heartily agree. We look forward to seeing you all at our facility, and are determined to help make the 2011 Iowa Corn Indy 250 the best one to date. So tell us your ideas below– Have you attended a race at Iowa Speedway? Tell your fellow fans what sets Iowa Speedway apart!

Flickr and most favorited

Posted on: October 31, 2010 | Comments(4) | Drivers, Flickr | By: Daniel

In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by you over this year. Flickr offers the option of “favoriting” an image – this will simply place the image into a permanent gallery. You can access it anytime. Kind of cool. You favorite our images a lot. Thank you for that.

In continuing the IndyCar Flickr Series, we’re looking at the images most “favorited” by YOU this year. Unlike the previous two measurements – Interestingness and Views – this category places the emphasis back on photography and the people behind the lens (sorry helmet and 2012 chassis designers).

And continuing this blog series tradition – what’s our 99th most favorited image?

Power Leads

Turn one at St. Pete - 2 favorites

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IndyCar & Baseball

Posted on: October 22, 2010 | Comments(7) | Random | By: Dave

The IZOD IndyCar Series’ 2011 schedule basically runs concurrently with the Major League Baseball regular season and League Championship Series playoff schedule. And because IndyCar visits many markets with major league and Triple-A teams, this is a public service for potential vacation planning.

IZOD Tool Boxes

IZOD on the Road- Tool Boxes

Dates on which there’s a baseball homestand or individual game near an IndyCar event venue:

March 27 – Streets of St. Petersburg (Fla.). The Tampa Bay Rays open the season at Tropicana Field with an April 1-3 homestand against Minnesota. Extend your spring break stay from the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

April 10 – Barber Motorsports Park (Ala.). The Atlanta Braves’ home opening stand is April 8-10 against Philadelphia.

April 17 – Streets of Long Beach (Calif.). St. Louis visits the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14-17.

May 29 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians have a homestand in which they play host to Columbus (May 13-16) and Buffalo (May 17-20). Opening Day at the Speedway is May 14, with Pole Day on May 21.

June 11 – Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas Rangers are home to Detroit on June 6-8 if you want to come early and watch a game or two before the racing doubleheader under the lights.

June 19 – The Milwaukee Mile. The Brewers kick off a homestand June 20 against Tampa Bay.

June 25 – Iowa Speedway. The Triple-A Iowa Cubs play host to Memphis (June 21-24) and Albuquerque (June 25-28). June 24 is Fireworks Night.

Aug. 28 – Infineon Raceway (Calif.). The San Francisco Giants play host to Houston (Aug. 25-28).

Sept. 4 – Streets of Baltimore. The Orioles’ homestand against Toronto ends Sept. 1. The Washington Nationals are home to the New York Mets on Sept. 2-4 and continue their homestands Sept. 5 against Los Angeles.

Going Green

Posted on: June 23, 2010 | Comments (1) | More than meets the eye | By: Shawn

Fan with Flag

Fan with Flag

(Fan with Flag) Photo Info: f 4.0 at 1/2000 with a 50 mm. lensbaby.

As I sat in the media center post-race, eating my complimentary corn nuts, it somehow seemed fitting that the guy with the green and gold helmet walked away with the victory… It was a “green” race, both literally and figuratively, green fields, green event T’s, green trophy, and of course the smell of ethanol. For Tony Kanaan, luck has been hard to come by as of late. As I stood in Tony’s pit box watching a tire bounce across the pit lane I thought for certain another victory had been lost, but a quick response by his crew kept him in the game. Then, with only a handful of laps to go, the golden handprints on the back of his helmet appeared to almost push him to victory on this Father’s Day.

Kanaan in the Pits

Pit Lane

(Pit Lane) Photo Info: f 2.8 at 1/8000 with a 50 mm. fisheye.

Helmet close up

Kanaan

(Tony’s Eye) Photo info: f/14 at 1/160 with a 70-200 mm. zoom.

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