The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is in Newton, Iowa, for the Hy-Vee doubleheader with 250-lap races this weekend. The 28 drivers entering the event are all chasing championship leader Alex Palou who has a 117-point lead in the championship over his Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Scott Dixon in the No.9 PNC Bank Honda.
The Iceman has 53 NTT INDYCAR SERIES career wins but has yet to score a victory here; he hopes to add to his victory tally with two chances to claim victory with two races this weekend. Qualifying for the weekend will happen on Saturday, with each driver having two timed runs. The opening lap time will set the grid for race one on Saturday, while the second lap will set the grid for Sunday’s race. Dixon will make his 316th and 317th race starts in INDYCAR.
Tony Kanaan holds the record for the number of consecutive INDYCAR SERIES starts with 318 starts. Palou has been highly competitive and consistent this season. If anyone can catch him, it’s his teammate, Scott Dixon, who is highly compatible and has access to Palou’s data.
It will be fascinating to see how Arrow McLaren gets on this weekend, as the team has yet to win a race this season, given Palau’s dominance Josef Newgarden has been highly dominant here in recent years and has four wins. It will be fascinating to see what Josef Newgarden, Will Power, and Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske can do this weekend to catch up to Palou.
Away from the championship contenders, it will be fascinating to see how the rookie drivers get on this weekend, given that Iowa is a short track. The circuit has two lanes which allow for plenty of overtaking. Still, with the number of cars in the field this year with 28 thanks to the addition of Ed Carpenter, who celebrates his 200th INDYCAR SERIES start on Sunday, it could be a tricky weekend with drivers competing in dirty air.
Honda Performance Development have been highly dominant this season; however, their last win here came in 2018 with James Hinchcliffe for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. It will be interesting to see how Conor Daly gets on this weekend with Meyer Shank Racing as he returns to Meyer Shank Racing. It will also be interesting to see how his replacement at Ed Carpenter Racing, Ryan Hunter Reay, has won here.
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