Team Penske, the Verizon IndyCar Series most successful outfit head to the Iowa Speedway for this weekend’s Iowa Corn 300 aiming to end their ten year victory drought here.
Josef Newgarden has moved on from Ed Carpenter Racing joining Team Penske and made an immediate impact.
In the first half of the 2017 season, Newgarden has scored one victory and secured five top five finishes. The Tennessee native is the defending race winner in Iowa and heads there in fifth place in the series points standings.
Speaking ahead of the race, Newgarden said:
I’m really pumped for the race at Iowa. For starters, I won last year, which was huge for me and my career. Secondly, we’re racing again in the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevy in which I won earlier this season in at Barber. And on top of that, we’re coming off a solid finish at Road America. We’ve been working on our oval program since Texas and have a lot of things we want to try out that we think will give us a really strong car. The whole team is really excited to head to that race and see what we can do.”
Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud in the No.1 Menards Chevrolet goes into this weekend’s race, 34 points behind leader Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, the Frenchman stated:
“I’m excited about Iowa. It’s one of my favorite short ovals. I’ve had some good success there. We’ll be wearing the Menards colors again which is awesome to have to have onboard in the Midwest where they have such a great presence. It’s a track where we should have a little advantage with our Chevy package and expect to strong there. We got the Verizon P1 Pole there last year and finished fourth. So, we’re definitely excited to go back and maybe finish a little higher this time.”
Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet goes into the race weekend in Iowa aiming to secure his first win of the season and is currently in third place in the championship on 342 points.
Speaking ahead of the weekend the Brazilian commented by saying:
Road America was a really great race for us, and the whole team is ready to head to Iowa. The No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet team and I learned a few things at the other oval events that we think can apply to this track that we thing will bring us a really strong car. It’s one of those tracks that I’d like to get a win at and the competition is always good. Iowa fans are always a fun crowd so I’m ready to go back and see them.”
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet heads into this weekend’s race in sixth place in the seriea standings with two wins so far in 2017 and three Verizon P1 Awards and speaking ahead of this weekend’s race the Australian commented by saying:
“I think Iowa is going to be a really fun race this year. Last year, Josef (Newgarden) had us all covered, so I definitely want to turn that around. With him now being on the team, and seeing how he performed there, I think it could but fun to battle again. The No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team’s oval program is in a great place. We had an awesome car at Texas and we’ll have another one at Iowa, as well. The crowd is always excited there and the track is fun, so I’m happy to be going back there this weekend.
Team Penske are the only one of the three big team’s Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing and themselves who have yet to win at the Iowa Speedway.