Ryan Hunter-Reay, Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet, No. 28
Ryan Hunter-Reay comes to the Iowa Speedway as the winner of the Milwaukee IndyFest, leading 84 laps for his second win at the Milwaukee Mile and his sixth career IndyCar victory. The driver of the No. 28 DHL / Sun Drop machine is now in fourth place in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, 10 points behind his Andretti Autosport teammate Hinchcliffe after eight of 16 races in the 2012 season.
"Marco (Andretti) won there last year, so combined with my win (at Milwaukee), Andretti Autosport really goes in with a lot of momentum. Even though Iowa is a 7/8-mile track, it races a lot more like a mile-and-a- half super speedway than it does a short track. It's high-banked, so it's a reset from Milwaukee, which is flat. You really have to have a super speedway mentality to race there.
"I'm interested to see what we have with the new car and new downforce - we don't know what to expect there (at Iowa). With the qualifying heats, it's going to be mixed-up but we'll make the most of it. It's tough because you'll really have to take it easy and not hurt your race car in a heat race. Marco tested there and said it would be tough to pass, but it's always been that way in the past, and then we start the race and it becomes a 'passfest!'"
Did You Know: After Hunter-Reay's win at Milwaukee, Andretti Autosport has now won the last three short oval (one mile or less) races for the IZOD IndyCar Series. Andretti is the defending winner at Iowa, and Hunter-Reay won the race last year at Loudon, New Hampshire.
James Hinchcliffe, Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, No. 27
Hinchcliffe, will make his second IndyCar career start at Iowa Speedway this weekend, he finished ninth at the 7/8-mile oval in 2011.
"This team has given us good cars at every type of racetrack this year, so having Milwaukee successfully under our belt - the other short oval - we are all excited to get to Iowa. Marco had a good test there last week, and of course won there last year, so that gives us a bit of a boost coming into the weekend. We're just going to try and keep doing what we've been doing with the Go Daddy car - stay consistent and run toward the front. Hopefully we can strengthen our lead in the oval race and narrow the gap with Will (Power) in the overall points."
On the heat race qualifying format for this weekend's race.
"Certainly, there's a bit of an unknown going into this race and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. I think it's cool we're trying something different and we'll see if this format is the right way to do it. We won't know until we get out there and give it a run. It puts a lot of emphasis on practice, especially practice (session) two, which could be unfortunate. You could be quick in practice one and then have a bad second session and be out of luck, which isn't entirely fair. It does change our focus a bit; in practice we are trying to set up for our race cars and be sure we have the best car over a distance. Now for session two we have to focus on making it quick for at least one lap to get into a good group for the heat races. I think everyone is anxious and excited to see how it plays out."
Did You Know: Hinchcliffe is currently leading the IZOD IndyCar Series battle for the A.J. Foyt Oval Championship and is sitting second in the overall Series points standings.
Marco Andretti, Team RC Cola Chevrolet, No. 26
Marco Andretti is the defending race winner at the Iowa Corn Indy 250 race at Iowa Speedway. Starting 17th in 2011, Marco charged to the front to take a thrilling victory after a late-race duel with former teammate Tony Kanaan. Andretti will have the Iowa Corn logo on his No. 26 RC Cola car this weekend, and has starred in a series of radio and TV commercials for Iowa Corn and E85 ethanol fuel.
"We are coming (to Iowa) ready to win. We did it last year, and we were really strong in the test (last week at the Iowa Speedway). I need a win now more than ever because we've been fast almost every week, but we just keep having something go wrong. I've been in Iowa a lot lately, doing commercials and traveling across the state promoting E85 ethanol and Iowa Corn, so I'd really love to be able to make it two-in-a-row here Saturday night. It would really mean a lot to me."
Did You Know: After seeing freshly shaven teammate Hunter-Reay win a race after suffering mechanical woes while wearing a beard, Marco hinted about doing the same thing. "Think I'm going to have to shave my beard for luck," Andretti tweeted Monday afternoon.