By AJ Foyt Racing
Vitor Meira on overcoming a tough weekend in Milwaukee: “As soon as I jump in the car in Iowa and the car is good and I get my confidence back, this will all be behind us. It’s not the first time it’s happened with any team and it’s not going to be the last time it happens with any team. What counts is have we learned from our mistakes? And I’m sure we will do that. After this last weekend, we have a lot to look forward to because Iowa was one of the best races for us last year. Not much has changed from last year to this year with regard to aero package, tires and the track itself, so we have high hopes for this weekend. I know the car is going to be good there and I’m really looking forward to having a strong finish.”
Meira on the keys to success at Iowa Speedway: “You need to have a good car near the end of the stint. To have a car where you are flat out on the inside for 10 laps is not a big deal, the problems start to appear at the end of the run on old tires. That is when you need a balanced car to pick up a lot of spots and that’s how you gain in Iowa… I think the most important turns are 1 and 2 so if you have your car working well in 1 and 2, you’ll be good in 3 and 4 and you’ll do well. It is a two groove track—at least in 3 and 4—I’m not so sure about 1 and 2. I always preferred the outside in 3 and 4 but that depends quite a lot on car set-up.”
Meira on challenges posed by the 7/8-mile speedway: “Physically it is very demanding. I think it’s because of the banking, the downforce and the way the car has to be set up – it all adds to steering weight. The g-forces there are pretty high because of the banking, and it’s the only short oval with banking that we run now. It makes it interesting because you do see people falling out of the seat.”
Past performance at Iowa Speedway: Last year, Meira started 13th and finished seventh for his best finish at the oval. In 2009, Meira’s substitute driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was collected when rookie Robert Doornbos spun in turn 4 on lap three. In 2008, Meira started 12th and finished 15th – he had problems getting into his pitbox due to mechanical issues with his steering. Gridded by points, Darren Manning started 19th and dropped out after 94 laps due to the steering being too heavy. In 2007, Meira started 13th and was credited with ninth but he crashed out on lap 217 when his suspension failed. Manning started 15th and finished fifth.