Iowa: Friday rain day notes

RAIN POSTPONES FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS PRACTICE AT IOWA NEWTON, IOWA (Friday, June 19, 2009) - Persistent rain forced the postponement of Firestone Indy Lights practice at Iowa Speedway. Steady rain began falling about 3 p.m. CT. The 45-minute...

RAIN POSTPONES FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS PRACTICE AT IOWA

NEWTON, IOWA (Friday, June 19, 2009) - Persistent rain forced the postponement of Firestone Indy Lights practice at Iowa Speedway. Steady rain began falling about 3 p.m. CT.

The 45-minute practice session has been moved to 8:15 a.m. CT Saturday, kicking off a full day of activity at Iowa Speedway. Firestone Indy Lights will have two practice sessions, qualifying and the Miller Lite 100 under the lights, while the IndyCar Series will have two practice sessions and PEAK Performance Pole Qualifying.

This is the third season that the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights have competed at the .875-mile, variably banked track. Dan Wheldon is the defending IndyCar Series race winner.

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Marco Andretti, Hideki Mutoh and Ryan Hunter-Reay met with the media at Iowa Speedway. Andretti has two podium finishes at the track - second in 2007 and third in 2008 - while Mutoh, his Andretti Green Racing teammate, finished second as a rookie last year. Hunter-Reay finished eighth last year.

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): (About the season so far and racing at Iowa): "Definitely not as good as I would like so far. At the start of the season, I didn't think I'd be sitting eighth at this point, but I'm still very optimistic definitely about the next few races if not the whole rest of the season. I always enjoy coming to Iowa. The fans are unbelievable here. That's what really makes an event in the first place. The track is pretty unique, as well. We've run good here in the past, so we're looking to do the same again this year." (About Hideki): "I think he's the same as me. He can't wait to get going here again. We all know it's like starting over again each year for sure, but hopefully we have a decent race car as we have here in the past. It was really good for him. Hopefully, he can finish one spot higher and I can finish two spots higher. We'll have to argue that one out in the last few laps."

HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 27 Formula Dream): (About how to improve from second to first this year): "I hope to have a better car. Last year, I had a really good car and I had really good strategy. I didn't stop for a last pit stop because I was saving fuel during the middle of the stint. This year, I'm just really focused to win."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co. AJ Foyt Racing): "We run this place like a mile-and-a-half (speedway) even though it's so small. It ends up being a good show. Last year before the race, we were all concerned that we weren't going to get much side-by-side racing, but it ended up being a really good show." (About joining A.J. Foyt Racing): "I guess you could call it a loan. I'm still a Vision Racing driver. The situation at Vision with the No. 21 car was always meant to be with sponsorship coming in and business-to-business - a financial situation that would make sense. We still do have those items on the horizon, but in the timeframe that we're working with, it really wasn't feasible, so it made sense for both parties involved. This is a great way to finish out the season. I'll just concentrate on punching above my weight there. Hopefully the whole team can move up through the year as Vitor (Meira) recovers. That's what I'm doing, I'm filling in for Vitor."

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SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE (all times local):
8:15 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights practice
9:30-11 a.m. IndyCar Series practice
11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Firestone Indy Lights practice (two groups)

1-2:30 p.m. IndyCar Series practice (two groups)
3-4 p.m. Firestone Indy Lights qualifying
4:15-5:45 p.m. PEAK Performance Pole Qualifying

7:20 p.m. Miller Lite 100 pre-race
8 p.m. Miller Lite 100 (115 laps/100 miles)

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The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues June 21 with the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 1 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Iowa 100 on June 20 at Iowa Speedway. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. on June 22 by VERSUS.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Marco Andretti , Hideki Mutoh , A.J. Foyt