Qualifying washed out at Iowa, Justin starts 20th One of the frustrations of oval racing is that cars cannot take to the track in anything other than dry weather. With the second of Friday's two-hour practice sessions at Iowa having been ...
Qualifying washed out at Iowa, Justin starts 20th
One of the frustrations of oval racing is that cars cannot take to the track in anything other than dry weather. With the second of Friday's two-hour practice sessions at Iowa having been abandoned due to rain, it was always going to be a close call as to whether Saturday's conditions would be much better.
In the two practice runs on Saturday, Justin completed a total of 129 laps at an average of 181.788mph in the 02 Newman/Haas/Lanigan car. That left him 22nd in the combined results. All eyes then turned to qualifying and the unsettled weather. Just two cars had managed to complete their four timed laps after qualifying started when proceedings came to an early halt because light rain had begun. Although race officials said that they would be prepared to wait a couple of hours, the track never became dry enough and the exercise was declared a wash-out.
This means that Sunday's grid for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer is determined by drivers' positions in the Championship. The front row will be made up of Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) and Helio Castroneves (Team Penske).
Justin, who will start from the back of the tenth row, said "I'm disappointed that rain washed out qualifying. It's an even bigger shame for the local area because they certainly don't need more rain. Hopefully we will get a good dry run tomorrow in the race." Team-mate Graham Rahal will start from 16th position.
With car set-up being such an important factor, there are some good signs and also some work to be done. Justin said "I'm really, really happy with the balance of the McDonald's car in race trim. I think that's just what we need for a good race car. I'm a little disappointed in the actual speed. We're struggling for speed and the engineers are going to analyse things to see if we can work out why. The car was consistent and I was flat-out all the way around and I could choose my lines so I can't ask for much more than that. I don't really know what to expect in the race. Last year was a bit of a procession so qualifying order means a lot. The way it is mixed up now, maybe we will get some movement. With this many cars on track it's going to get messy one way or the other. We just have to try and stay out of trouble and see where we are at the end of it all."