Iowa: Rahal Letterman Racing preview

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING LOOKING TO BUILD ON TEXAS MOMENTUM THIS WEEKEND AT IOWA HILLIARD, Ohio - Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay ( ...

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING LOOKING TO BUILD ON TEXAS MOMENTUM THIS WEEKEND AT IOWA

HILLIARD, Ohio - Rahal Letterman Racing and Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) showed the world that they could compete with the multi-car juggernauts of the IndyCar Series during the series' last stop two weeks ago in Texas, threatening to score the team's first win in more than three years before Hunter-Reay's car was caught up in a late-race accident.

Now the team heads to Iowa Speedway for this weekend's Iowa Corn Indy 250 looking not only to build on the momentum of a strong Texas race, but to breakthrough with a strong finish in front of what is considered a 'home' race for the Ethanol-sponsored car.

Corn growers and Ethanol producers will be in attendance in large numbers for this weekend's event, many of them there to see the blue-and-green #17 machine continue its surge to the front. Hunter-Reay has been one of the leading spokesmen in all of motorsports for the Ethanol movement since joining RLR last year and he knows the importance of performing well in front of those to whom Ethanol means the most.

"I have been looking forward to this race all year as I know that there will be a lot of people at Iowa rooting for the Ethanol car," Hunter-Reay said. "It would mean the world to me and to our team if we could seal the deal and get a win at Iowa."

The Rahal Letterman Racing team has reason to be optimistic heading into the weekend, which is the second-ever trip to the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway for the Indy Cars. RLR had one of its strongest runs of the 2007 season at Iowa, qualifying fourth and sixth with its two cars and finishing a season-best third with Scott Sharp at the wheel. Hunter-Reay has never raced at Iowa, but he and the team will hope to learn some things from Friday's four-hour test session at the Newton track.

Of course, the Rahal Letterman Racing organization and Ryan Hunter-Reay are very cognizant of the tragedies affecting Iowans as recent wide-scale flooding in the Hawkeye State separated thousands of citizens from their homes and impacted hundreds of businesses. As the flood waters recede and the cleanup begins, the race will go on as scheduled in a measure designed to bring some sense of normality back to the lives of those affected.

"The floods are obviously devastating and the pictures that the world has seen from places like Cedar Rapids were almost too much to believe," Hunter-Reay said. "I look forward to getting into town early and visiting some of the areas, and we will join many of our competitors in trying to help in any way possible, whether it being in raising awareness of donation opportunities or pitching in where needed."

-credit: rlr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Scott Sharp , Ryan Hunter-Reay