INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – June 19, 2012 – Coming off their best race of the season where they qualified and finished all three cars in the top-10 on the Milwaukee Mile, KV Racing Technology drivers Tony Kanaan, E.J. Viso and Rubens Barrichello will be looking to continue their strong performances on ovals this weekend at the Iowa Corn 250, June 22-23, on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
Kanaan, in the No. 11 GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS– KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone machine, is coming off a season-high second place showing last weekend in Milwaukee. The 37-year-old Brazilian will be contesting his sixth race at Iowa where he has qualified in the top-10 in four of his five previous races with a best starting position of third last year. He has finished on the podium twice at Iowa including a win in 2010 (the 15th and most recent of his 15-year career) and a second last year. Kanaan has had his best performances on ovals this season. In addition to the second place showing in Milwaukee, he finished third in the Indianapolis 500 and was running in third at Texas when he was hit by Will Power damaging his front wing and dropped to 11th. Kanaan has finished seven of the eight races this year falling out only in the season opener at St. Petersburg due to a non-team related component failure. He has earned four top-six finishes, a sixth in Detroit and a fourth in Long Beach to go with the third at Indy and the second at Milwaukee. Kanaan is eighth in the championship race with 200 points, just 74 points behind championship leader Will Power and second in the A. J. Foyt Oval Championship with 101 points just seven points behind James Hinchcliffe.
"I am looking forward to going back to Iowa, the track suits me and I have always done well there,” Kanaan said. “I am not sure about the heat races for qualifying but I need to take advantage of my previous experiences and hope that we can be in contention for another podium finish."
Viso, driving the No. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone car, also scored his season-best finish at Milwaukee placing fifth. The fifth place finish was the third top-five performance of Viso’s IndyCar career, his second best showing on an oval (finished a career-high third at Iowa in 2010) and the third best finish in his 74 career IndyCar starts (placed fourth at St. Petersburg in 2008). The talented 27-year-old Venezuelan, who has qualified well this season, will be making his fifth appearance at Iowa Speedway. He has a best starting position of 13th in 2008 with his best finish being the podium performance in 2010. Viso has finished seven of the eight races this year. His only DNF (did not finish) came at Texas where he was running in the top-six and having a very strong race when he suffered a non-team related component failure. Viso, who has finished in the top-10 three times in the first eight races of the 2012 season (eighth at St. Petersburg and 10th at Brazil) is 14th in the standings with 148 points, just 25 points out of 10th place.
“Going to another oval is nice,” Viso said. “I had a pretty strong run at Milwaukee, finishing fifth and I am looking forward to going back to Iowa where I have had a podium finish in 2010. We tested there a couple of weeks ago and we believe we learned a lot which we can use for the race. I am sure this weekend will be a continuation of the strong performances we have had this year.”
Barrichello, in the No. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV Racing Technology Chevrolet/Firestone entry who contested just his second career oval race (he did not start in Texas because of a non-team related component failure) last weekend at Milwaukee, has also enjoyed success on ovals this year. He qualified a team-high fifth (started third as a result of penalties) at Milwaukee and was in contention for a top-five, if not podium finish for much of the race before placing 10th. In his only other oval start, his inaugural Indy 500, the 40-year-old Brazilian and Formula One veteran finished 11th earning the Chase Rookie of the Year honors. Barrichello, who picked up his first top-10 finish on an oval at Milwaukee, has earned four top-10 finishes this season (eighth at Barber, ninth at Long Beach and 10th at Brazil). He has finished six of the eight races this year with both his DNFs coming as a result of non-team related component failures (Detroit and Texas). Barrichello is now 16th in the championship standings with 138 points, just 35 points out of 10th.
“After having a competitive weekend at Milwaukee, I hope that the team and I keep up the good form,” Barrichello said. “In previous years there has been good racing at Iowa and I hope this year will be no different.”