Marco Andretti leads Chevy assault on Iowa Indy Car event

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Chevrolet dominated this afternoon’s final IZOD Indy Car Series practice at Iowa Speedway, meaning that six of the first eight spots on tomorrow night’s starting grid will be filled by the Bowtie Brigade.

Chevrolet dominated this afternoon’s final IZOD Indy Car Series practice at Iowa Speedway, meaning that six of the first eight spots on tomorrow night’s starting grid will be filled by the Bowtie Brigade.

In a new twist, Indy Car is running heat races tonight that will set the grid for Saturday’s Iowa Corn Indy 250, with the starting positions set through the results of three heat races that will be run Friday night.

The first four rows on the grid will be lined up according to the results of the final heat of the night – entry to which is gained by finishing in the top eight in Friday afternoon’s final practice.

Still smarting from their performance at Indianapolis, Chevrolet has regrouped and came to Iowa loaded for bear. They showed their strength on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway oval this afternoon as Chevy-powered drivers took six of the top eight positions on the time charts – meaning that seven of the top eight starters tomorrow will be wearing the Chevrolet bowtie.

Chevrolet had the engine of choice in Friday’s final practice at Iowa
Chevrolet had the engine of choice in Friday’s final practice at Iowa

Photo by: GM Racing

As he did in the morning outing, Marco Andretti showed the way in the final practice session to take the pole for tonight’s final heat, getting around the Iowa oval at 186.041mph. He will be joined on the front row for tonight’s final heat by Dario Franchitti, who was nowhere to be found in the top 10 until the Scot pulled a sparkling final lap to vault into the second spot.

As expected, all of the spots in the final heat went to either Andretti, Penske or Ganassi drivers, although KV Racing’s Rubens Barrichello was just .0041 seconds away from transferring to the final heat. The former Formula 1 star was in and around the bubble for much of the 45-minute session, but got moved back to ninth with Franchitti’s last-lap bombshell.

Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe took the third through fifth spots respectively while James Hinchcliffe and Milwaukee winner Ryan Hunter-Reay were sixth and seventh. Scott Dixon snared the final spot ahead of Barrichello, who will join Graham Rahal as polesitters for the other two heats to be run this evening.

The practice was clean throughout the 45 minutes with no stoppages or caution periods. Bryan Herta Autosport’s Alex Tagliani and Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson flirted with a transfer spot for much of the session before finishing 11th and 13th respectively. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Takuma Sato was dead last in the field until his last lap allowed him to move up a spot to 24th. Sato won the pole at Iowa a year ago with KV Racing.

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About this article
Series INDYCAR
Article type Practice report
Tags andretti, chevrolet, featured, franchitti, indy car, iowa, mauk