Arie Luyendyk Jr Blog: Jeld-Wed 100 The Iowa Speedway hosted this weekends Indy Lights and IndyCar races. The track is 7/8 of a mile and very fast. Last year the event was criticized because it was so hard to pass but this year was a different...
Arie Luyendyk Jr Blog: Jeld-Wed 100
The Iowa Speedway hosted this weekends Indy Lights and IndyCar races. The track is 7/8 of a mile and very fast. Last year the event was criticized because it was so hard to pass but this year was a different story as both races were action packed and cars were able to run different lines, which led to a lot of passing.
My successful weekend started last week in Nashville when we tested there and found some really positive things we could use toward our oval set-up. We rolled the Targus/AFS/Andretti Green car off the truck and immediately were fast. In the first practice I came 2nd even with a full tank of gas. In the second practice I was quickest and in qualifying I clinched my first pole position of the year.
The 115 lap race was hard fought, on the start I jumped into the lead and started pushing as hard as I could. Dillon Battistini was 2nd and was clearly my only competition as we built a gap between third place Jeff Simmons. The hardest part about leading was that the race seemed to go on forever! The car was great, I was able to run fast, consistent lap times and on long runs I was able to gap Battistini by just over a second. At lap 95 I really thought this was my race, then traffic started to get heavier and I could see some of my main rivals in the series ahead of me. I closed in on James Davidson who was in a battle for position and tried to pass him going into turn one. That's when it happened, he closed the door and I lost the momentum and Battistini drove by on the outside. The next lap I made a charge to get back by but unfortunately a yellow flag came out and by the time it went green it was one to go and I didn't get the jump on him on the re-start. So I had to settle for second and I really felt bad for my crew who worked so hard that weekend to give me the best car in the field. The positive side is I really think that performance can be repeated at our next oval event in Nashville and I'm looking forward to getting some redemption there!! But until then I will have to tackle Watkins Glen where we will have two 100-mile races in one day! That will be a test of patience and strength, not to mention we have a total of 5 races in three weekends starting at Watkins Glen.
-credit: arie luyendyk jr