IRL: Iowa: Vision Racng preview

NEW SPEEDWAY HAS VISION RACING HEADED TO IOWA INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 20, 2007) -- In 1989, the Academy Award-nominated baseball movie 'Field of Dreams' brought much attention to the state of Iowa. In the movie, famed actor Kevin...


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 20, 2007) -- In 1989, the Academy Award-nominated baseball movie 'Field of Dreams' brought much attention to the state of Iowa. In the movie, famed actor Kevin Costner plays a farmer who becomes convinced by a mysterious voice that he should plow under his corn field to construct a baseball diamond.

Some 18 years later, the "Tall Corn State" is again the focus of attention, but this time the corn fields have made way to a brand new 7/8-mile oval at Iowa Speedway which will host the IndyCar Series this weekend for the appropriately named Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Ethanol.

It will be the first time that the IndyCar Series has raced on the track and Vision Racing drivers Ed Carpenter, A.J. Foyt IV, and Tomas Scheckter are looking forward to getting back to action at the new facility after a weekend off.

The Iowa Corn Indy 250 will commence the start of a very busy summer for the team and the event also marks the second of three short-oval races this season. In the first one-mile oval at The Milwaukee Mile earlier this month, Carpenter led the way for his teammates by finishing in the seventh spot. Foyt finished 13th at Milwaukee, while Scheckter ran as high as seventh, but retired early due to a broken driveshaft.

The last short-oval event of the 2007 IndyCar Series season follows the Iowa event by just six days at Richmond International Raceway. In fact, half of the remaining 10 races for 2007 will occur over the next five weeks and include two short ovals, two road courses and an intermediate speedway.

"The schedule definitely is mixing it up," Carpenter noted. "Ever since the start of the season it's been all speedway stuff other than St. Pete, so now we're starting to get into more races that create a lot more opportunities to mix up the standings a little bit. I'm excited about it."

Following the short-track events at Iowa and Richmond is the road course of Watkins Glen International on July 8. Then the concrete 1.33-mile oval at Nashville Superspeedway and finally the road course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will host its first IndyCar Series race on July 22.

Carpenter, who drives the team's No. 20 Hitachi Power Tools machine said, "(The next five races are) real important. We've been in a run of bad luck. Between Indy and Texas, I keep getting caught up in crashes that have nothing to do with me. It's frustrating, but you have to hang in there.

"That's the good thing when you get into a streak of five races; things can change quickly. You get into a good rhythm and you can make up a lot of ground or at the same time you can lose ground. It's about time the tide turns."

Hopefully the tide turns for not just Carpenter, but the entire three-car effort for Vision Racing. The most recent race at Texas left the team reeling after all three cars were involved in incidents. Fortunately, Scheckter was able to fix the No. 2 Vision Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone after contact with Marco Andretti and resume racing, finishing 14th. However, the late race accident that involved Foyt and Carpenter ultimately snapped any chance of Vision Racing being able to continue a season-long streak of top-10 finishes.

As a result of the Texas trouble, Scheckter dropped to 10th in the IndyCar Series championship point standings while Carpenter slipped a point in the standings to 13th and Foyt fell two spots and is now 16th in points.

Needless to say, Vision Racing has a keen determination and sense of urgency to score better results in the inaugural race at Iowa this weekend. Carpenter added, "I'm looking forward to going to Iowa since it is new, but I'll be disappointed if the team doesn't leave there with better results than we had at Texas. We are a team that's capable of getting at least all three cars in the top-10 and higher, so it's time we started doing that and Iowa would be a great place to start."

The multi-groove track at Iowa will allow for some very close and fast racing. Scheckter is ready to give it a go-around. He said, "It's a 7/8-mile oval which is a little smaller track than we are used to, but it should be a good challenge for us and a lot of fun to drive on. It's a new facility with several grooves it will be cool to drive there and be able to bring our racing to the state of Iowa."

Scheckter's teammate in the No. 22 entry agreed. Foyt said, "Going to a new track will be cool. I've heard good things about the track and the crowd coming in for the race, so I would really like to get my second top-10 finish of the season at Iowa. It should be a good race with the track being so small and I'm looking forward to going there."

-credit: vr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , A.J. Foyt IV , Marco Andretti , Ed Carpenter