Kanaan leads first practice at Iowa

Tony Kanaan put Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevrolet at the top of the times in opening practice for this weekend’s Iowa Corn 300, as defending Iowa Speedway winner Ryan Hunter-Reay spun into the wall.

Kanaan leads first practice at Iowa

Hunter-Reay, who has won this race for three of the last four years, struck the wall exiting Turn 4 and damaged the rear end of his Andretti Autosport-Honda. However, swift repairs by Andretti’s #28 crew saw the Hunter-Reay regain the track before the end of the 75-minute session.

This was not the only incident involving one of Michael Andretti’s cars, as his son Marco looped into a spin, also off Turn 4, but kept it off the concrete with a dramatic backward slide down the back straight, gunning the throttle to keep the driven wheels turning in the right direction.

In the mean time, Kanaan’s fifth lap – a 17.2917sec tour of the 0.894-mile track – equated to 186.902mph and was enough to keep him top through to the checkered flag.

Behind him, Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Helio Castroneves was second fastest, just ahead of Iowa runner-up for the last two years, Josef Newgarden in the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

Scott Dixon, who has never won here, made a late surge to fourth in the second Ganassi entry, ahead of championship leader Simon Pagenaud of Penske.

Charlie Kimball survived a wild moment through Turn 4 to make it three Ganassi cars in the top six, while Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing-Chevy), Ed Carpenter (ECR-Chevy), recovering Hunter-Reay and Juan Pablo Montoya (Penske) completed the top 10.

One notable struggler was James Hinchcliffe in the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda. The Canadian dominated this race three years ago as part of Andretti Autosport’s string of success here, which has seen it claim the last six wins, and seven of the nine IndyCar races held here.

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