IPS: Iowa: Sean Guthrie preview

BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- Guthrie Racing's Indy Pro Series team and driver Sean Guthrie are headed to the cornfields of the Midwest and the "Iowa 100," to be held Saturday, June 23, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. This is the eighth race on the ...

BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- Guthrie Racing's Indy Pro Series team and driver Sean Guthrie are headed to the cornfields of the Midwest and the "Iowa 100," to be held Saturday, June 23, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. This is the eighth race on the Indy Pro Series' 2007 schedule, kicking off a summer swing that will take them to many other Midwest venues in Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Indy Pro Series adds to the oval racing heritage of the state of Iowa in 2007 as it conducts its first race at Iowa Speedway, the state's newest oval facility. Iowa Speedway is the first driver-designed racing facility. Former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace served as a co-designer of the track, which features variable banking to promote more side-by-side racing.

"I've heard that Iowa Speedway is like Chicagoland (Speedway) with the banking, like Phoenix (Int'l Raceway) with the speed, and we're going to be using our short-track setup like Milwaukee (The Milwaukee Mile), so I'm not sure what to expect," Guthrie stated. "It's a combination of so many tracks it's really its own deal -- it's unique. I'm really excited about it, though. Everyone will be in the same boat so we will have the same opportunity to do well as any other team."

Guthrie has a great appreciation for the racing heritage that the state is known for. The Hawkeye state boasts 56 race tracks, which puts Iowa fourth nationally in number of motorsports facilities.

"I've actually raced two national events in Iowa in go karts -- in Newton and Des Moines in the late '90s," Guthrie said. "This weekend's IRL events are the first ever in that state, although I know it's really big for Sprint cars and stuff. I really think it will continue to grow, especially with Rusty Wallace behind the effort. There's a real loyal fanbase, and a lot of people who really enjoy racing -- big Saturday night crowds. It's a place a driver likes to race because it kind of takes the politics out of it -- the best man wins. Even Michael Schumacher had to start in the lower rungs of racing and go from there, so it's a great place to watch new talent run as well as the professional series' that the fans will get to see this weekend."

Guthrie has just come off of a career-best fourth-place finish in Milwaukee a few weeks ago on the tight Milwaukee Mile oval, and a couple of solid mid-pack finishes on Indy's road course last weekend.

"We're just trying to calm down as a team and settle into a rhythm," explained Guthrie. "The start of the season really through us off with all of the crashes and bad luck. At Indy this past weekend we were actually one of the teams that finished both races -- solidly in the middle of the pack, which isn't anything to write home about, but it's not that bad. We have to make sure that day in and day out we have the car prepared and continue to work well as a team. This year a few little mistakes we've made seemed to have cost us much more than they should have."

* The Guthrie Racing Team has permanently moved its team shop headquarters from their hometown of Albuquerque, NM, to Brownsburg, Ind., near Indianapolis.

JIM GUTHRIE QUOTE ON TEAM MOVE TO INDIANAPOLIS:

"It just made too much sense for us. Everything is in Indianapolis that we need to operate our team. When everything is going right, working from New Mexico is fine, but if we have a problem, we need to be closer to the people and companies that can help us fix it. Albuquerque will always be our home, but to base an Indy Pro Series operation out of a place that is so remote to anywhere we race makes it very difficult logistically and financially to justify. We have leased a shop in Brownsburg, and we're looking forward to making our homebase in Indy. This will be better for everyone involved."

-credit: www.SeanGuthrie.com

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Michael Schumacher , Sean Guthrie