Iowa Awaits Alan Kulwicki Memorial Race 2 Recovery 225 next Championship Battle Myrtle Beach, S.C.--Benny Gordon won Round 1 of the Championship Series at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway by cycling into the lead on pit strategy and holding...
Alan Kulwicki Memorial Race 2 Recovery 225 next Championship Battle
Myrtle Beach, S.C.--Benny Gordon won Round 1 of the Championship Series at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway by cycling into the lead on pit strategy and holding off Mark McFarland down the stretch. The move worked because MMP is track-position bullring.
But that strategy likely won't work at Iowa Speedway in the Saturday, Sept. 20 running of the Race 2 Recovery 225 presented by NAPA Auto Parts and Diamond Vogel.
In the first two Hooters Pro Cup events at the spectacular, .875-mile facility, there have been 40 lead changes among 25 drivers. With its progressive banking and extended transitions, the track offers plenty of passing opportunities.
"The track's so wide and smooth, you can run just about anywhere," said Jay Fogleman, driver of the No. 4s Speedco/The Works Ford. "If you've got a fast car, you can get to the front without much problem."
And Fogleman should know.
Last year, Fogleman started fourth, hovered around the top three all night and grabbed the lead from Matt Carter with two laps remaining in the Soy Biodiesel 225. What happened on the final lap varies, depending on who you talk to. But in the end, Carter crossed the line first, while Fogleman came home third.
Another run like that and Fogleman, who is coming off a season-best, third-place effort at Mansfield and sits third in the points, could find himself in the thick of the point chase with two races remaining.
"We did everything right at Mansfield, and this is when you need to do it, in the Championship Series," said Fogleman. "I can't wait to get to Iowa. We ran well when we were at Iowa last year, and we're in better shape [in the points] that we were last year. Points are so important in the Championship Series and every position counts. It feels good to get out of the first race of the championship and not feel like we have to play catch up."
Benny Gordon finds himself in a familiar position coming into Iowa: leading the points.
Gordon, the Northern Division champion, led a race-high 154 laps en route to victory at Mansfield, giving him a 30-point lead over Mark McFarland, the Southern Division champion, coming into the Race 2 Recovery 225.
"[The win at Mansfield] was very important, because you might not see Victory Lane the rest of the Championship Series with the amount of competition we have," said Gordon, driver of the No. 66n Samuel Metals Ford. "I could have problems and [that win] might be the boost we need to keep us in the title hunt."
Gordon has had plenty of problems at Iowa. In two starts, Gordon has yet to post a top-10 finish. But those problems probably seem like distant memories this time around; considering Gordon has won 50% of the races he's entered this season and led a series-high 776 laps.
But picking a winner in the Race 2 Recovery 225 will be a bit of a crap shoot. There will be no less than 20 drivers that should contend for the win. Bobby Gill, driver of the No. 06s USG Sheetrock Ford, has led a series-high 88 laps at Iowa Speedway; Caleb Holman, driver of the No. 75s Food Country Chevrolet, led a race-high 52 laps last year before finishing fifth; and Woody Howard, driver of the No. 55s Dean Motorsports Chevrolet, has one win and two top-10 finishes.
The Race 2 Recovery 225 is slated for a green flag at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. Fans are encouraged to come out Friday for the second annual Fan Fest on Friday. Fans will be allowed to take hauler tours, watch technical inspection, tour the garage area, have a Q&A session with Pro Cup teams and watch a pit-stop demonstration.
On Saturday, front gates will open at 1 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying will start at 3:30 p.m. and be followed by a SCCA Pro Racing Series event at 5:45 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m.
For ticket information, contact Iowa Speedway at 866-787-8946 or email@example.com.
WHAT: Alan Kulwicki Memorial Race 2 Recovery 225 Presented by NAPA Auto Part and Diamond Vogel
WHERE: Iowa Speedway
.875-mile, progressively-banked oval
WHEN: Sat., Sept. 20 at 7 PM
DISTANCE: 225 laps/197 miles
POSTED AWARDS: $150,000
STARTING FIELD: 36-car starting field
TELEVISION: VERSUS NETWORK--Monday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. (ET)
Regional Networks: Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Altitude Sports, Comcast SportsNet New England, SportsTime Ohio, Comcast SportsNet West, Cox Sports, Lonestar Sports, Mediacom, America One, DirectTV & Dish Network (Check Local Listings for Regional Airings)
Friday, Sept. 19 (OPTIONAL):
10:30 a.m. USAR First Practice Opens
1:30 p.m. USAR First Practice Ends
2:00 p.m. USAR Second Practice Opens
5:00 p.m. USAR Second Practice Ends
Saturday, Sept. 20:
10:30 a.m. USAR Practice Begins
12:30 p.m. USAR Practice Ends
1:00 p.m. Front Gates Open
3:15 p.m. USAR Scuff Session
3:30 p.m. Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying
4:45 p.m. Wraps INK Autograph Session (Under Main Grandstand)
5:45 p.m. SCCA Pro Racing Series Event (Road Course)
6:30 p.m. Alan Kulwicki Memorial Race 2 Recovery 225 Pre-race Ceremonies
7:00 p.m. Start of Alan Kulwicki Memorial Race 2 Recovery 225
HPCS Track Qualifying Record at Iowa Speedway:
Driver: Mike Garvey
Time: 23.609 SEC/133.424 MPH