Race Report Iowa Corn 250

Race Report: Iowa Corn Indy 250

NEWTON, Iowa June 23, 2012—Despite starting the Iowa Corn Indy 250 over 40 minutes late due to rain showers, the race came to an early end for Mike Conway and the ABC Supply team.

From the start of the 250-lap race it was apparent that the No. 14 Dallara/Honda was not to Conway’s liking as he dropped from 15th to 25th within two laps. He continued to struggle with the car which he radioed in was “nervous in the rear.” Larry Foyt told him to hang on until the first pit stop when they could make some changes.

Conway pitted on lap 72 during a caution brought on by the Will Power’s contact with E.J. Viso.  By then Conway had lost three laps to the field. He did get one of those laps back as the cars a lap or more down were waved by the pace car which then picked up leader Helio Castroneves. During that pit stop, the crew changed tires and took out three turns of front wing.

Unfortunately, Conway was caught speeding in pit lane as he exited the pits and had to serve a drive-through penalty down pit lane once the race went green on lap 84. The wing change helped but not enough so he pitted again during a lap 98 caution period and the crew took out three more turns of front wing.

The second wing adjustment didn’t make that much of a difference as Conway was still getting passed despite being on new tires.  Foyt called him to the pits 25 laps later and then decided to call it a night. Conway was credited with 20th place.

Mike Conway Will Start 17th in Iowa Corn Indy 250

NEWTON, Iowa June 22, 2012—Mike Conway will start 17th in Saturday night’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway. Conway earned his starting position by finishing sixth in his qualifying heat race and benefiting from three drivers incurring 10-spot grid penalties because of unscheduled engine changes: Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, and E.J. Viso.

"We treated that heat race as a test session and we did get the ABC Supply car more comfortable,” Conway said. “We still need to work on some bits and get it more dialed in. It was not an easy day but it sounds like others had similar things."

The three 30-lap heat race format was an innovation for the IZOD IndyCar Series which used the results to determine the starting grid for the Iowa Corn Indy 250. The practice times from the second session divided the drivers into three groups with positions from 9 to 25 separated into two heat races. Even-numbered position drivers were in the first race and odd-numbered positions were in the second. The results from heat 1 determined the outside grid lane while the results from heat 3 determined the inside grid lane.

The top eight in practice 2 comprised the third heat race which Dario Franchitti won, earning him his second straight pole position.

The heat races will be broadcast as part of the pre-race show starting at 9 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.  The 250-lap race around the 7/8 mile banked oval will get the green flag shortly before 10 p.m. ET.

Notes & Quotes: Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway

Mike Conway on racing at Iowa Speedway: “We recently tested at Iowa so we know what to expect going back there apart from one big change. That is going to be the reduced down force that we didn’t try but know should be ok. In the past this track has been a lot of fun, it’s a small 7/8 mile oval which when you look at it does look very small but it’s amazing how much grip it has with our cars. You can pass here if you have a good car like anywhere so we will be working hard on that in practice to get it right for the race as we have more than one [race] this time round.”

Conway on the heat race qualifying format: “It’s going to be different for the qualifying races that’s for sure; in 30 laps the tires wont degrade that much, so it’s going to be a flat out sprint race!

Past performance at Iowa Speedway: Conway’s best start is 9th (2011) and his best finish is 8th (2009); the Foyt team’s best start is 13th (2010 with Vitor Meira) and their best finish is 5th (2007 with Darren Manning).

Conway plus A.J. and Larry Foyt will attend the ABC Supply Founders Day Celebration at the Company’s headquarters in Beloit, WI this Thursday evening. From there they will fly on to Des Moines.