Corn and IndyCar racing! That’s what you can find in Iowa this weekend as the series prepares for their second short-oval race of the season.
It seems like just about any driver could find themselves victorious, but I have a few who I think may break out amongst the rest. Here are my picks for the Iowa Corn 300:
The once thought to be road course ace has been a master on the ovals this year, pulling off incredible passes that really show the American’s true grit.
In two starts at the 0.875-mile oval, Rossi has finished each and placed 6th and 11th respectively. The third-year driver even led four laps in his rookie start at Iowa despite finishing each of the last two Iowa races one lap down.
Rossi has proven he’s not on track to make friends this year, and that can come into play when the gloves come off on Sunday.
He has struggled this year, but Kanaan seems to always be able to find pace on ovals. In 11 Iowa starts, Kanaan has one of the best average finishing marks. A win in 2010 plus five podium finishes have contributed to a solid 8.82 finishing position for Kanaan.
A leader of 523 laps in his career at Iowa, Kanaan will be a threat. Should his team hold it together in the pits – and TK stays out of trouble on track – I think he’ll have the pace for a solid top-10.
Newgarden has made Iowa his playground the past few years with dominant performances. Nobody will forget the incredible drive he had in 2016 where Newgarden led Ed Carpenter Racing to victory, and in six starts he has three podiums. While his average starting position is a measly 13.00, Newgarden’s average finishing position is strong at 7.50.
He’s coming off a near flawless drive in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. Can Newgarden do it again this weekend? I think so.
Marco is my dark horse pick for this weekend. He’s been victorious at Iowa before (2011), and he’s been consistently inside the top 10 this year. Sunday may just be his breakout race for 2018 summer stretch.
Best of luck to all, and may the best fan win!
Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.