At the beginning of this week, Helio Castroneves wasn’t permitted to qualify for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 due to late presentation of his car at the Milwaukee Mile. He did not allow this to become a wrench in his weekend however, making his way through traffic, circling the track smoothly for the duration of the race and landing on the podium with a P2 finish at IndyFest.
The driver of Team Penske’s No. 3 Chevy has yet to stand atop that podium this season and it isn’t hard to gage that he is more focused than ever in his goal to achieve victory in 2015. He proved that determination this afternoon at Iowa Speedway, where he clinched his 44th career pole position. This Verizon P1 Award in Iowa places him in 4th on the overall IndyCar poles list.
Castroneves’ teammates Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power landed high on the qualifying order as well, earning P3, P5 and P6 respectively. The power of Penske will once again be strong this race weekend and with Castroneves’ aiming to cross that finish line first, you can bet it’s going to be one interesting evening.
The racing will certainly keep us on the edge of our seats, touching upon speeds of 180 mph on a wide short track and with two of the Top 5 (Castroneves & Pagenaud) looking for win #1 this year. But there’s another element that could add to the anxiety of the evening: the weather. The impending possibility of severe storms tonight in Newton, IA is certainly a concern; not only due to the travel plans of most being homeward bound, but because darn it… I want to see this night race!
I absolutely adore racing at night. Not having to reapply sunblock trackside for the entire span of the event is a plus, but it’s more about the way those lights shine on the cars. The way the bodywork shimmers as these machines glide around the speedway with such precision and graceful speed… there’s simply nothing like it. I’m saddened to not be in attendance at this year’s Iowa Corn 300, but other work plans and the high probability of storms kind of made that decision for me. I hope and plan to be back trackside next year but as for this evening, you can find me on Twitter throughout the event. I’ll be the one in air-conditioning over in Ohio.
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