James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet
Two-time IZOD IndyCar Series race winner James Hinchcliffe qualified his GoDaddy Chevy good enough to make Heat Three in Iowa tonight — the final heat determining the top 10 grid positions for tomorrow’s 250-lap feature event. The Canadian finished the heat in third and will roll off from the outside of the second row tomorrow for what will be his third career start at Iowa Speedway. Hinchcliffe gained seven championship points with today’s qualifying finish and slides into seventh in the points standings (unofficial).
“The GoDaddy car was great. Huge credit to the Andretti (Autosport) guys because they gave us a car we could move up. We didn’t see a lot of guys making passes today, and we were able to move up from where we started. It’s a shame we lost that position to Will (Power) there with about 20 (laps) to go — I would have liked an outside starting spot (for tomorrow’srace)… We’re certainly in the ballpark. Helio (Castroneves) has been quick all weekend, and we know where we are relative to him so we just have to keep our heads down, make a couple changes for tomorrow and hopefully we can be there.”
Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet
Marco Andretti wheeled his RC Cola Chevy to a fourth-place finish in tonight’s third heat event from Iowa Speedway and will start the Iowa Corn Indy 250 from the same position tomorrow. This marks Andretti’s seventh trip to the .875-mile oval where he has recorded four podium finishes in his six previous starts, including a victory in 2011.
“I think we were a little conservative in the Heat Race with the RC (Cola) car. We ran a little more of a (race day) car and we could have been more aggressive — that kind of hurt us. In the end of the stint we would have started moving forward but it was too late. Starting fourth isn’t all bad though… we’ve done it (won) here from 17th.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet
Defending Iowa Corn Indy 250 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, fresh off victory in Milwaukee last weekend, will starttomorrow’s 250-lap event from the 14th grid position after finishing fourth in his heat round. While no points were gained form today’s qualifying effort, Hunter-Reay remains second in the championship points fight. The American makes his sixth career Iowa Speedway start tomorrow. His best finish at the Newton, Iowa track came with a victory in 2011.
“You know, it was way off the mark. We’ve been sitting on our own thumbs all day today. We just missed it today… The No. 1 DHL team will have to regroup and come back tomorrow because we’re starting buried in the pack. We gave up points today. An important day and we just missed it a bit. It’s to fight another day and that’s tomorrow.”
E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet
Team Venezuela’s E.J. Viso competed in Heat Two tonight where he finished in the seventh position, assigning the No. 5 Chevy to the 19th grid position for tomorrow’s 10th round of IndyCar competition. Viso will make his sixth Iowa Speedway start tomorrow where he has recorded his career best finish of third place (2010).
“Very difficult day for me today. I believe we didn’t get all of our factors together. Qualifying was really not the best, and then in the Heat we were lacking plenty of grip so we lost some positions. That is not a huge issue — I started from the same place in the back and have made it all the way to the front in the past, and that could also happen tomorrow.”