Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay raced his way to Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane for the third time in four years Saturday night in the Iowa Corn 300. Hunter-Reay held off the field on a late restart to give Andretti Autosport its sixth consecutive win and its seventh in nine races at The Fastest Short Track on the Planet.
Josef Newgarden was second and rookie Sage Karam was a career-best third, putting Americans in the top three spots for the first time since the 2006 Indianapolis 500.
“My car was on rails until the end. I was driving the snot out of it. It was loose, and I just kept my foot to the floor,” Hunter-Reay said. “It was a lot of work in the cockpit. This was one we really had to work for.”
Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya crashed out of the Iowa Corn 300 only 10 laps into the 300-lap race. Montoya, who led Scott Dixon by 54 points going into the race suffered his first DNF (did not finish) of the season. Ironically, the last time Montoya failed to finish a race was last year’s Iowa Corn 300 some 18 races ago.
But no one could make Montoya pay for his early misfortune. The crash threatened to put Montoya’s healthy lead in jeopardy — especially with Scott Dixon running strong. But Montoya’s lead dropped from just 54 points to 42 over Graham Rahal, who moved into second place in the championship standings.
Dixon finished 18th after a mechanical issue and fell to third in the standings, gaining just six points on Montoya.
“Not a big deal,” said Montoya. “Disappointed in our Verizon Chevy because we had a good car.”
Next up for the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet” is the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East / West combination race and the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 presented by New Holland July 31-August 1. Midwestern tribute band, Rock Godz, will close out the 2015 NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series in style on Friday, July 31.