Iowa Wrap Up: This is How You Oval

Indycar photo by Chris Jones

Before last weekend, Indycar at Iowa Speedway was some of the best racing no one came to watch. The big crowds in the early years had dwindled to a bout a third of capacity, typical of oval attendance everywhere. Iowa did not have a slot on the 2021 schedule.

Thanks to Hy-Vee, Indycar returned to Iowa, big time. The activation and programing drew two sellout crowds. The event will be back in 2023 and 2024.

In March, details about the weekend were laid out by Bud Denker of Penske Entertainment and Randy Edeker, CEO of Hy-Vee. I posted about it in this story.

From March-\

Everything they said would happen did happen. The track and grounds looked cleaner than I had ever seen t. The turn one and four suites gave the track a classy look.

Sponsor Activation

In addition to the copious Hy-Vee signage, the company had a mobile store at the track with some grocery items and some camping supplies. If a desired item wasn’t stocked, Hy-Vee would deliver it to the fan at the track.

I visited a couple of their stores after i left the track. There were at least a half dozen cut outs of Jack Harvey’s Hy-Vee sponsored car displayed throughout the store. In addition signs with the logos of the two races hung prominently near the entrances and exits and above shelves. A racing related merchandise displayed greeted shoppers as they came in.

I don’t know the exact amount of money Hy-Vee put into this weekend, but it was substantial. I heard they weren’t interested in Return on Investment, but I think they got their money’s worth.

Indycar could use a couple more sponsors putting this kind of effort into the series.


While both days were sold out, the spectators in my area were different each day. I talked to several people Sunday who had never been to a race of any kind before. I’m positive some of them will return next year.

I have also heard some fans who did not come this year are making plans to some in 2023.

Were the concerts more of an attraction than the races? Perhaps in some cases, but the grandstands were filled for the races.

One of my concerns was that the crowd would filter out after the first concert and return for the post race performance. I was wrong.

This is the first oval race outside of IMS that I have been to, and I’ve been to a couple of them, where the atmosphere had the same buzz as the 500.

Keeping the Plan Going

The series now has a template for a successful oval weekend. Will ovals not currently on the schedule now have an interest in bringing Indycar to their venue? Will a certain track in the south that had an Indycar race this spring take notice or do they not care whether the series returns?

Can Iowa Speedway and Hy-Vee sustain this dame level of energy for the next two years? As great a success as last weekend was, the real proof comes in years two and three.

I could see this event becoming the Hy-Vee company picnic, similar to what Honda does at Mid Ohio for their employees.

I would very much like for the Saturday race to take place at night, but I’m not sure now if that would help attendance without one more support race.

Iowa Preview- Indycar’s New Oval Approach

Today’s Schedule:’

All Times Central

2:00 pm Gates Open
2:15 pm – 3:05 pm Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Practice
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice Peacock
5:30 pm Track crossing opens for fans to access the infield paddock area
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver autograph session (paddock area of the infield)

Good morning from Iowa. It is so nice to be back at Iowa Speedway. It is a fun track to watch a race. This weekend’s double header event is an experiment for Indycar. There are four concerts tomorrow and Sunday-Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line tomorrow; Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton on Sunday-and a food truck festival. All of the extras are an attempt to draw a good crowd for an oval race. The advance sales show that it might work. Officials are expecting moree than 30,000 fans each day. The attendance is promising, but can it be sustained over several years?

My only issue with the weekend is that the Saturday race isn’t a night race. The racing at Iowa Speedway is much better at night. I have seen both day and night races here, and The daytime races were not as good as the bighttime ones.

The weather will be a big factor, especially for Saturday’s 250 presented by DoorDash, Temepreatures Saturday are expected to be in the mid to uper 90s with a heat index reach at least 100 degrees. Cooling inside the cockpit will be a concern.

Conr Daly said about this weekend’s heat:

“I think this weekend is without a
doubt going to be the hardest we’ve been pushed in this
era of INDYCAR racing for sure, with the aeroscreen,
double-header at Iowa in the day. The forecast doesn’t
necessarily look super inviting or like wonderful.
So yeah, we’ve never run the cool shirt yet at an oval, but I
think we’re going to try to run the cool shirt this weekend.”

The cooling shirt adds about six pounds to the car. If everyone wears it, there is no penalty.

Sunday’s forecast looks better, with a high in the mid 80s.

Will tire degradation be an issue in the heat? Generally a stint can go close to 80 laps here, but will we see earlier stops for tires? Will the race turn into a fuelk saving race? Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Spotter’s Guide for Saturday

Points Battle

Marcus Ericsson increased his lead to 35 points over Will Power and 44 points over Josef Newgarden. He has to try to at least maintain that distance after Sunday at a track where Team Penske has dominated. Newgarden has won three times here and has led the most laps. I think Ericsson will still be leading at the end of the day Sunday, but he will probaly need a couple of top 5s and maybe a podium to extend his advantage.


David Malukas has been the highest finishing rookie on each of the two previous ovals. I expect him to be the highest finisher in class again.

Malukas is till my pick for Rookie of the Year. He currently trails Christian Lundgaard by 20 points in the standings and should cut that margin over the next couple of days.

Final Thaoughts

Scott Dixon, who turns 42 today, will star his 300th Indycar race Sunday. His 52 wins means he has won one race out of every six he has run.

This might be the weekend Alex Palou wins a race. It has been a whilke since a defending champion did not win a race the following year, and I believe this is the deepest into a season a champion has gone without winning since 2014. That driver? Scott Dixon.

If you are coming to the track, please hydrate and find shade under the grandstand whenever possible.

Back with more after I get a chance to explore the new, improved Iowa Speedway. I had just a brief glance at it yesterday, and everything looks great,.

Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend Fast Facts

. Entry lists will be posted on The Pit Window’s Facebook page.

From Indycar

  Race weekend: Friday, July 22-Sunday, July 24
Track: Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile (0.894-mile) oval in Newton, Iowa
Race distance: 250 presented by DoorDash: 250 laps/218.75 miles (Saturday) | Hy-Vee Salute To Farmers 300 presented by Google: 300 laps/262.5 miles (Sunday) | Indy Lights at Iowa Speedway: 75 laps/65.625 miles
Firestone tire allotment: Fourteen sets for use through the doubleheader weekend
Twitter: @indycaratiowa, @IndyCar, #IndyCar
Event website: www.hyveeindycarweekend.comINDYCAR website:
Most recent race winners:
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet) 2020 Race #1
Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) 2020 Race #2
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Pato O’Ward (Andretti Autosport) 2018
2020 NTT P1 Award winners:
Conor Daly (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet), 18.3711 seconds, 175.188 mph
Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet), 18.3559 seconds, 175.333 mph
One-lap qualifying record: NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Helio Castroneves, 17.2283 seconds, 186.809 mph, July 11, 2014
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
Colton Herta, 19.6441 seconds, 163.835 mph, July 9, 2017
NBC Sports race telecast: The 250 presented by DoorDash 4 p.m. ET Saturday, July 23, NBC; Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google, 3 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC. Kevin Lee is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe.
Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product, while NBC’s race telecasts of The 250 presented by DoorDash and Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google will be simulcast on the streaming service. Peacock Premium’s exclusive post-race show – featuring driver interviews, podium ceremonies and post-race analysis – will be streamed following the race.
The Indy Lights at Iowa Speedway will be streamed on Peacock Premium with practice and qualifying being shown on INDYCAR Live!
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Nick Yeoman (Saturday) and Jake Query (Sunday) are the turn announcers. Michael Young be the pit reporter alongside Query (Saturday) and Yeoman (Sunday). The 250 presented by DoorDash race (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday), Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google race (3 p.m. ET Sunday), Indy Lights at Iowa Speedway (11:50 a.m. ET Saturday) and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 160, and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.
At-track schedule (all times Central):
2:15-3:05 p.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Practice, INDYCAR Live!
3:30-5 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, Peacock Premium
8:30 a.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Qualifying (Single car, Two laps), INDYCAR Live!
9:30 a.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Single car, Two laps (Lap 1/Race 1; Lap 2/Race 2), Peacock Premium
11:15 a.m. – Indy Lights at Iowa Speedway “Drivers, start your engines”
11:20 a.m. – Indy Lights at Iowa Speedway (75 laps/67.05 miles),, Peacock Premium
3 p.m. – NBC on air3:01 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
3:06 p.m. – 250 presented by DoorDash (250 laps/223.5miles), NBC (Live)
10:55-11 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES systems check (Out and In Lap)
2 p.m. – NBC on air
2:25 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
2:30 p.m. – Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google (300 laps/268.2 miles), NBC (Live)
There have been seven different winners in 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races in the 2022 season. Scott McLaughlin (Streets of St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Josef Newgarden (Texas Motor Speedway, Streets of Long Beach and Road America), Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park), Colton Herta (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1), Marcus Ericsson (Indianapolis 500), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle Park) and Scott Dixon (Streets of Toronto) have all won in 2022. The record for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.There have been seven different winners in the last 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races (Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson, Will Power and Scott Dixon) The only repeat winners in that stretch are Newgarden (Texas 2022, Long Beach 2022 and Road America 2022) and McLaughlin (St. Petersburg 2022 and Mid-Ohio 2022).There have been nine different NTT P1 Award winners in 2022. Scott McLaughlin (Streets of St. Petersburg), Felix Rosenqvist (Texas Motor Speedway), Colton Herta (Streets of Long Beach and Streets of Toronto), Rinus VeeKay (Barber Motorsports Park), Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1), Scott Dixon (Indianapolis 500), Josef Newgarden (Raceway at Belle Isle Park), Alexander Rossi (Road America) and Pato O’Ward (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) have won pole positions in 2022. The record for most pole winners in a season is 12 set in the 1999 CART season.Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend, featuring the 250 presented by DoorDash and Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google, will be the third and fourth oval races of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. The previous two oval races were won by Josef Newgarden (Texas Motor Speedway) and Marcus Ericsson (Indianapolis 500). The remaining oval race will take place at World Wide Technology Raceway (Aug. 20).The 250 presented by DoorDash and Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google will be the 16th and 17th NTT INDYCAR SERIES events at Iowa Speedway. Josef Newgarden is the only entered driver to win at Iowa Speedway more than once. Newgarden has three wins. Other past winners Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves are also entered in the event.
Josef Newgarden- 3=-2016, 2019, 2020 Race #2
Helio Castroneves-1-2017
Simon Pagenaud-1 -2020 Race #1
Andretti Autosport has won seven of the 15 previous races at Iowa Speedway (Dario Franchitti 2007, Tony Kanaan 2010, Marco Andretti 2011, Ryan Hunter-Reay 2012, 2014 and 2015 and James Hinchcliffe 2013). Team Penske has four wins (Helio Castroneves 2017, Josef Newgarden 2019 and 2020 Race #2 and Simon Pagenaud 2020 Race #1). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins (Dan Wheldon 2008 and Franchitti 2009).Ryan Hunter-ReayDario Franchitti and Josef Newgarden are the only drivers to win at Iowa Speedway and win the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship in the same season. Newgarden accomplished the feat in 2019, Hunter-Reay in 2012 and Franchitti in 2007 and 2009.Three drivers have competed in every NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Iowa: Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. Only Dixon is entered this year.
Eleven drivers entered have led laps at the track (Josef Newgarden 1,150, Will Power 131, Dixon 130, Simon Pagenaud 98, Takuma Sato 59, Graham Rahal 32, Pato O’Ward 31, Ed Carpenter 18, Conor Daly 17, Felix Rosenqvist 7 and Alexander Rossi 4).Josef Newgarden has finished in the top four in six of the last eight races at Iowa (2014-2016 and 2018-2020) … Scott Dixon has started on pole three times (two earned) and has 12 top-10 finishes at Iowa in 15 starts, but he has never finished better than second.
Milestones: Scott Dixon will attempt to make his 299th and 300th consecutive starts, the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES history…Helio Castroneves needs two starts to tie A.J. Foyt for second on the all-time starts list with 369 starts…Pato O’Ward will attempt to make his 49th and 50th INDYCAR SERIES starts.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Notes:Linus Lundqvist is on the verge of building an insurmountable lead in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires point standings. The 23-year-old Swede leads Sting Ray Robb by 87 points heading into the first oval race of the season.The Indy Lights at Iowa Speedway will be the first of two oval events for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The track will be completely new for every driver in the field as no driver has raced on the 7/8-mile oval in any previous series. The series last raced at Iowa Speedway in 2018 with eventual champion Pato O’Ward taking the checkered flag.
Danial Frost, Christian Rasmussen and Hunter McElrea became first-time winners earlier this season. Will another talented prospect like Sting Ray RobbBenjamin PedersenKyffin Simpson or Ernie Francis Jr. score a first series win in 2022? 

A Way Forward for Ovals?

Bud Denker and Randy Edeker want to help ovals succeed. Denker, Of President of Penske Corporation, and Edeker, chairman and CEO of HyVee. have created a festival surrounding the Indycar double header at Iowa Speedway July 23 and 24. In a conference call with Indycar media yesterday, Denker, Edeker, and Graham Rahal talked about the Iowa weekend, which will feature four concerts, headlined by Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Gwen Stefani, and Blake Shelton. \In addition the venue features a village with 75 food trucks, and a kids’ activity area on Saturday.

Ticket sales have been brisk, Denker said.

” We only have about 12,000 to 15,000 tickets to sell each
day because ticket sales have been pretty good so far. I’ve
never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen a lineup like
this before. I’ve been in motorsports for a long time. To
see what they have for that weekend in Iowa, Newton, you
can’t get a hotel. Good luck anywhere around the area.
Some people ahead of time must have known about this so
already secured all the hotels, which is a good thing.”

Iowa Weekend details

I asked Denker if the type of programming planned for Iowa could be a model for other ovals to help draw more fans.
“That’s a real good question because we’re
already thinking about ’23 and ’24 in terms of what we’re
going to do.
We want to have a variety, always have a variety, as long
as we own this series, of the races we have today, the
ovals, short ovals, long ovals, road courses, street courses.
That obviously shows the competitiveness and the world
class nature of our drivers more than any other series in
the world.
The model we’re creating in the urban markets as you’ve
seen in Nashville, Detroit next year, the streets of Detroit.
Whole different model than we have on Belle Isle.
Patterned a lot of what will be done in Nashville, St. Pete,
other markets.
As we get to these markets like Iowa, you need to create
that event. Without the attachment to an urban market,
you have to have the event to draw you in. You’re spot on
in terms of what this model will look like. We want to take it
and apply it to other tracks we go to in the future.
You also see unique tracks like Road America, it lives on
its own. For these other tracks that are not attached to an
urban market, don’t have their own iconic nature, as
Graham said you have to circle it with other things going on
other than what’s going on on the racetrack, and that’s our
model for the future.”

Edeker announced that HyVee will also be a sponsor of the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville as part of their marketing strategy. The Iowa based retailer chose Indycar because Iowans are big fans of the sport.

“I think it fits with our initiatives, with what we want to get
accomplished. I think that it’s a sport that it’s accessible to
us and it’s local.
If you look at the state of Iowa, I don’t have the current
numbers, but several years ago when I was over at
marketing I looked at open-wheel racing in the state of
Iowa. Per capita, Iowa had the largest number of
open-wheel racing fans in the United States.
You look at the Midwest and the dirt tracks, the open-wheel
races that happen all across. I think it just fits the fan base.
Most of those fans, they turn to Indy, they turn to
NASCAR, they also turn to Indy as an open-wheel racing
fan. I think that’s part of what appealed to us.
I agree, I just look at some of the things in talking with Bud
and Roger, some of the strategies they have that they’re
working on. I believe you’re going to see INDYCAR start
driving. You’re seeing us also invest in our driver. We
came out with a dozen TV spots that we’re going to be
using from now until September that are labeled ‘You Don’t
Know Jack.’ Jack (Harvey) is our spokesman. “

HyVee is also an associate sponsor on the cars of Graham Rahal and Christian Lundgaard.

Rahal commented on the racing at Iowa. Some have expressed concerns about both races scheduled for daytime. many fans hoped for a night race. Rahal said,

“The thing is both are good races because it’s such a
demanding track, whether it’s hot on the surface or a night
race where it cools down. I mean, certainly the night race I
would say broadens the amount of competitive cars,
meaning at Iowa you’re going to have the talent pool
deeper and deeper. You’ll have 10 to 15 cars that are
battling at the end. At night that may expand by 20% or
something like that.
The truth is with the variety of lanes, you have three lanes,
turn three and four is a two-lane racetrack, but you have
117509-1-1004 2022-03-08 00:36:00 GMT Page 5 of 8
cars all over the place, guys on new tires, guys on old tires
that want to go home, forget about their day. That’s
common at Iowa. I think that will continue.
I don’t think it really matters day or night, frankly.”

HyVee Indycar Weekend Adds Huge Entertainment Package

My thoughts at the end of the release.

From Iowa Speedway and HyVee:

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (March 7, 2022) — Hy-Vee, Inc. and INDYCAR announce that four award-winning music acts will perform live during Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend, July 22-24, at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Tickets for Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling the race ticket office at (641) 417-6007.

Three-time Grammy award-winning country music superstar Tim McGraw will perform prior to the start of the 250 presented by DoorDash NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on Saturday, July 23. Following Saturday’s race, Billboard record-holding country music duo Florida Georgia Line will take to the stage at Iowa Speedway. On Sunday, July 24, three-time grammy award winner and multi-platinum artist Gwen Stefani will perform prior to the start of the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google NTT INDYCAR SERIES race. A performance by nine-time Grammy-nominated country music artist Blake Shelton will provide a memorable ending to the turbocharged weekend following Sunday’s race.

Both pre- and post-race concerts are included with Saturday and Sunday Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend tickets as each artist will perform on stage trackside, in front of the main grandstands at Iowa Speedway. Both pre-race concerts will feature 50-minute performances while each post-race concert will feature a 90-minute show. Ticketholders can also purchase a Post-Race Concert Pit Pass for both the Florida Georgia Line (Saturday) and Blake Shelton (Sunday) live performances. The Post-Race Concert Pit Pass will provide access to an exclusive area near the start/finish line for an up-close view of the live performance. To purchase a Post-Race Concert Pit Pass, visit

“We want this event to be one of the most talked about events of the year by providing race-goers with an unforgettable experience,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman and CEO. “We are thrilled to work with our sponsors to bring this caliber of musical entertainment to Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway. Iowa will be the place to be this summer with these live music acts coupled with nationally televised INDYCAR races and a festival-like atmosphere that has something for everyone to enjoy.”

In addition to premier on-track action with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the rising stars of racing competing in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will include a festival-like atmosphere with three days of music, food and family-focused entertainment, including:

A Food Truck Village featuring dozens of Midwest food trucks
Kids’ games and activities on Saturday, July 23
Special activities to honor the nation’s farmers on Sunday, July 24
And much more!

“What an incredible music lineup for fans to enjoy during Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend,” said Bud Denker, president of Penske Corporation, which owns INDYCAR. “With some of the biggest names and best performers in music, combined with great racing at the ‘Fastest Short Track on the Planet,’ the weekend is going to deliver an experience unlike one we have ever seen in INDYCAR. Thanks to the continued support of our partners at Hy-Vee, fans in Iowa will be part of something special during Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend.”

Special thanks are extended to the following Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend sponsors: Accenture, ACI Worldwide, Carrier Access, EMC Insurance Companies, GK Software, Holmes Murphy & Associates, Hussmann, Iowa Lottery, John Deere, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, MercyOne, Mittera, Musco Sports Lighting, Pella Corporation, POET, Prairie Meadows, Principal Financial Group, RSMUS LLP, Salesforce, Seneca and Sukup Manufacturing Co.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee first became involved in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES when the supermarket chain was the primary sponsor for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing’s No. 15 car in Race 2 of the 2020 Iowa Speedway doubleheader. In its third year of sponsoring RLL, Hy-Vee provides primary sponsorship of RLL’s No. 45 car, which will be driven by Jack Harvey, and associate sponsorships of Graham Rahal’s No. 15 car and No. 30 car, which will be driven by newcomer Christian Lundgaard.


Very Thankful for a sponsor like Hyvee and sponsors like Bommarito Automotive Group at Gateway. These groups have jumped into Indycar full bore.

This is the type of programming ovals need to attract more fans. Ovals need to mimic street course races and become festivals. This is the way it needs to be.

How many people will stay for a Sunday post race concert? With a huge draw from Indianapolis, how many fans who need to work Monday will want to head home right after the race instead?

The food truck village is very welcome. Concessions at Iowa have been woefully lacking since 2013.

A kids’ activity area is also something that has been missing from tracks lately. I’m glad to see it added here.

The only thing I’d change about the Iowa weekend is to make Saturday’s race a night race. I don’t care if it has to be on USA or Peacock. This track was made for night racing.

Doordash, Google Join HyVee for Indycar at Iowa Iowa

From Iowa Speedway and HyVee. Big sponsor news as the weekend gains more support.


February 16, 2022 | By INDYCAR

Hy-Vee, Inc. and INDYCAR announce that Google and DoorDash will be the presenting sponsors for the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend, July 22-24, 2022. PepsiCo will be a key event sponsor, as well as the sponsor of Hy-Vee’s No. 45 car throughout the race season. Tickets for Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling the race ticket office at (641) 417-6007.

INDYCAR will return to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, for the first time since 2020, with three days of turbocharged action, July 22-24. Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will feature the only doubleheader race event on the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. Saturday’s series race will be the 250 presented by DoorDash, and Sunday’s action will be highlighted by the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google.

Hy-Vee will build on its support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as – the company’s website that aggregates all weekly ads, digital coupons and hot deals – will be a featured on-air sponsor during each race broadcast on the NBC family of networks during the 2022 season. A QR code will pop up on screen allowing race viewers to scan it with their phone for a chance to win $25,000. One winner will be awarded following each race broadcast.

In addition to premier on-track action with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the rising stars of racing competing in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will include a festival-like atmosphere with three days of music, food and family-focused entertainment.

“The economic impact this race weekend is creating for the Midwest will be like none other, and we are proud to team up with these incredible partners to ensure that the fans who come to the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend truly have an amazing experience,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman and CEO. “We look forward to creating an exciting atmosphere leading up to and during the race – both in our stores and at the track during the event.”

“Google is proud to call Iowa home and honored to support initiatives that make it a great place to live, work and visit,” said Kirsten Kliphouse, president of North America, Google Cloud. “We recently announced Google’s investment in our Iowa data center has reached $5 billion, and we’re committed to making an impact beyond the data center walls by partnering with organizations like Hy-Vee on events that bring economic opportunity to local communities.”

“DoorDash is proud to sponsor the inaugural INDYCAR race weekend with Hy-Vee, a longstanding partner and supporting champion of our mission to empower local communities,” said Christopher Payne, president at DoorDash. “As consumer expectations for convenience, speed and selection continue to grow on and off the raceway, we’re committed to expanding access to Hy-Vee’s unparalleled assortment to even more cities across the state of Iowa and nationwide. We look forward to continuing to offer Iowa residents the best of their neighborhoods directly to their door.”

“PepsiCo is thrilled to be part of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES — this year bigger and better than before. Our beverage brands — led by Mountain Dew — will bring exciting experiences to INDYCAR fans and Hy-Vee customers at home, in store and at the track,” said Neil Pryor, president, PepsiCo Beverages North America Central Division. “There is no better way to enjoy the thrill of the race than with a cold Mountain Dew in your hand, and we’re proud to bring that joy to neighbors across Iowa, a state in which nearly 2,000 of our employees live and work.”

Known as “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet,” the 7/8 of a mile Iowa Speedway oval is a favorite with drivers and race fans alike. Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden is a three-time race winner at Iowa Speedway and the most recent driver to celebrate in Victory Lane in 2020. Other Iowa winners include four-time Indianapolis 500 champ Helio Castroneves, along with NTT INDYCAR SERIES champions and Indy 500 winners Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti.

“As we continue to build excitement for Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend and the return to Iowa, what a great opportunity to welcome premier companies in DoorDash, Google and PepsiCo as sponsors of this special event,” said Bud Denker, president of Penske Corporation, which owns INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Our partnership with Hy-Vee and the support from these industry-leading brands demonstrates the continued growth of INDYCAR and the commitment to hosting an impactful event in Iowa.”

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee first became involved in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES when the supermarket chain was the primary sponsor for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing’s No. 15 car in Race 2 of the 2020 Iowa Speedway doubleheader. In its third year of sponsoring RLL, Hy-Vee provides primary sponsorship of RLL’s No. 45 car, which will be driven by Jack Harvey, and associate sponsorships of Graham Rahal’s No. 15 car and No. 30 car, which will be driven by newcomer Christian Lundgaard.

“It’s exciting to see the Hy-Vee races at Iowa Speedway building momentum with announcements like this. Welcoming household brands like DoorDash, Google and Pepsi as sponsors is a great indication of how big of an event this will be and how big of a splash Hy-Vee is going to make. And this is just the beginning,” said Harvey, driver of the No. 45 Hy-Vee car.

For more details about weekend activities, visit

Iowa Returns with a Double Header Weekend

Iowa Speedway is back. The 7/8 mile oval in Newton, Iowa, sorely missed this year, will return for two race in 2022, on July 23 and 24.

The official announcement:

  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES Returns to Iowa Speedway for 2022 Doubleheader
    Hy-Vee To Sponsor NTT INDYCAR SERIES Races on July 23-24, 2022, in Newton, IowaWEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Hy-Vee, a grocery chain based in the Midwest, have announced a new multiyear agreement, which returns the excitement of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES to the Iowa Speedway. Hy-Vee will provide broad support for next year’s doubleheader event set for July 23-24, 2022, through a wide-ranging partnership that will bring INDYCAR racing back to the 0.875 mile oval after a one- year hiatus.
Indycar image
  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES was among the first to race on the D-shaped layout when it made its debut in Newton, Iowa, in 2007. Quickly known as a favorite of fans and drivers alike, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has held 15 races at the track known as “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet” since it opened in 2006.Drivers will now have another chance to race at Iowa Speedway as Hy-Vee and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES announced that the 250 will take place Saturday, July 23, and the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 will occur Sunday, July 24.
  • “We’re extremely pleased to return Iowa Speedway to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar,” said Roger Penske, founder and chair of the Penske Corporation and owner of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “Over the years, Iowa has proven to be a fitting showcase for North America’s premier open-wheel series. A key oval and a hallmark on our schedule, we deeply missed seeing our fans in Iowa this year and look forward to what’s ahead.
  • ”Plans for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES event include several additional entertainment activities, making for a festival-like atmosphere throughout the weekend.“With our strong connection to local communities and involvement in the state, we plan to host an event that will receive national attention and make Newton an annual destination for racing fans,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. “The weekend will be filled with multiple attractions and events that celebrate everything that is great about Iowa and NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing.”
  • West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee was first involved in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES when the supermarket chain was the primary sponsor for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing’s No. 15 car in Race 2 of the 2020 Iowa Speedway doubleheader. Driven by Graham Rahal, the Hy-Vee Honda finished third. It later sponsored the team’s No. 45 car driven by Spencer Pigot in the 2020 Indianapolis 500. In 2021, Hy-Vee provided primary sponsorship of RLL’s No. 45 car, driven by 2019 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Santino Ferrucci, for the Indianapolis 500 and other selected events, and was the primary sponsor of Rahal’s entry at Road America as well as this Saturday’s race in Madison, Illinois.
  • “The state of Iowa made a commitment to the sport of racing when the Iowa Speedway was built, and today’s exciting announcement of Hy-Vee’s partnership with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES reaffirms that,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “Iowa is well suited to be an INDYCAR destination for racing fans nationwide, and I encourage Iowa businesses and organizations to support the success of this event in whatever way they can.”
  • “The state is rich with racing history and has a strong appreciation for INDYCAR and its terrific drivers and teams,” Penske said. “The fantastic addition of Hy-Vee and their commitment to our sport underscores the added value. Thanks to Hy-Vee and the State of Iowa for welcoming the return of INDYCAR racing to Iowa Speedway.”
  • Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden is a three-time winner at Iowa Speedway and the most recent to celebrate in victory lane. Other champions at the track include four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves along with “500” and NTT INDYCAR SERIES champions Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti.The entire 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule will be announced at a later date. For more details about this event and to sign up for ticketing information, visit Series PR


Is having oval double headers at fewer venues the only way to get more ovals on the schedule? This may be the wave of the future. I assume the Texas double header will return. If so, the 2022 schedule would have six oval races, although I would prefer to see six different venus. I guess there aren’t that many that are interested.

I hope the Saturday race is a night race, and that the Sunday race is early enough for those from Indianapolis who want to get back for work Monday.

I understand Indycar is renting the track and doing the promotion. Thios could also become a trend for ovals, but Indycar shouldn’t be in the promotion business.

I am happy to hear that there is a multi year agreement.

I will have more details later.

Ferrucci Returns with RLL at Mid Ohio

The release from RLL this afternoon:

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 28, 2021) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Santino Ferrucci will return to the team to compete in the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 2-4. Hy-Vee, Inc. – an employee-owned supermarket chain that operates more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states – is the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s entry for two races this season as well as a full season associate and was the primary sponsor of Ferrucci’s car at the Indy 500 and doubleheader races in Detroit.

At the Indy 500, Ferrucci piloted the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda to his third straight top-seven finish with a sixth-place result and finished sixth in Race 1 in Detroit and tenth in Race 2.

“I’m super excited to return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to race the Hy-Vee entry at Mid-Ohio,” said Santino Ferrucci, whose highest career INDYCAR qualifying position is second place in Race 2 at Mid-Ohio in 2020. “It’s been a great track for me in the past and last year I started on the front row. I’ve always enjoyed the track and its fans. I cannot wait to be working with the team again and continuing our relationship and our growth as the season moves forward. Hopefully we can get the Hy-Vee car into the top five and on the podium!”

“We look forward to having Santino Ferrucci drive the No. 45 Hy-Vee entry in this weekend’s race,” said Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President of Hy-Vee. “Santino and the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team care about their fans just like we care about our customers at Hy-Vee. Plus, the excitement Santino brings to the course keeps us on the edge of our seats and we can’t wait to see how he performs at the Honda Indy 200.”

Hy-Vee first joined the team as the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s entry for Race 2 at the Iowa Speedway in 2020 where he finished third. The company was also the primary sponsor of the team’s entry for Spencer Pigot at the Indy 500 and an associate sponsor of Rahal’s entry for the legendary race. In 2021, they have been a primary sponsor at four races: the Indy 500 and Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader with Ferrucci and at Road America with Rahal.

After two full INDYCAR SERIES seasons in 2019-2020 and a partial one in 2018, Ferrucci joined RLL for the Indy 500 and the Detroit Grand Prix races. To date, his best Indy car start is second place at Mid-Ohio (Race 2) in 2020 and he has finished in fourth place four times. In 2021, Ferrucci competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving for Sam Hunt Racing.

The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season continues with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio which will be broadcast live on NBC on July 4 at 12 p.m. EDT. All future on-track action can be seen on NBC, NBCSN or NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service. For more information about the series or team, visit and

About Hy-Vee, Inc.
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $11 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company’s more than 85,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit

About Santino Ferrucci
Ferrucci began his karting career at age five and was a multi-time champion by age 11 and was featured in an article in GQ magazine on being a karting prodigy. He also competed in six Formula 2000 races, never finishing worse than fourth in any race. In 2013 he competed in the Skip Barber Racing Series, winning his debut race at Homestead and collecting five wins, two poles and three fastest laps. His career took him to England in 2014 where he competed in British Formula 3, winning two races – both at Brands Hatch, which made him the youngest winner in British Formula 3 history at 16 years, 2 months and 30 days. In 2015, he finished third in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand with a win and five podium finishes and also competed in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. In 2016, he competed in the GP3 Series as a rookie with DAMS with a best finish of third place at Spa-Francorchamps and joined Haas F1 as a test driver for a July test at Silverstone and became the first American driver to test an American F1 car since 1977. He also made his sports car debut that year, winning his first race in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event at Circuit of The Americas. In 2017, he continued his role as a development driver with Haas F1, testing at Hungaroring in August. He also made six GP3 starts with DAMS before moving to FIA Formula 2 with Trident. In 2018, he competed in FIA Formula 2 with Team Trident, scoring a best finish of sixth at Baku and served as a Haas F1 development driver for a third consecutive season. He also made his debut in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for Dale Coyne Racing in 2018 with a best finish of 11th at the season-finale at Sonoma and competed in a total of four events (Detroit doubleheader, Portland). In 2019, he competed in the full INDYCAR SERIES season and finished 13th in series standings for Dale Coyne Racing with a best finish of fourth at Texas, Pocono and World Wide Technology Raceway. He was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after an impressive performance en route to a seventh-place finish. Ferrucci returned for his second full season in the series in 2020 with Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan with a best finish of fourth place in the Indy 500 and 13th place, season-ending rank. Always open to new challenges, Ferrucci currently competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving for Sam Hunt Racing. 

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time
IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2021, the team begins its 30th year of competition and will attempt to add to its 29 Indy car wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice and the 2020 Indy 500 with Takuma Sato — their 33 poles, 107 podium finishes and 1992 series championship.  The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. Since 2014, BMW Team RLL has competed in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and has brought their total to 22 wins – including the 2019 and 2020 Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance races, 28 poles and 91 podium finishes as well as a second-place finish in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships in 2015 and 2017. The team was also the 2020 Michelin Endurance Champions. For 2021, the team will compete for back-to-back Michelin Endurance Championships.

Ferrucci Joins RLL; 32 Cars Set for IMS Test

Santino Ferrucci will return to the Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He will drive the number 45 car with sponsorship from HyVee. In the 2020 500, Spencer Pigot drove the 45 HyVee car. The company will also be the primary sponsor for Graham Rahal at Road America and World Wide Technology Raceway.

This will be Ferrucci’s third Indianapolis 500. He drove for Dale Coyne Racing in 2019 and 2020, finishing seventh and fourth respectively. Ferrucci is not in the series full time this season. he is driving select XFinity races for Sam Hunt Racing.

No Fans at IMS Test

Yesterday afternoon IMS announced that there will be no public access to the grounds mThursday or Friday for the open test. A statement released by the track through Nathan brown of IndyStar:

If this action means there is a better chance of having fans at the race, I’m fine with it. Frim what I have seen on social media many fans were planning to come for the test, and IMS could probably not monitor the COVID protocols.

The test features 17 Hondas and 15 Chevys. Cody Ware will be taking his rookie test in the number 52 Dale Coyne/Rick Ware car. Simona De Silvestro makes her speedway return with Paretta Autosport. The action will be streaming on Peacock, which is offering a one week free trial.

The entry list:


Andretti Autosport (5): Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe;

Chip Ganassi Racing (4): Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson;

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (3): Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Santino Ferrucci;

Dale Coyne Racing (3): Pietro Fittipaldi, Ed Jones, Cody Ware;

Meyer Shank Racing (2): Jack Harvey, Helio Castroneves


Team Penske (4): Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Scott McLaughlin;

Arrow McLaren SP (3): Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Juan Pablo Montoya;

Ed Carpenter Racing (3): Rinus VeeKay, Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter;

A.J. Foyt Racing (2): Sebastien Bourdais, Dalton Kellett;

Carlin (1): Max Chilton;

Paretta Autosport (1): Simona de Silvestro;

Dreyer and Reinbold Racing (1): Sage Karam


James Davison said that he will not return to the 500 this year as he is focusing on his NASCAR program.

Dennis Reinbold said he is close to finalizing a deal to run Indianapolis. His team will test.

Entry possibilities left- a sixth car at Andretti and a fourth car at Foyt.