Heavy rains in central Iowa yesterday led to the late-afternoon appearance of "weepers" -- underground pools of water soaking through to the track surface -- Saturday at Iowa Speedway, leading to the cancellation of IndyCar Series qualifying. As a result, the grid for Sunday's Iowa Corn Indy 250 was set based on team entrant points, giving the pole to Helio Castroneves.
Castroneves' #3 Team Penske Honda leads the entrant standings based on the combined race performances this year of Will Power, who ran the car at the St. Petersburg series opener, and Castroneves, who took over the car at the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April. Ryan Briscoe, the drivers' championship leader and driver of the #6 Team Penske entry, will start on the outside of the front row, in second.
Dario Franchitti, who won here in 2007, and was fastest in practice today, will start fourth. Franchitti's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, who was quickest in the opening morning practice will start on the inside of the second row, third, based on his entrant points.
Marco Andretti will start a backup Honda Dallara from the eighth position after a heavy crash in the opening practice heavily damaged his primary car. He was not injured in the accident. Sunday's 250-lap race, the second short oval event of the 2009 IndyCar season, starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.
Helio Castroneves (#3 Team Penske Honda) will start on the pole at Iowa Speedway, based on entrant points:
“It's a shame, because you want to put on a good show for the fans. But there's no doubt it was lucky for me and Team Penske. Tomorrow will be a tough race, as this is a very challenging track and there are so many of us running so close in lap times. We'll go for the win tomorrow.”