Track Talk: Iowa Speedway is INDYCAR's bullring

Updated: 

IOWA SPEEDWAY

Event dates: July 17-18, 2020.

The circuit: Saying Iowa Speedway is a 0.875-mile oval does not do it justice. Call it a bullring: Small but flowing, with a blindingly fast feel. The combination makes for an incredible sight.

Tickets: Single race and event weekend tickets are on sale now. The season ticket renewal deadline is Thursday, Feb. 20. Get all of the information here.

Views of the track: In addition to seeing the entire track from any part of the grandstand, Iowa Speedway offers this unique visibility: It is possible to see the action from parts of the concourse. Almost everywhere one turns is a potential viewing point. So, pick a place and enjoy.

2019 Iowa SpeedwayAndretti dominance: Dario Franchitti was the first to dominate Indy car racing at Iowa Speedway, winning two of the first three races. But Andretti Autosport has frequented victory lane the most – an astounding seven times in the first nine trips with five different drivers. Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe (and then Hunter-Reay twice again) won in succession for Michael Andretti’s team. Then Hunter-Reay won three times in a four-year span (2012-15).

Penske retaliation: For all of the Andretti success at Iowa, Team Penske has won two of the past three races with Helio Castroneves in 2017 and Josef Newgarden in 2019. Expect Newgarden to again be the driver to beat in 2020 as he has won twice in four years with two different teams (Ed Carpenter Racing in 2016 and Team Penske last year). James Hinchcliffe is another two-time Iowa winner (first with Andretti, then with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports).

A fast track: A lap around this oval can be a blur, so much so that qualifying is comprised of two laps. Castroneves holds the single-lap track record at 17.2283 seconds. Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud won the pole last year with a two-lap run of 35.7455 seconds, an average of 17.872 seconds. The speed of that run also was impressive: 180.073 mph. As Dario Franchitti famously said, Iowa Speedway is "a short track that races like a speedway." Watch for Franchitti's 2009 victory to be featured Thursday in "Classic Rewind" on INDYCAR.com.

Check out Des Moines: Iowa's capital city is a short interstate drive to the west and is underrated in terms of beauty, friendliness, food, spirits and events. Des Moines also is home to the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A team of the Chicago baseball franchise. Principal Park, which opened downtown in 2004, can be an enjoyable side trip on a nice summer evening.

PAST WINNERS:

2007 (IRL): Dario Franchitti

2008 (IRL): Dan Wheldon

2009 (IRL): Dario Franchitti

2010 (IRL): Tony Kanaan

2011 (INDYCAR): Marco Andretti

2012 (INDYCAR): Ryan Hunter-Reay

2013 (INDYCAR): James Hinchcliffe

2014 (INDYCAR): Ryan Hunter-Reay

2015 (INDYCAR): Ryan Hunter-Reay

2016 (INDYCAR): Josef Newgarden

2017 (INDYCAR): Helio Castroneves

2018 (INDYCAR): James Hinchcliffe

2019 (INDYCAR): Josef Newgarden

Iowa Speedway 2019

From the fans