IndyCar will bolster the dwindling number of oval events in its schedule by returning to Iowa next season for a pair of races.
The venue’s return has come about thanks to the backing of HyVee. The Iowa-based supermarket chain joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan as a sponsor last season and returned this year to support entries driven by Santino Ferrucci and, at last weekend’s race, Christian Lundgaard.
The two races will be run to different lap counts as indicated by their titles. The Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 will take place on Saturday 23rd July, follows by the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 a day later. Previous IndyCar races at Iowa ran to 250-lap distances from the race’s inception in 2007 until 2014, when it was increased to 300 laps. It was reduced to 250 again for last year’s double-header.
Penske Corporation founder and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said the series was “extremely pleased” to announce its return to the track following a one-year absence.
“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.”
The loss of Iowa this year saw the number of oval venues plunge to a new low. Just four of the 16 races on the current schedule are being held on ovals, two of which are accounted for by another double-header at Texas Motor Speedway. The others are the Indianapolis 500 and this weekend’s race at Gateway in Illinois.
The Indy Racing League, fore-runner to the current IndyCar series, raced exclusively on ovals until 2005.
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