2022 IndyCar Recap: Hy-Vee Iowa Doubleheader

2022 IndyCar Recap: Hy-Vee Iowa Doubleheader

by July 25, 2022 0 comments

The lone IndyCar double header weekend finally arrived, not in Detroit, but rather at Iowa this year. Afterward, Gateway is the lone oval left on the schedule, so this wasn’t the worst time to get going for some of the more oval-oriented drivers. Marcus Ericsson entered the weekend still the points leader and had finished no worse than third on ovals to this point. The Swede still had to worry about the veteran trio of Will Power, Scott Dixon, and Josef Newgarden, who all looked to get a few steps closer to the points lead with a pair of races to do so.

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Hour of Power

Power kicked off the weekend with some history on qualifying day. With one qualifying session to set both running orders this weekend, the Aussie got two pole awards for the price of one. Furthermore, Power’s 65th and 66th career poles move him to just one back of Mario Andretti for the all-time IndyCar lead. With five races left, can the former, and potentially new IndyCar Series Champion break the all-time record?

IndyCar Oval King?

Few drivers have had the success that Newgarden has had on oval circuits since he joined Team Penske in 2017. He entered the weekend with eight in that span, and with a dominant run on Saturday, he added one more to that tally. Outside of Indianapolis, which has been a poor man’s house of horrors for the two-time series Champion, has been remarkable everywhere else. That includes now four total career wins at the midwest short track. Gateway coming up isn’t a bad spot either for Newgarden. He’s won there in three out of five trips, including two straight.

Seven Time Arrives

The Indianapolis 500 didn’t go the way Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but Iowa certainly did. Despite an early spin in race one, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion was impressive in both races. He even led 19 laps in the opening race, granted that was due to some pit strategy, but the pace was there. On Sunday, Johnson hit a major milestone by picking up his first top-five finish in IndyCar, outdueling his teammate and point leader Ericsson to do so. Outside of the 500, Johnson’s oval performances have been a far cry from his final few seasons in NASCAR in the best way possible.

Hero to Zero

It was all going so well for Newgaden this weekend until it wasn’t. Coming around to lead what would have been his 357th lap of the weekend, The No. 2 car suffered a suspension/floor failure on the exit of turn four and backed it into the wall. On a day where he could have realistically ended up as the points leader, he more or less gained zero points on Ericsson this weekend. Remember this wreck by the time Laguna Seca rolls around, just a horrible deal for Newgarden and Team Penske.

Back in the Mix

Battling for the Sunday win after the Newgarden crash were Power and Pato O’Ward, who started second and first respectively on the ensuing restart. This is to the credit of the No. 5 pit crew, who got him out in front on the final stop of the day. In short, it wasn’t much of a battle on track, as O’Ward cruised to a comfortable gap over the savvy veteran, and picked up career win No. 4 in his 50th career outing.

It gets even better for O’Ward as well. Despite recent DNFs at Mid-Ohio and Road America, O’Ward is comfortably in the title hunt once again. With now five races remaining, the McLaren driver sits three dozen points out of the lead, which is far from an impossible hurdle at this juncture.

Newgarden Update

Around 6:30 EST, word of Newgarden was being air-lifted to a hospital began to spread from those still at the track. We later found out that this wasn’t from his wreck earlier in the day, but from a fall he suffered afterward by his hauler, via Nate Ryan. The best news here is that the reason he was airlifted was strictly a distance issue. On top of the fact that Newgarden was both awake and alert as well. Hopefully, this isn’t a long-term issue, but we’re hoping for nothing but the best for Newgarden in any event.

2022 IndyCar Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 Top 10

1st No. 2 Josef Newgarden

2nd No. 5 Pato O’Ward

3rd No. 12 Will Power

4th No. 21 Rinus VeeKay

5th No. 9 Scott Dixon

6th No. 10 Alex Palou

7th No. 28 Romain Grosjean

8th No. 8 Marcus Ericsson

9th No. 15 Graham Rahal

10th No. 30 Christian Lundgaard

2022 IndyCar Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 Top 10

1st No. 5 Pato O’Ward

2nd No. 12 Will Power

3rd No. 3 Scott McLaughlin

4th No. 9 Scott Dixon

5th No. 48 Jimmie Johnson

6th No. 8 Marcus Ericsson

7th No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist

8th No. 18 David Malukas

9th No. 28 Romain Grosjean

10th No. 51 Takuma Sato

IndyCar Series Points Standings after Iowa Doubleheader

1st No. 8 Marcus Ericsson 403 Points

2nd No. 12 Will Power 395 Points (-8)

3rd No. 2 Josef Newgarden 369 Points (-34)

4th No. 9 Scott Dixon 369 Points (-34)

5th No. 5 Pato O’Ward 367 Points (-36)

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

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