Just 24 hours removed from a chaotic race Friday night, the NTT IndyCar Series is back at it on Iowa Speedway.
Simon Pagenaud, who won last night’s race after starting last and stretching his fuel cell on the final run, will have to do it again as he did not complete a qualifying lap in Friday’s session that set the field for both races. He currently sits 50 points behind three-time 2020 winner Scott Dixon for the championship lead.
Dixon was runner-up in Friday night’s race. He will have his hands full as he rolls off rom the 18th position Saturday evening.
Josef Newgarden won the pole for Saturday’s race. The defending champion currently sits 76 points back of Dixon’s points lead. He was in contention to win the race but would be one of many drivers who would lose in the pit strategy battle and would have to settle for a fifth-place finish.
Friday night was a breakout performance for both Arrow McLaren drivers. Patricio O’Ward moved up to third in points after a fourth-place finish, which comes after being runner-up at Road America last Sunday. He will start 12th Saturday night.
His teammate in rookie Oliver Askew scored his first career podium finish Friday night. He was in prime position to win but Dixon and Pagenaud were able to stretch their fuel to the finish. Askew will start 13th on Saturday.
All eyes will be on how Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay can recover from being involved in one of the scarier incidents in recent IndyCar memory. After a restart was waved off, Herta drove up the back of Veekay’s car and would soar close to 20 feet in the air, nearly hitting the catchfence. Thanks to advancements to safety in IndyCar with the newly-added aeroscreen, both men would walk away uninjured. Herta starts fifth on Saturday and VeeKay starts 15th.
TV coverage for Saturday’s race begins at 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network.