NEWTON, Iowa -- Brian Campe has had quite the successful start as lead engineer on the No. 2 PPG Team Penske car driven by Juan Pablo Montoya.
Technical director Ron Ruzewski had been guiding the program since the season opener at St. Petersburg while also grooming Campe to take over as race engineer. Since assuming the role at the Houston race weekend, Campe – who formerly worked as a race engineer in the Team Penske NASCAR program – has been part of second- and seventh-place finishes on the Houston street circuit and Montoya's victory July 6 in the Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Brian," Montoya said. "He and I are really similar. We both came from NASCAR and both had to take our time in getting up to speed with the No. 2 PPG Chevy. Ron did a great job in mentoring Brian and guiding him through the process of becoming an IndyCar lead engineer. Ron continues to be an integral part of this team. Brian has done a great job in taking the Team Penske philosophy and putting that together with his own ideas and info that he brought over from stock cars. It’s worked perfectly so far.”
Click it: Championship standings || July 11 qualifying order
Montoya, who has four consecutive top-10 finishes, has moved to fourth in the championship standings steering into the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB on July 12.
Hawksworth ready to go again
Four days after being released from a Pennsylvania hospital, first-year Verizon IndyCar Series driver Jack Hawksworth said that he's "ready to go again" for the race at Iowa Speedway.
Hawksworth was cleared July 8 by INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger to compete after being diagnosed with a myocardial contusion suffered in a practice crash at Pocono Raceway on July 5. He was held overnight for observation at a hospital in Allentown, Pa., and returned to Indianapolis following the July 6 race.
"I'm feeling a lot better," said Hawksworth, 23, who will drive the No. 98 Integrity Energee Drink car for BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian.
Carpenter has history racing in Iowa
Ed Carpenter, who will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka car at Iowa Speedway, isn't a stranger to fast tracks in the state.
He competed at Knoxville Raceway in USAC Silver Crown in 2000 and at the Hawkeye Downs Speedway pavement oval in Cedar Rapids in a USAC sprint car in 2002.
"I do remember that both tracks were fast. And that is what Iowa Speedway is too, especially in an IndyCar," said Carpenter, who finished fourth in the Verizon IndyCar Series race last year at the .894-mile Iowa Speedway. "I was able to handle a full (course) schedule at Butler (University) and still drive some 80 races in a year. That very busy schedule really helped me in managing my time both on and off the track. And that training was good for me in the dual role of team owner and driver now."
Brandon Newey, son of BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian co-owner Steve Newey, will join Sam Chastain in Chastain Motorsports cars for the Toyo Tires F1600 Series race on the streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto on July 18-20 in support of the Honda Indy Toronto. Newey competed at Toronto in USF2000 in 2013.
Jay Howard is the team’s driver coach and engineer, and recently the team added engineer David Cripps as a consultant.
At the F1600 Championship Series doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last weekend, Ayla Agren of Norway became the series' first female race winner. She competes for Team Pelfrey.