NEWTON, Iowa -- In previewing the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB, Ryan Briscoe noted that chiefly recent results – but other factors as well – were indications that the Chip Ganassi Racing quartet “was coming together as a team.”
While victory in the 300-lap race on the .894-mile, variably-banked Iowa Speedway oval was snatched from the steering wheel of Tony Kanaan, who led 247 laps, the four drivers residing in the top 10 was another positive.
Kanaan and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who earned the Verizon P1 Award for the July 12 race under the lights, finished third and fourth. Briscoe, who qualified a season-high fourth, placed ninth and Charlie Kimball was 10th.
The have been eight different winners through the 12 races, representing six teams. Surprisingly, Ganassi Racing has been absent from Victory Circle. Dixon’s victory last October at Houston was the most recent for the team, which has won twice at Iowa Speedway and has 94 Indy car victories.
At Iowa, Kanaan’s second top-five finish of the season was the 114th of his Indy car career, matching Dixon for ninth all time. Dixon has six top-five finishes on the season, topped by a third place at Barber Motorsports Park in April.
Briscoe, in his first full season back with the team he broke into the Verizon IndyCar Series with in 2005, has four tops 10 in the past five races. Kimball, who advanced 17 positions to finish third in Dual 2 at Detroit in early June, picked up his seventh top 10.
“We’re slowly making big progresses, and I’m extremely comfortable there now,” said Kanaan, who replaced the retired Dario Franchitti this season in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing seat. “I hope I can give Chip his first win of the year so far because it hasn't been as good a year as we thought it was going to be.”
Six days earlier, Kanaan led 78 of the 200 laps of the Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco, but a late stop for fuel blunted another run to the checkered flag. Briscoe finished fourth and Dixon was fifth.
“It’s not going to do me any good to dwell on the strategy last week and the strategy this week,” said Kanaan, whose has finished among the top three at Iowa Speedway each of the past five years. “We dominated the last two races. For one reason or the other, we didn't win. But to win a race, you got to be up front. That’s what we’ve been doing.”