Helio Castroneves on Pole at Iowa

Helio Castroneves will have a much better starting position in tonight’s race than he did last weekend. After starting last at Milwaukee, Castroneves will start first here at Iowa Speedway. The Brazilian posted a two-lap average of 183.480 mph, earning his second Pole of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, and the 44th of his career. Tony Kanaan will start on the outside of Castroneves, and has looked strong all weekend, leading both practice sessions on Friday.

The second row also features a Penske/Ganassi pairing, this time with championship points leader Juan Montoya, and Scott Dixon. Row 3 is the last remaining Penske cars, of defending series champion Will Power and Simon Pagenaud. Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sage Karam round out the top ten. It is interesting to note that of the 12 races so far this season, the pole sitter has only won the race one time (Power, GP of Indy).

Click here to see the Qualification Results for the Iowa Corn 300

It wasn’t a great qualifying run for last weekend’s winner, Sebastien Bourdais. He lost control of his car and backed into the outside wall, suffering minor rear end damage. He will start last in tonight’s race. Ed Carpenter will be starting 11th, still searching for oval success this year (finishes of 30th, 22nd, 22nd, and 10th). Justin Wilson will be starting 18th tonight, and Ryan Briscoe will roll off 19th. Graham Rahal will start 17th, but mentioned a lack of data (from a teammate) required them to take a conservative approach.

Andretti Autosport has won the last five races here, and six of the eight races overall. They have totaled 12 podium finishes in those eight races. Tony Kanaan has also had a lot of success here. He has finished on the podium in each of the last five races here at Iowa, including his win in 2010. It should also be noted that no driver has ever won this race from pole position, and Team Penske has never won an IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway.

The race distance is 300 laps, which is 268.2 miles around the 7/8 mile oval. Dixon won the Pole for last year’s race, and Hunter-Reay is the defending race winner.

Tonight’s coverage of the Iowa Corn 300 begins at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.

Qualification Photos via IndyCar

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