The Iowa Corn Indy 300 on Saturday, July 12, is Round 12 of 18 races on the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, and Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) is eager to continue positive momentum from his eighth-place finish July 6 at Pocono Raceway.
Iowa Speedway’s .875-mile track is the shortest oval IndyCar drivers face all season. In Newgarden’s previous two years with SFHR, he raced 250 laps on the short track. But 50 laps have been added to this year’s race, increasing intensity for drivers and teams.
“Iowa is a very physical race,” Newgarden said. “There’s a lot of G-loading in the corners, and it’s such a short lap that you don’t have any rest period; there’s no real straightaway. It’s already a tough race physically, so 50 more laps will make it even harder.”
SFHR proved its ability to adjust to new challenges last weekend at Pocono Raceway. Newgarden gained 13 positions at the “Tricky Triangle,” where 100 more miles were added to the event.
Pocono presented challenges, but Newgarden called Iowa Speedway “one of the most unique challenges IndyCar drivers face all season.”
“It’s such a fast track for how small it is,” he said. “There’s high banking around the place, and we run a lot of downforce on the cars.”
This weekend, Wichita State University (WSU) and other Wichita, Kansas, companies will back Newgarden’s No. 67 Honda-powered car. SFHR co-owner Wink Hartman hails from Wichita.
“It’s really neat to run Wichita-backed sponsors on the car,” Newgarden said. “Wichita State University is a really great connection for us with Wink Hartman. Having the entire town of Wichita behind us is awesome because it (the Iowa event) is Wink’s hometown race since we don’t get to race in Kansas anymore. It’s definitely a pretty special weekend for our team.”
WSU and SFHR strive to continue developing their partnership this weekend, as WSU engineering students who participate in the university’s BAJA SAE race team get a behind-the-scenes look at Verizon IndyCar Series racing.
Other sponsors on the No. 67 WSU SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car include Go Wichita, Jimmy’s Egg, Chester’s Chop House & Wine Bar, Mort’s, Envision, House of Schwann and Hartman Oil.
The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will air live on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. (ET) Saturday, July 12. The 262.5-mile race also will air on IMS Radio Network on channels XM 209 and Sirius 213.
To stay up to date with the latest team news and photos, like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook and follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at @SFHRindy.