Story By: MARK ROBINSON / INDYCAR – NEWTON, IA – James Hinchcliffe turned around what’s been a mostly disappointing Verizon IndyCar Series season to this point, winning the Iowa Corn 300 on Sunday at Iowa Speedway.
Hinchcliffe, in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda, passed Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden for the lead on Lap 256 of 300 on the 0.894-mile oval and led the rest of the way. The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports won the race under caution, with Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot finishing a career-best second.
Newgarden, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2016 Iowa winner, dominated most of the race – leading 229 laps after passing teammate and pole sitter Will Power on Lap 24. Starting 11th, Hinchcliffe moved into the top five by Lap 20 and bided his time until making the decisive pass heading into Turn 3.
Hinchcliffe, who was bumped from the field and did not race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 in May, earned the sixth win of his career and first since taking the checkered flag at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April 2017, 26 races ago. Hihchcliffe also won at Iowa in 2013 with Andretti Autosport.
The race established records for average speed (149.636 mph), fewest caution periods (two) and fewest caution laps (16). The final yellow flag wave on Lap 294, when Ed Carpenter spun in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet and made light contact with Takuma Sato in the No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda.
Anticipating a late restart, Newgarden and fellow lead-lap car Robert Wickens made pit stops for fresh tires on Lap 297. Race officials were unable to get the race restarted, however, and it finished under caution with Newgarden in fourth place and Wickens in fifth.
Championship leader Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing finished four laps down in 12th place, seeing his unofficial points lead shrink to 33 points over Newgarden. Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport is third after 11 of 17 races, 41 points behind Dixon.
The next Verizon IndyCar Series race is the Honda Indy Toronto, which airs at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15 on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.