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IndyCar Preview: Iowa Corn Indy 250

*Whats News?* The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to the fan-friendly Iowa Speedway this week for the Iowa Corn Indy 250. Last week, Ryan Hunter-Reay delivered an impressive victory in a race that was promoted by team owner Michael Andretti. Of course, the race was not without controversy as yet another questionable call was made by IndyCar officals, this time a drive through penalty given to Scott Dixon. The incident was just one of many questionable calls made by Beaux Barfield and Co. this season, and one can’t help but wonder when IndyCar will clean up its act on the officiating side of things.

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Dictatorship: The Real Reason NASCAR Is More Popular Than IndyCar Today

We mostly learn in history class that a dictatorship is a bad thing. Stalin, Castro, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung, Ecclestone. Wait, I got ahead of myself on that last one. Anyway, we’re taught that dictators are evil and they bring nothing but ruin to their realms. Unless that realm happens to be NASCAR, in which case, if your name is Big Bill France, you built an empire that was strong and good and you passed it along to your son Bill, Jr. who continued to grow and strengthen it, so much so in fact that even your idiot grandson hasn’t been able to destroy it completely in the nine years he’s been in charge ... but again, I digress.

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IndyCar Preview: Milwaukee IndyFest

*What's News?* The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to the Milwaukee Mile this week for Milwaukee IndyFest (yes…that’s the name of the race). After a thriller last week at Texas, the historic Milwaukee Mile circuit promises to put on another fabulous show. This race, which is being promoted by the marketing arm of Michael Andretti’s team, it is hoped will be an attempt to recapture some lost glory from the race’s glory days. With the future of this race being murky at best, IndyFest promoters are on pins and needles hoping that the race weekend turns out to be a success.

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Pack Perfection: IndyCar Officials Make Right Call in the Interest of Safety

Score one for the drivers. Last Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers finally got their wish and were granted an aero package that at last broke up the much maligned (by drivers at least) “pack-style” of racing that has been a staple of races on the high banked 1.5 milers over the last few years. IndyCar officials settled on a new package that featured less downforce and less wing angle. This obviously led to higher speeds but also less grip, meaning the drivers were forced to lift entering the corners and thus put a greater emphasis on a driver’s ability to find grip through the corners. In short, IndyCar broke up the packs.

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IndyCar Preview: Firestone 550K

*What's News?* The DW12 will see it's second outing on an oval and quite a different one from the large and flat Indianapolis Motor Speedway when the IZOD IndyCar Series visits Fort Worth this weekend. Tests were conducted at the Texas Motor Speedway in February and again on May 7, when 11 teams participated to set baselines and confirm the aero package that will be used for the high banked oval. Scott Dixon set the quickest time at the May test. IndyCar issued a technical bulletin to teams last week outlining the aero package for Texas, which will be different from what was used at Indy. Rear wing mainplanes can be set by the teams within a 5.5 degree range and teams must use the standard speedway rear wing endplate and standard wheel guard. Teams can experiment with front and rear wickers so there are a number of options for how they can set up the cars.

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NASCAR And IndyCar: How A Pothole Can Unite Two Series

_Editor's Note: This column is the first in a new weekly commentary series focused on IndyCar. Let us know what you think of our new "open-wheel" Wednesday coverage in the comments section below!_ In case you haven't noticed yet, Frontstretch has expanded its reach into the open-wheel world with new coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Formula 1. Scary territory, right? After all, those series are so different from NASCAR, Frontstretch's main area of focus. How could the readers of a NASCAR site possibly hope to relate to those odd, pointy cars?

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IndyCar Race Recap: A Bizarre Day in Detroit

*In A Nutshell:* In a race that was eerily reminiscent of the 2010 Daytona 500, track surface issues were the big story on a day in which Scott Dixon otherwise dominated. The asphalt surface in Turn 7 started kicking up and creating issues around lap 30, and by lap 39, the track was in such poor shape that James Hinchcliffe wrecked going through the damaged area. The race was promptly stopped for 2 hours after this incident. Dixon resumed his dominance and cruised home to an easy 1.9 second victory after the race was restarted. Dixon’s teammate Dario Franchitti came home 2nd to deliver a 1-2 finish for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Oriol Servia rounded out the top 5.

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IndyCar Preview: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

*What’s News?* Honestly most of the news this week centers around the Indy 500, with the awards, checks, and media blitz being the focus. But wait-leave it to the ongoing engine saga to generate at least one story. Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing put together a deal with Chevrolet for an engine lease after being dropped from the Lotus program and while the manufacturer provided two engines to power the team’s entries for Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge at Indy, the deal is for a single engine lease going forward.

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IndyCar Preview: The 2012 Indianapolis 500

*What’s News?* This time last year I watched the 2011 Indy 500 with my great friend Laz, a fellow petrol-head, racing enthusiast, and attendee of some seven Indy 500’s. As the laps ticked down and the leader, JR Hildenbrand, took the white flag a voice crackled over the TV broadcast, clearly the Sausalito, Ca. native’s in-car audio: “Come on baby, bring it home”. And at that moment, with the way JR had driven, there seemed no reason why he wouldn’t negotiate the last lap with a good lead; no reason he wouldn’t bring it home for a victory for the ages. Laz and I got to our feet to applaud the clean-cut, well-spoken American rookie appropriately piloting the National Guard car, on Memorial Day Weekend. JR safely negotiated the first three corners and most of the fourth corner of the final lap before disaster struck. Instead, Dan Wheldon celebrated an improbable, and still a year on, unbelievable victory – his second at the track he so loved.

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IndyCar Race Recap: Sao Paulo Indy 300

*In a nutshell:* Will Power spanked the field for a third straight year in the Sao Paulo Indy 300, delivering yet another dominant performance at the 2.536 mile Brazilian street course. Power started on pole and he never looked back, pacing the field for 63 out of the scheduled 75 laps. Five cautions interrupted the action on the day, including a yellow for an eight car accident late in the event. Power cruised home on the restart and finished the day with a 0.9 second win over Ryan Hunter-Reay. Takuma Sato finished third and earned his first ever IndyCar podium, while Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti rounded out the top 5. Rain threatened throughout the day, but ultimately the weather held off and allowed the race to be completed in dry conditions.

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