This weekend, the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear contests the fifth round, the second on an oval, of their season at the Iowa Speedway. They will be there along with every other part of the Road2Indy program and the IZOD IndyCar Series. It should make for a fantastic weekend of open-wheel racing.
The last race for Star Mazda was at the O’Reilly Raceway Park where they shared the Night Before the 500 with the US F2000 National Championship and the USAC Midgets. Like with US F2000, car count is not what the series or fans would like. Only 13 cars gridded up for the race at ORP which is significantly fewer than the typical high-20s car counts from last season. Regardless of the car count, the racing action was still exciting. Conor Daly, son of the famous Formula 1 and IndyCar driver Derek Daly, absolutely dominated the field, but the action back through the pack was very thrilling. Tristan Vautier and Anders Krohn had to start from the back and it was fantastic watching the two slice and dice their way up through the field. Daly’s victory at ORP was his third of the season, placing third only the first race at Sebring. Those three wins places Daly in a strong position in the Championship thus far as he leads Mikael Grenier by 29 points headed into Iowa.
|Pos||Driver||Sebring||St Petersburg||Mazda Raceway||O’Reilly Raceway||Pts|
|6||Connor De Phillipp||29||32||34||29||124|
|14||JW Roberts||19||20||24 0||63|
Given how strong Daly tested and raced on the 5/8-mile oval at ORP, I really can’t see anyone capable of challenging him at the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway. However, keep in mind that just because the leader jumps ahead of the field, there’s still a dozen or so other drivers racing for position. Don’t just keep your eyes on the leader, be sure to take in and enjoy all of the mid-back action.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the Firestone Indy Lights series as they head to the Iowa Speedway.