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IndyCar: Can anyone stop Alex Palou? Iowa Preview, Predictions and How to Watch

Just a few days after an exciting Toronto Grand Prix, IndyCar is back in action for the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway. Race winner Christian Lundgaard rightfully took the glory, but behind him Alex Palou extended his championship lead to 117 points. Can anyone stop Alex Palou?

With a lead of 117 points, Palou is in firm control of the IndyCar championship. Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon is in second place, closely followed by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden. At this time, it seems impossible to find a weakness in the armor of the Championship leader. Maybe the first short-oval of the season could be a chink in Palou’s armor. Fresh off the back of his victory, Lungaard wants to prove he’s not a one hit wonder. The Danish driver is seventh in the standings and still has a shot at cracking the top 5. While it might seem unrealistic given the firepower of Penkse, Ganassi and McLaren, nothing is impossible in the IndyCar Series.

For this weekend, Conor Daly once again takes the wheel of the #60 Meyer Shank Racing machine instead of the unfit declared Simon Pagenaud

Doubleheader at Iowa

The Iowa Speedway has been a regular on the calendar since 2007 except 2021. The doubleheader at the short-oval was first introduced in the pandemic stricken 2020 season. One race at Iowa is already tough, but with two races in as many days, the practice session on Friday is very important. If the car is not quick out of the truck, you’re in for a lot of trouble. The quick turnaround between qualifying and the race will also be an important factor.

A crash in qualifying has severe consequences for the race on the same day. Not to mention, racing at Iowa is already intense as it is. The short-oval makes for close wheel to wheel racing. Racing gets especially chaotic when green flag pit stops are in play. Crucially, one pit stop puts you down 2 laps, which makes the caution trap a significant fear. The strategists will be hyperfocused on any possible trouble along the way.

Looking back to last year’s doubleheader at Iowa. Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward were victorious. Newgarden was on his way to sweep both races until a rare suspension failure resulted in a massive accident. However, Newgarden loves the Iowa Speedway. The Penske driver won three out of the last 5 races held at the short oval. Perhaps the two-time IndyCar champion could be the one to stop Palou.

The damage to Newgarden’s car after the suspension failure.

The qualifying format for this weekend is familiar for those who watched the pandemic season. Drivers will do a single car two-lap qualifying run. The speed of Lap 1 will be the order for Race 1 and the speed of lap 2 will be the order for Race 2.

Predictions

  • Pole Position: Will Power
  • Race Winner: Scott Dixon

  • Pole Position: Will Power
  • Race winner: Josef Newgarden

How to Watch

Friday, 21st

  • IndyCar Practice – 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM ET on NBC Peacock

Saturday, 22nd

  • IndyCar Qualifying 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM ET on NBC Peacock
  • Indycar – Race 1 (250 laps) 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET NBC and NBC Peacock

Sunday. 23rd

  • IndyCar Warm up – 11:05 AM – 11:30 AM ET on NBC Peacock
  • IndyCar Race 2 (250 laps) 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET on NBC and NBC Peacock

We’re in for an exciting weekend with plenty of IndyCar action. Who will take the trophies? Time will tell.

 

 

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