Newton, IA – Alex Tagliani hit the track on Friday evening for a brand-new, heat race format qualifying session to determine the starting grid for Saturday night’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 race at Iowa Speedway, where he will start in P9.
The IZOD IndyCar Series entrants were divided into three groups based on the results of the second practice session earlier in the day. Tagliani and his Team Barracuda – BHA crew were P11 in practice, placing them in the second heat race.
The Canadian driver battled his way to the front, setting the fastest lap of any heat race, and held on until only a few laps were left. The team looked at the heat race format as another opportunity to practice under race conditions. It allowed Tagliani and his engineers to analyze the proper setup for Saturday night’s race under the lights.
“For Team Barracuda – BHA, this was a good way of learning what the car is going to need to be quicker tomorrow,” said Tagliani. “If we want to run up front tomorrow night, we’re going to have to make some changes but I think we’re on the right track.
“The new qualifying format seems like a lot of work for our guys. We spent a lot of the day in Tech. I think the IZOD IndyCar Series has been putting on some great qualifying runs, from Indy to Texas to Milwaukee, so I would stay with that. When you have a car that can steal the pole because of a good run, it gets the fans up on their feet. We’ll see what the fans say – obviously we want to make it interesting for them. It’s a good learning curve.”
The estimated green flag for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 will take place on Saturday, June 23 at 9 p.m. CST (local). The 250-lap race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, preceded by the taped qualifying broadcast and pre-race activities. The entire broadcast starts at 6:30 p.m. CST. Fans can also listen to the radio broadcast on IMS Radio Network and Sirius (XM 94 and Sirius 212).