Kanaan tops active final practice for Iowa Corn 300

Updated: 

NEWTON, Iowa – Following Verizon P1 Award qualifying at Iowa Speedway, all that stood between the Verizon IndyCar Series field and Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 was a final 30-minute tune-up session on the 0.894-mile oval – a hectic session paced by 2010 race winner Tony Kanaan.

Kanaan’s fast lap of 17.9695 seconds (179.103 mph) sets him up nicely for Sunday afternoon’s 300-lap race (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network). Driving the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, Kanaan also was fastest in this morning’s first practice and will start Sunday’s race sixth.

Kanaan has finished on the Iowa podium in five of the last six races. Josef Newgarden, who will start the race on the outside of Row 1, was second fastest in the final practice in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka/ECR Chevrolet (18.0191 seconds, 178.610 mph).

CLICK HERE: Iowa Corn 300 practice 2 results; Combined session results

Series points leader and pole sitter Simon Pagenaud was third quick in the session, with a best lap of 18.0412 seconds (178.392 mph) in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.

The final practice featured intense racing as drivers sought to find the balance of their cars in traffic, with plenty of side-by-side racing and close-quarters battling. It included a close call between Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates. Mikhail Aleshin, in the No. 7 SMP Racing Honda, made a bold inside pass of James Hinchcliffe, in the No. 5 Arrow Honda, taking the air off Hinchcliffe’s car and nearly forcing him into the wall.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet, but not entirely sure how to say ‘clear’ in Russian,” Hinchcliffe said. “Either way, I don’t think it was spoken. You don’t want to race anyone like that ever, especially in practice, especially a teammate.

“It’ll be fine. I heard from the (No.) 7 (timing) stand that he knows he screwed up and he apologized. It’s just that it could have ended a whole lot worse.”

Hinchcliffe, who qualified last in the 22-car field, felt better about his car after the final practice.

“We’re still a little mystified about what happened in qualifying,” said the 2013 Iowa winner. “We think we know what it was and, when we got back out there in warmup, everything felt like it did in practice. It’s really killer unfortunate that it happened. This isn’t the worst track to start last in, but when we’re racing at the time of day that we are and the grip level seems to be a little bit down, it’s not going to make our job any easier.

“A lot can obviously change here, a lot can happen. Big fuel windows and a lot of strategy options, so we’ll see what kind of rabbit we can pull out of the hat there.”

Final practice results are below:

Rank

Car

Driver Name

C/A/E/T

Time

Speed

Diff

Gap

Best Lap

Total Laps

1

10

Kanaan, Tony

D/C/C/F

00:17.9695

179.103

--.----

--.----

5

47

2

21

Newgarden, Josef

D/C/C/F

00:18.0191

178.610

0.0496

0.0496

7

57

3

22

Pagenaud, Simon

D/C/C/F

00:18.0412

178.392

0.0717

0.0221

50

54

4

3

Castroneves, Helio

D/C/C/F

00:18.0432

178.372

0.0737

0.0020

67

70

5

5

Hinchcliffe, James

D/H/H/F

00:18.0685

178.122

0.0990

0.0253

23

57

6

7

Aleshin, Mikhail

D/H/H/F

00:18.1325

177.493

0.1630

0.0640

34

68

7

11

Bourdais, Sebastien

D/C/C/F

00:18.1585

177.239

0.1890

0.0260

6

40

8

12

Power, Will

D/C/C/F

00:18.1833

176.998

0.2138

0.0248

28

62

9

15

Rahal, Graham

D/H/H/F

00:18.2185

176.656

0.2490

0.0352

58

63

10

83

Kimball, Charlie

D/C/C/F

00:18.2417

176.431

0.2722

0.0232

7

50

11

27

Andretti, Marco

D/H/H/F

00:18.2483

176.367

0.2788

0.0066

22

37

12

28

Hunter-Reay, Ryan

D/H/H/F

00:18.2597

176.257

0.2902

0.0114

26

40

13

26

Munoz, Carlos

D/H/H/F

00:18.2725

176.134

0.3030

0.0128

36

45

14

20

Carpenter, Ed

D/C/C/F

00:18.2835

176.028

0.3140

0.0110

39

51

15

2

Montoya, Juan Pablo

D/C/C/F

00:18.3082

175.790

0.3387

0.0247

16

43

16

14

Sato, Takuma

D/H/H/F

00:18.3281

175.599

0.3586

0.0199

9

58

17

19

Chaves, Gabby

D/H/H/F

00:18.3357

175.526

0.3662

0.0076

27

71

18

8

Chilton, Max (R)

D/C/C/F

00:18.3652

175.244

0.3957

0.0295

37

47

19

9

Dixon, Scott

D/C/C/F

00:18.3835

175.070

0.4140

0.0183

16

47

20

98

Rossi, Alexander (R)

D/H/H/F

00:18.4051

174.865

0.4356

0.0216

14

39

21

41

Hawksworth, Jack

D/H/H/F

00:18.4266

174.661

0.4571

0.0215

9

58

22

18

Daly, Conor (R)

D/H/H/F

00:19.0970

168.529

1.1275

0.6704

32

32

(R) Rookie (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone

Total Laps: 1136

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