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Driver Start Finish Rank
Sato 15 14 17th
Hawksworth 17 18 20th

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Race Report: Iowa Corn 300

NEWTON, Iowa July 10, 2016—Progress. The ABC Supply Racing team continues to make progress at the tracks where they have struggled in years past such as Iowa Speedway this weekend.

Takuma Sato registered his best finish at the 0.894-mile oval today with his 11th place showing after starting 13th. Teammate Jack Hawksworth, who started 14th and ran as high as eighth, would certainly have posted his first top-10 finish here if he’d had just a wee bit of luck with the timing of the cautions. Instead his final result shows 15th despite running competitively throughout the Iowa Corn 300.

At the start, Hawksworth surged ahead only to have “a big moment” in Turns 3 and 4 and he dropped back to 17th as he gathered it up at the end of lap one.  “In the beginning I was very aggressive and tried to go around on the outside which would’ve made a great start but I got very loose in Turn 4 and nearly crashed, so I lost a few positions,” Hawksworth said. Finding his rhythm, he began picking off cars and by lap 30, he was up to 13th with his teammate ahead in 12th. When Sato had a big moment in Turn 4 just four laps later, he lost three positions and a lot of real estate as he gathered it up.

Hawksworth continued to push and had climbed to eighth, due somewhat to the pit stop cycle but as the cycle concluded, he was 12th and Sato was 15th. In the second stint the No. 41 car wasn’t quite as strong, and Hawksworth slipped back to 15th.

The caution came out on lap 109 when Ryan Hunter-Reay saw his race go up in smoke literally. A good strategy call by Team Director and race strategist George Klotz, saw Hawksworth pick up two spots during the stop under caution, while Sato’s team waited an extra lap and lost two spots despite a 6.4 second stop. Hawksworth ran 13th but then reported his right rear was going away so the team told him to pit at the beginning of the next cycle. He was coming into the pits when the yellow came out on lap 179 for Juan Pablo Montoya’s blown engine, and Hawk’s crew told him to stay out. He darted back onto the track but lost four spots as he tried to get back up to speed. However, that choice was better than the alternative.

On the restart, Sato was now 16th and Hawksworth 17th and they ran there until the next round of pit stops began. Hawksworth pitted earlier than Sato and it cost him (as well as a few others) because when the yellow came out three laps later on lap 246, he lost a lap due to pitting under green.

Hawksworth’s misfortune benefitted Sato who climbed to 13th as he leapt ahead of the cars that pitted under green. Pitting under yellow, Sato picked up another two spots, due to the quick pit work by the 14 team.

When the race restarted with 40 laps remaining, Sato was 11th and Hawksworth was 15th which is how they finished.

Both drivers were philosophical in their remarks, noting the progress the team had made especially here at Iowa.

“We’d been struggling here in Iowa the past few years but we tested here before the race and it helped,” Sato said. “We tried a different philosophy which brought some different ideas so we’re getting better results. The team is making real progress.”

Hawksworth, who drove perhaps his best race on an oval to date, said, “Stuff didn’t fall our way today – we got caught out by yellows twice but the car was pretty quick especially on old tires. If we’d been a little more fortunate with the timing of these yellows, I think we’d have been in the top 10. It’s a shame we couldn’t catch a break but the car performed well today.”

Josef Newgarden won the race just a month after his spectacular accident at Texas Motor Speedway in which he sustained a broken clavicle and right hand. Will Power was second, followed by Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin.

The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Toronto this weekend for the Honda Indy Toronto which will be broadcast live on the CNBC network Sunday afternoon starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Qualifying Report: Iowa Corn 300

NEWTON, Iowa July 9, 2016' For the second time this season, Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth will start side-by-side in their ABC Supply Hondas. Under sunny skies, Sato qualified 13th in the No. 14 and Hawksworth 14th in the No. 41; the pair will start in row seven for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. In the season opener at St. Petersburg, they started in the fifth row.

Both drivers tested at the 0.894-mile banked oval last month which helped when the drivers were not satisfied with their cars in the morning practice today. They were able to make some adjustments for the hotter track conditions and picked up speed in qualifying. Sato posted a two-lap average speed of 181.949mph while Hawksworth was just a tick slower, averaging 181.700mph for the two laps.

'Iowa qualifying is always exciting especially the bumps in Turn 3,' said Sato. 'We didn't have a good practice session today but the testing we had last week helped us to understand where the car needs to be for qualifying. At the time when I had attacked we were fifth out'it felt pretty good. I was happy with the balance and the speed and it all looked pretty strong at the time. In the end, the field is pretty tight and I'm not super happy with our position but we have a better car in race trim so we'll see in the final warmup.'

Hawksworth said, 'Interesting qualifying. I thought we were ok this afternoon compared to this morning when we were a bit weak in qualifying trim. They changed some bits and pieces and it was where we were at the test in terms of feeling which I liked. We had too much understeer in the car and too much scrub in our run, which probably hurt us a little bit but the good thing is we got the feeling back with the rear which I had at the test. Hopefully we can put that into the race car and do some more work tonight.'

Simon Pagenaud won the Verizon P1 Award with an average speed of 185.855mph. It was the 500th pole for Team Penske (which includes his NASCAR and sports car teams as well). Starting second through fifth are Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.

The race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network Sunday afternoon starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Notes & Quotes: Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway

Takuma Sato: No. 14 ABC Supply Honda
Jack Hawksworth: No. 41 ABC Supply Honda

Takuma Sato On:

Iowa Speedway: 'Iowa is a great track. It is one of the most exciting short ovals and we have such close battles in very tight competition. It's physical--we pull over 5Gs--so you can see the cornering speeds are quite impressive. I think Iowa always produces great entertainment because it is a very competitive race. I enjoy driving this challenging track and love the venue. We had a successful test day there on the 29th. We covered many experimental test items although we had to stop for a while due to rain. We still have a lot to learn and prepare before the race, but we will analyze our results from the test and should come back faster on race weekend.'

New aero package at Iowa Speedway: 'I believe the 2016 aero package does not necessarily affect the setups at Iowa that much but having said that, we needed to improve our baseline setup. We had a great opportunity to try different types of setups at the test last week which was very productive. We now have a much better understanding of our 2016 package and I'm confident that we did improve a lot.'

What makes Iowa so difficult: 'Immediately I enjoyed racing this unique short oval in my first year in IndyCar and I had a strong run that time [qualified seventh] and an even stronger run in my second year [won the pole in 2011]. Iowa is always tricky; it's 18 seconds a lap and you spend most of the time cornering. In other words, it has such a short straightaway that physically you're in the action all the time, and that naturally expands the chance of something happening. Maybe that's why this track is tough to get it right'but I still love it even though my record here is a mixture with not great finishes but I always enjoy racing in this crazy tight battle.'

Racing at Iowa Speedway in the daytime: 'I had experienced a couple of daytime races in Iowa which I quite liked as it gave us more of a challenge but the late afternoon start to an evening finish is the first time for me. We will need to see how much the temperature changes from start to finish but it's going to be a more consistent condition than one that starts in the evening and gets dark. If the evening finish will give us more pleasant and comfortable temperatures, then I think it will be good!'

Jack Hawksworth On:

Iowa Speedway: 'Iowa is the shortest track on the calendar but also extremely quick. It makes for some of the best racing and mentally one of the most draining races on the calendar for the drivers.'

Racing at Iowa Speedway in the daytime: 'Conditions will be hotter which in theory will make it a little slippery out there. Other than that it should be the same kind of race as we saw last year.'

New aero package at Iowa: 'This year the aero kit is different but we were able to narrow in on some of the differences between the '15 package and the '16 package at the test this past week.'

Iowa Speedway test session: 'The test was very interesting, especially in the afternoon where we were able to do a lot of running and test a lot of items. I had a good feeling with the car, especially over the longer runs and in traffic. This bodes well for the race.'

Last year's Iowa race: 'Last year we spent most of the race in and around the mid pack, we had an issue with the pass around on our first stop which put us a lap down, but after that, we were able to fight back and work our way through the field to 13th. I think we'll have a stronger car in the race this year from what we saw and learned at the test.'

Past Performance at Iowa Speedway: In six races at Iowa Speedway, Sato's best start was from the pole in 2011 with KV Racing and his best finish was 12th in 2012 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan. In two starts, Hawksworth's best start is 20th (2014) and best finish is 13th. In nine appearances, the Foyt team's best start (7th) came in 2013 with Sato but a problem with the engine forced them out after 162 laps. The team's best finish (5th) came with Darren Manning in 2007.

ABC Supply Co. is in its 12th season as marketing partner of AJ Foyt Racing: ABC Supply began sponsoring the AJ Foyt Racing team with the 2005 Indianapolis 500, and is the second longest active team sponsor in the Verizon IndyCar Series. With this season, the company ties U.S. Tobacco's Copenhagen brand in length of sponsorship of Foyt's team. 'ABC Supply has leveraged its involvement by sponsoring races at Milwaukee (in the past) and now at Pocono Raceway with the ABC Supply 500, and by entertaining over 75,000 associates and customers during the past 11 racing seasons.'Over 300 guests will be entertained this weekend.

ABC Supply national account, Apex General Contracting, headquartered in South Beloit, Ill., will be featured on the engine cover of the No. 14 ABC Supply car during the Iowa Corn 300. 'Guests will receive the VIP treatment this weekend along with a Meet and Greet with Takuma Sato.

ABC Supply local roofing customer, HCI Get-A-Pro, located in Moline, Ill., won the 'Your Name Here' contest for the Iowa Corn 300. The company name will be atop the sidepods of the No. 41 ABC Supply Dallara/Honda. Guests will receive VIP treatment, plus a Meet and Greet with Jack Hawksworth.

Headquartered in Beloit, Wis., ABC Supply was founded by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982. The company operates over 600 branches in 49 states plus the District of Columbia and is dedicated exclusively to serving professional contractors. 'ABC Supply has distinguished itself by following a simple guiding principle ' take care of contractors better than any other distributor. 'It remains an 'employee-first' company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed. 'As a 10-time winner of the Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes the best-performing workforces in the world, ABC Supply is one of only three companies in the world to have earned this honor every year since its inception in 2007. 'More information is available at

The Iowa Corn 300 will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network Sunday, July 10th starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.