Iowa's long draught came to an end today as a severe thunderstorm hit the Iowa Speedway around 5:45 p.m., pushing back the start of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to around 9:45 p.m. today. The rain and the late start didn't put a damper on the hopes of the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing team. The team has struggled on ovals this season and was eager to get their first oval finish of the season. Not only did they finish, they had their second-best finish of the season.
The race saw some attrition, starting with a blown engine by pole-sitter, Dario Franchitti on the warm up lap. Cars continued to struggle throughout the evening, but Lotus HVM Racing driver Simona De Silvestro pushed hard, drove a consistent race and stayed out of trouble.
De Silvestro was happy with the final result. "I'm pretty happy with 14th", she said, "that's our second best finish this year, and it was on an oval. I think there was a lot of survival going on out there, but I think we had a really strong race car. It was really comfortable out there so I could stay in the tow of other people. A big thanks to the team, they kept working really hard every time. Even when we know it's going to be a tough weekend we always hope for the best. I think today we had a pretty good result at the end. Hopefully we'll get some improvements for the road courses and start sneaking into the top-ten. "
Team owner Keith Wiggins was pleased with the outcome as well. "I think we should be quite happy," he said. "Bottom line is she did a great race. She got some more confidence and practice on the oval. Obviously we were down on power so she suffered a bit in traffic, but with the momentum when she was up to speed and we were doing the same lap times as most of the field, which is really good. I'm happy for the team and with the car setup and happy for Simona. We've just got to get a few more horses."
Shane Seneviratne, team manager, is already looking ahead. "I'm glad we finished the race," he said. "Simona did a great job. Everything held up. Hats off to the crew on the pit stops. We're looking forward to Toronto."
The team heads back to Indianapolis tomorrow looking forward to next weekend at home. The team travels next to Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 8th at 1:00 p.m. ET. The race will air on ABC.