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Iowa Corn Indy 250 Bits

Overlooked no more: At Andretti Green Racing Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti get most of the attention. But it was Hideki Mutoh who turned in the best finish Sunday.mutoh

Mutoh didn’t shy away from a question about being overlooked.

“I’m really enjoying with my teammates. I mean, T.K. (Tony Kanaan) has a lot of experience and he is a really funny guy,” he said. “And Danica (Patrck) sometimes seems, you know, angry, but she’s not. She’s really focusing on winning races. But I like her very much, too.

“And with Marco (Andretti), I go out to dinner or sometimes, you know I have night life with him. We’re having fun, yeah. don’t know what he’s drinking, because I’m so drunk every time. Sorry. No, I’m kidding. We drink just water.”

Sure they do.

Smooth moves: Tomas Scheckter started the race 17th but that didn’t stop him from going to the front of the field.

scheckterHe passed seven cars on the first lap and moved up as high as second place in the first 25 laps. He finished sixth.

It was only his third race of the season.

“The car looks beautiful and it goes great,” he said. “We’re working at it here. It’s a really new program and we’ve changed a bunch of stuff. This finish pumps everybody up, but we’ve got to keep going. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Don’t fear the weepers: Water seepage in turn 4 canceled qualifying Saturday even though it didn’t rain at all. But downpours on Friday raised the water table causing water to come out.

The water stumped track designer Rusty Wallace.rusty

“We’re going to do some research after this event is over and see if there’s anything we can do to help that,” the retired NASCAR great said. “Almost all of the tracks on the NASCAR series have suffered that. A lot of problems at Pocono, at Michigan, Texas. It’s not an excuse. We’ve got to figure out what’s causing it at our racetrack.”

The middle of where?: Last year’s winner, Dan Wheldon, stayed in the top four for almost the entire race, and he finished fourth. Like most drivers at the track he has nothing bad to say about Iowa Speedway.

“I know a lot of people say that Iowa is in the middle of nowhere, but you know what, we get such a great crowd and they’re so enthusiastic,” Wheldon said. “As a driver you could put me in paradise, but if there’s nobody in the grandstands then it’s not good racing.”

Johnson in the house: West Des Moines native and Olympic silver medalist Shawn Johnson spent some time with fellowjohnson1 “Dancing With the Stars” competitor Helio Castroneves before the race. She took some laps around the track in the pace car. And watched some of the race from Danica Patrick’s pit.

“”I’ve been home for about a week and it’s great to be home,” Johnson said. “And now to come out to the track to watch the race and meet Helio is fantastic.”

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