Stars shine on and off the track to a packed house in Iowa

Note : The editorial team reflects on the 10 greatest moments of 2022 in the NTT INDYCAR and INDY NXT by Firestone series in this year-end series. One episode will be released on the site every day in a countdown from December 22 to December 31.

The only thing hotter than Josef Newgarden during the Hy-Vee INDYCAR race weekend at Iowa Speedway — aside from the summer temperatures, of course — was the weekend’s concert schedule.

We can say that it is incredible. Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton took turns on stage for pre- and post-race musical presentations, rounding out the July 23-24 doubleheader.

McGraw and Florida Georgia Line performed on Saturday, the day Newgarden led 208 of 250 laps in the 250. On Sunday, when Newgarden was still crushing the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field before losing in a crash at turn 4 on lap 235 of the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300, performances from Stefani and Shelton wowed the crowd. Newgarden was leading 148 laps before his incident.

The only new event on the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule included a Food Truck Village with dozens of Midwestern trucks, games and activities for kids on Saturday, and special activities to honor the nation’s farmers on Sunday.

Qualifying to determine the start lines for the two oval races was also unique. The driver’s first lap set a time for the first race while the second lap did the same for the second race. Team Penske’s Will Power took pole for both races, closing in on Mario Andretti’s mark (67), which Power equaled a month later in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Arrow McLaren SP’s Newgarden and Pato O’Ward were the two weekend winners.

Hy-Vee, a supermarket chain based in West Des Moines, Iowa, got involved in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for the first time by sponsoring Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s #15 car in the second race of the 2020 doubleheader at Iowa Speedway. This was the third year of primary sponsorship of RLL’s #45 car driven by Jack Harvey, with associated sponsorships of the #15 car of Graham Rahal and the #30 car driven by Christian Lundgaard.

The Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will return to great fanfare in 2023 with a similar concert schedule. Carrie Underwood (pre-race) and Kenny Chesney (post-race) will perform on Saturday July 22, while the Zac Brown Band (pre-race) and Ed Sheeran (post-race) will perform on Sunday July 23.

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