In a stark contrast from the rough and bumpy street circuit, drivers now will be challenged with wrestling their cars on the 0.875-mile bull ring in Newton, Iowa. The short tri-oval has variable banking that often looks more like a superspeedway. Drivers at the "World's Fastest Short Track" are tested mentally and physically as they make laps in under 18 seconds.

Drivers will be busy this weekend, with two races on tap. Qualifying for both races will take place tomorrow but today was all about practice.

Following the 90-minute practice session, it was Will Power who sat at the top of the time sheet. The Team Penske ace was followed by Conor Daly, teammate Scott McLaughlin, Alex Palou, and Pato O'Ward. Rounding out the top ten in the session were Marcus Ericsson, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Jimmie Johnson, and Scott Dixon.

Chevrolet had the edge in terms of manufacturers but all four Chip Ganassi Racing drivers landed inside the top ten. That was great for Honda but the Andretti Autosport stable did not fare so well. Their four drivers were 14th, 20th, 23rd, and 24th respectively. Michael Andretti's team used to dominate this track, winning seven of the first nine races here. They have not won since 2015 though, when Ryan Hunter-Reay earned back-to-back victories.

2022 Iowa Speedway - Practice 1 Results
Pos Driver Team Engine
1Will PowerTeam PenskeChevrolet
2Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
3Scott McLaughlinTeam PenskeChevrolet
4Alex PalouChip Ganassi RacingHonda
5Pato O'WardArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
6Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
7Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevrolet
8Graham RahalRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
9Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
10Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingHonda
11Rinus VeeKayEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
12Felix RosenqvistArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
13Jack HarveyRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
14Colton HertaAndretti AutosportHonda
15Takuma SatoDale Coyne w/ Rick Ware RacingHonda
16Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
17Simon PagenaudMeyer Shank RacingHonda
18David MalukasDale Coyne w/ HMD MotosportsHonda
19Helio CastronevesMeyer Shank RacingHonda
20Alexander RossiAndretti AutosportHonda
21Callum IlottJuncos Hollinger RacingChevrolet
22Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
23Romain GrosjeanAndretti AutosportHonda
24Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti AutosportHonda
25Dalton KellettAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
26Kyle KirkwoodAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet

Simon Pagenaud and Newgarden won the first doubleheader event here last season. Iowa Speedway has recently become Newgarden's personal playground.

Newgarden has won two of the last three Iowa races. His last eight finishes here are 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 6th, 4th, 1st, 5th, and 1st. The three-time Iowa winner has led an astonishing 1,150 laps in those eight races. No other driver has even led 100 laps in that same time span. His dominance here is unmatched, and it would not be a surprise to see him sweep both races this weekend.

Dixon comes into Iowa on a high, winning his 52nd career race last weekend to tie Mario Andretti for 2nd most on the all-time wins list. He has won a race in 18 straight seasons, and will be making his 300th consecutive start on Sunday. Oddly enough, Iowa is one of the few places where he has never tasted victory.

Power is in a similar boat, as the qualifying king has never won a race here. While he did not have a great weekend in Toronto, Power still sits 2nd in the championship standings. The two veterans have combined for 7 poles, 13 top-five finishes and 261 laps led. Dixon finished runner-up in the first race here last year, while Power was runner-up in the second race.

Penske was one of the teams that tested here a few weeks ago. Power shed some light on some of the information gathered by rival teams. "I know what teams have our setups. We know McLaren has it because Gavin Ward went there. Andretti has it because Pagenaud brought it. He used to take screenshots of our setup sheets, so he has it, and emailed it to himself." There were 19 cars that participated in that test.

Although he was 17th in today’s practice, Pagenaud is another driver to watch this weekend. He has finished 4th, 1st, and 4th in his last three Iowa starts and has the second-best average finishing position among the 26 drivers entered. They Meyer Shank Racing product started 23rd in both races last year, but will be aiming for his third pole here tomorrow.

Alexander Rossi will be looking for his first top-five finish at Iowa, although his results have been good in his six career starts. He has finished 6th on three occasions, along with 8th, 9th, and 11th place results. After a lackluster practice session, Rossi knows they have some work to do for tomorrow.

"It was a tough first session," said the driver of the No. 27 Honda. "We’re not even in the window, to be honest. We have some work to do overnight. This was our only practice session, and we go straight into qualifying tomorrow. It’s a parc fermé race so it could be a struggle tomorrow."

Rossi was on pace for a podium finish last weekend in Toronto before he was taken out by his potential teammate next season, Felix Rosenqvist, who ended up on the podium instead.

Rahal nearly made it on that podium, but his 4th place result was a much-needed breath of fresh air for he and the team. "I'm really proud of the guys, they did an unbelievable job in the pits. A lot of people have been beating their heads against the wall this year, and it's been tough on our sponsors. It was a good kick start to the rest of the year with HyVee. We hope we can have another great weekend." Graham finished 3rd in the second Iowa race last year and clearly had the speed during today’s practice.

Ed Carpenter returns to the cockpit this weekend. The team owner and driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet is hoping for some positive results in what has been a trying time. Carpenter finished 13th at Texas earlier this year and despite qualifying 4th at Indianapolis, he ended up with a disappointing 19th place result. Iowa hasn't been his best track either, finishing 18th, 12th, 10th, 19th, 15th, and 23rd in his last six starts here. He was 22nd on the speed chart today.

Carpenter's two full-time drivers have had mixed results here. Rinus VeeKay has finished 19th and 17th in his two starts, while Conor Daly earned his first career pole at this track last year. He went on to finish 8th in that first race last season, and led laps in both races for Carlin Racing. This is Daly's first time driving for ECR at Iowa, and could very well find success this weekend based on his performance today.

Colton Herta got himself back into the championship hunt last weekend with his pole and runner-up finish at Toronto. The young driver will need to find something this weekend though. His best finish in three starts at Iowa is 18th, and has never led a lap. He was fastest of the four drivers today, but was still 14th overall. Amid all of the chaos surrounding the organization this season, Herta has been the one bright spot for them.

Qualifying is not as critical at Iowa as it is as most other tracks. In fact, Newgarden's victory last year was the first time in the 15-year history of the event that the race was won from pole position. Oddly enough, there has only been one driver to win from pole through ten races this year, and that was the season-opener at St Petersburg. The driver starting 2nd however, has won half of the races this season, including the last three.

Tomorrow will feature the same unique qualifying format used last year, where each driver will get two timed laps by themselves. Their first lap determines their starting spot for Saturday's race while their second lap will set their starting position for Sunday's race.

The double header format makes things complicated for teams as they try to find the right setup for the cars. Some teams prefer to put their focus on qualifying while others want to dial in their race setup. Once teams make their changes for qualifying, they are not able to make any adjustments before the race.

Many drivers chose to make qualifying simulations in the final 20 minutes of practice, but it was halted briefly because of a fox that wandered onto the track.

Another challenge awaits the teams and drivers tomorrow as they prepare for qualifying. Today's practice session was later in the evening, but qualifications begin at 10:30 ET tomorrow morning. That will set the field for the first race, which is 250 laps. Coverage for the 250 at Iowa begins at 4 PM on NBC.