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Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend Pit Stop Challenge to Fuel the Return of Free Family Friday

July 18, 2023

NEWTON, Iowa (July 13, 2023) — Following the popular debut of “Free Family Friday” last summer at Iowa Speedway, Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend announced today that fans will once again enjoy free access to the track on the opening day of the action-packed event on Friday, July 21.The return of Free Family Friday during Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will include an exciting new element with an evening pit stop competition under the lights at Iowa Speedway, featuring some of the top teams and pit crews in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES competing for $50,000 in prize money.  

he Hy-Vee INDYCAR Weekend Pit Stop Challenge will feature a single-elimination, six-team competition. The Pit Stop Challenge will showcase the speed and precision of the world-class pit crews whose performance often makes the difference between winning and losing each and every race weekend in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The drivers and teams participating in the Pit Stop Challenge will include the two defending INDYCAR race winners at Iowa – Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet team along with Pato O’Ward and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet team. Current NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader Alex Palou and the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda team will also participate in the competition along with Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammates Graham Rahal and the No. 15 Honda team and Christian Lundgaard and the No. 45 Hy-Vee Honda team with Devlin DeFrancesco and the No. 29 Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Honda team completing the six-team pit stop field.  

Set to begin at approximately 7:30 pm CT Friday evening on the Iowa Speedway pit lane, fans will be able to watch the teams battle for pit pride and prize money. During the Challenge, the actual drivers of the participating cars will begin from a standing start before guiding their high-tech machines into the competition pit boxes where their crews will go to work. After the cars come to a stop, the teams will change all four tires and simulate refueling on each car to complete the stop and determine a winner. The winning team from each head-to-head matchup will advance in the competition with each team fighting to win the $20,000 grand prize awarded to the fastest crew on pit road. The runner up team will earn $10,000 while the other four teams will each win $5,000 in prize money. 

The Pit Stop Challenge will provide a thrilling conclusion to an exciting Friday during Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend.  

The Iowa Speedway gates will open at 2 p.m. CT on July 21 and fans can enter free of charge to watch the first on-track action from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the rising stars of INDY NXT by Firestone. All grandstand seating areas will feature first-come, first-served general admission viewing throughout the course of the day. 

INDY NXT by Firestone will host the first practice of the weekend from 2:15-3 p.m. followed by the stars of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES competing at the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet” with practice from 3:30-5 p.m. Fans will be able to get autographs from the INDY NXT drivers from 4-4:30 p.m. on the patio area facing the track surface, located right next to the Hy-Vee Chairman’s Club (formerly the Newton Club) at the base of the suite tower, adjacent to the main grandstands on the front stretch.

INDY NXT will return to the track for qualifying beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Once INDY NXT qualifying is complete, track crossing areas will open at 6:30 p.m. and all fans will be welcomed into the Iowa Speedway infield to access the paddock and garage area, where the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and INDY NXT by Firestone teams will work on their cars throughout the weekend. 

At approximately 6:15 p.m., fans can come meet and get autographs from their favorite NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers on the patio area next to the Hy-Vee Chairman’s Club and the main grandstands on the front stretch.

Following the INDYCAR autograph session, fans will be able to visit the infield to enjoy some unique behind-the-scenes experiences throughout the evening on Free Family Friday. 

The Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend Friday Night fun at Iowa Speedway will include: 

  • Track Walk – Fans can walk around the 7/8th-mile Iowa Speedway oval on the actual racing surface between 6:30-7:15 p.m. 
  • INDYCAR Autograph Session – Fans are invited to meet and get autographs from all NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers on the patio area next to the main grandstands and the Hy-Vee Chairman’s Club from 6:15-7:15 p.m. 
  • Visit Victory Lane – Fans can visit the Victory Lane area in the Iowa Speedway infield and take pictures on the Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend podium. 
  • Connect with Paddock Partners – Check out the Firestone Tires, AMR Safety Team and INDYCAR Technical Inspection areas in the paddock and learn more about what they do on race weekend. 
  • Pit Stop Challenge – Watch six of the top NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams square off for pit road supremacy, beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Fans are welcome to watch the competition from the walkway just behind the pit wall or the new infield grandstands located adjacent to pit lane. 

With three days of turbocharged action, July 21-23, Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend will feature the only doubleheader race event on the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule. Saturday’s series race will feature the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 presented by Instacart, and Sunday’s action will be highlighted by the Hy-Vee One Step 250 presented by Gatorade. INDY NXT by Firestone will also compete on Saturday of race weekend. The three-day festival will include an incredible music lineup as well with both Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney in concert on Saturday and Zac Brown Band and Ed Sheeran performing live on Sunday. 

To purchase 2023 Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend tickets and to learn more about the event, visit https://www.hyveeindycarweekend.com/.  

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of more than $13 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 5 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 3 favorite grocery stores. The company’s more than 80,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit www.hy-vee.com

INDYCAR is the Indianapolis-based governing body for North America's premier open-wheel auto racing series, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, and its developmental series, INDY NXT by Firestone. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES features an international field of the world's most versatile drivers – including two-time and reigning series champion Will Power, six-time series champion Scott Dixon, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and reigning Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson – who compete on superspeedways, short ovals, street circuits and permanent road courses. The 2023 season consists of 17 races in the United States and Canada and is highlighted by the historic Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES, INDY NXT by Firestone, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions are owned by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. For more information on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, please visit www.indycar.com. For more information on INDY NXT by Firestone, please visit www.indynxt.com.