NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on November 27, 2013 | 2:28 P.M. EST
NASCAR announced Wednesay that it has purchased Iowa Speedway.
Described as a “strategic move,’’ NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. No details of the transaction were released.
NASCAR spokesman David Higdon told Motor Racing Network that “there is no intent to bring a Sprint Cup race here in the immediate future.’’
This becomes the first track owned by NASCAR that host races in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. NASCAR acquired Road Atlanta and the lease to Sebring International Raceway in its merger with American Le Mans Series last year. Iowa Speedway’s principal owner had been Conrad Clement. His brother, Stan, is the track’s president.
Higdon call the purchase of the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway a “unique situation. It’s certainly not something that we see trending. There are no plans to pursue other oval tracks.
“We felt like this facility ... it has awesome racing, is a great size, great banking and year in and year out produces strong racing in Nationwide and the Trucks. We’re going to put the full force of NASCAR’s resources behind it, a lot of the stuff we want to do on the event side and (fan) experiences and digital and social. This is a good place to really try to move the needle over the next three to five, 10 years.’’
Higdon said this was not a case of NASCAR saving a track to sell later. Iowa Speedway officials confirmed to the Des Moines Register earlier this year that a refinancing deal was in the works. In May, the Iowa Legislature pulled an $8 million appropriation to upgrade its facilities in an attempt to get a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The track announced in September that CEO Doug Fritz was leaving.
“We’ve solidified its future,’’ Higdon said of the track after the purchase. “We’ve made it very clear to the people invested in it ... that this is the best place.’’
Further details, including the track’s management, are expected to be announced in a press conference Dec. 12 in Des Moines, Iowa, which is about 30 miles from the Newton, Iowa, track.
Iowa Speedway features progressive banking in the turns and also host an IndyCar race along with its NASCAR schedule. The Rusty Wallace-designed track first hosted Nationwide and Camping World Truck races in 2009.
The track’s 2014 schedule features two Nationwide races, one Truck race and one IndyCar race.