Back in 2005, former Winston Cup champion Rusty Wallace helped design a racetrack out in the corn fields of Iowa. A tri-oval short-track with a road course on premises, Iowa Speedway has gone on to host stock cars, Indy cars and Grand-Am sportscars, but in the years since it's opening, it has fallen on some hard times. Fortunately the speedway has now been rescued by none other than the motorsport sanctioning body with which it is most closely associated.

In a deal announced just the other day, NASCAR will take over ownership of Iowa Speedway, effective immediately. Details of NASCAR's plans for what it calls "a very bright future" for the track won't be announced until mid December, but few if any changes are expected to be made just yet to the calendar which the previous owners announced earlier this month. In the summer of 2014, Iowa Speedway will host three major race weekends, including races in the Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series and IndyCar Series.

While it's not unusual to see the France family that controls NASCAR take ownership of a track, such moves are usually done through the International Speedway Corporation. Started by NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. in 1953, ISC merged its portfolio of speedways with Penske's in 1999 to form one of the largest racetrack groups in the world, controlling such locations as Daytona, Homestead, Talladega and Watkins Glen. Several France family members sit on the board, including chairman James France, CEO Lesa France Kennedy and NASCAR CEO Brian France. The announcement from Iowa, however, (which you can see for yourself below) makes no mention of ISC involvement in the deal.
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NASCAR purchases Iowa Speedway
November 27, 2013

Rusty Wallace-designed short track has a 'very bright future'

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.

"Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future," said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. "The facility has the support of the region, it's positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.


May 17 (Saturday): NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
May 18 (Sunday): NASCAR Nationwide Series
July 11 (Friday): American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
July 12 (Saturday): Iowa Corn Indy 300, IndyCar Series
Aug. 1 (Friday): NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Aug. 2 (Saturday): NASCAR Nationwide Series

"NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans -- much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan."

The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.

NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.

The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.

The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.

On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.

Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey's Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).

Iowa Speedway's ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe they now they can firmly establish the J-D Cup for combines. Jim
      Ric J
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hopefully NASCAR's desire for increased profitability from this facility will not negatively impact its current relationship with the Des Moines Valley Region of the Sports Car Club of America. DMVR has used both the parking lot and infield for numerous Solo (autocross) events over the past several seasons and just last year hosted our first SCCA Club Racing and PDX events on the "roval". The parking lot and hospitality suites were also used for the first time as the venue for our annual Tire Rack Street Survival School for teen drivers last season. This has been a great partnership for grassroots motorsport in Central Iowa that would be a shame to lose.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why doesn't NASCAR buy a real historical track like North Wilkesboro? idiots
        • 1 Year Ago
        maybe its your manners.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Those tracks are too close to other major tracks. NASCAR over-expanded, putting tracks where there was a marginal fan base.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would rather visit vacation paradise Iowa to pick corn than attend a NASCAR race.
        • 1 Year Ago
        No need to help us pick the corn - we have machines for that. Let me know when you're coming, I'll show you around. We don't have mountains or seashores, but the food's really good and the people are nice. I think you'll like it here, I do.
      • 1 Year Ago
      People still watch this debacle?
      • 1 Year Ago
      And all the yahoos are running around "We're gonna get Cup!". It's amusing to watch. Sad as well. The investment they'd have to make in infrastructure such as seating, restrooms and concession stands, I can't see it happening. Not to mention Chicago is just 4 hours away and already has an event - KC is just 3 hours away and has 2 Cup dates - and St. Louis is 6 hours away and couldn't make a thing of Nationwide and trucks. Newton doesn't have the population base to draw from to support an ongoing event. There's probably some tax dodge to putting the track in NASCAR's name instead of ISC. And I'd imagine one of the first changes will be cutting staff whose positions would be redundant with people in Daytona.
      • 1 Year Ago
      While their at it buy Nashville, Gateway, Nazereth, Milwaukee, Texas World, and couple of others. Bring some damn variety to the season. I\'m tired of watching snoozer races on all the 1.5 mile tracks.
      XJ Yamaha
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's not all that big of a track for, what I've seen. Driven by a good number of times, and even stayed at the hotel next to it for work. Seems they have a decent set up, and Newton isn't that big of a town. I'm not at all into racing, but know a good number if people around that are, so this could certainly be a good investment.
      • 1 Year Ago
      More short tracks, please. Kill off one of those stupid cookie-cutters. I nominate Kentucky.