Iowa Speedway’s First Nationwide Race
New NASCAR capable race tracks are a breed of venue that need to meet specific criteria in order to qualify as a race track for Nationwide Series races, let alone host Sprint Cup competitions, which obviously are a beast of a different sort. The three year old 0.875 mile Iowa Speedway recently achieved the first part of their goal to eventually host Sprint Cup events on a regular basis. This oval-venue hosted its first Nationwide Series race this Saturday to a packed house of NASCAR fans. They were also awarded there first Camping World Truck Series race which is set for Sept 5 of this year, so things have really been happening at this new track. Iowa Speedway was awarded there first Nationwide Series race after NASCAR pulled the plug on the scheduled event in Mexico City. They inherited the Camping World Truck Series competition after Mansfield Motorsports was forced to cancel due to financial problems. They must be excited to hosting three major competitions in only there third year of operation and looking forward to showing the Sprint Cup officials that will be there to watch that they would be an excellent spot to host a future Sprint Cup race.
The word is that the seats for Saturday’s race were full, including the 30,000 temporary seats they added for the first competition and crowds exceeded 40,000 excited and happy NASCAR fans for Iowa Speedway’s first Nationwide Series competition. They would certainly need to increase their capacity to host a Sprint Cup event but they do have the fan and population-base they need to succeed within driving distance. They’ll be supported by the car-loving population of Des Moines, which is currently about 200,000, but the market is stronger than these numbers indicate. There are dozens of smaller auto racing venues scattered about the state and the area already easily supports the Knoxville Raceway, which is home to the Knoxville Nationals Sprint Car Championships. In addition, the city of Newton is only 30 miles south of the Knoxville venue and has helped support the Knoxville Raceway for years.
They do have a lot of work to do to convince Sprint Cup officials that they have what it takes to host Sprint Cup competitions. They’re on the right track though and if they take there time and make sure they make all the little steps necessary for success, we could be seeing Sprint Cup events at this venue in the future.
“Image: Zuma Press”