Friday, July 31, 2009

Iowa Speedway's First Nascar Nationwide Race

This weekend, Iowa Speedway hosts its first Nationwide race. The track that Rusty Wallace helped build has generated a lot of buzz in recent years, but the anticipated Nascar arrival is finally here.

The track is a 7/8 mile track modeled after Richmond with a few Wallace tweaks. Drivers report the corners are "big" enough to allow racing through them, and the smooth surface allows maximum speed. Iowans have supported the Speedway with large crowds at events that don't traditionally draw crowds. USAC fans were heard to exclaim the crowd for a qualifying day was unlike anything they had ever seen at a track, while the IRL and Nascar Camping World East-West races boast capacity crowds for their events. Tomorrow, nearly 57,000 are expected, with the Speedway building temporary stands to accommodate the crowd. If the crowd is that large, it will be the largest crowd for a racing event in Iowa (which is saying something when the Knoxville Nationals at its height clocked in around 40,000 and the Boone SuperNationals have several thousand each year as well).

During a press conference, Kyle Busch pointed out that this Nationwide race would potentially have more people at it than attended the Cup race a couple weeks ago at Chicago.

Iowa Speedway has hosted many events including IRL races, USAC races, Nascar's Camping World East-West series race, ARCA races, Hooter's Pro Cup races, Grand Am road races and motorcycle events. Nascar Sprint Cup stars who have tried out the track include: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, and Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya ran one of his first stock car races at the track several years ago when he was transitioning from Formula One to stock cars. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards have both tested at the track. Earnhardt drew a crowd of a few hundred for a test session.

The track is ready to go and fans are urged to arrive early to avoid the typical rae traffic backup.


RA6AN said...

Hey Iowa, Will you be there?!

Iowa-Girl said...

Maybe. I have a few things to do this weekend for a course I am taking. But I may manage to swing it. If I do, I will get some photos to share.

RA6AN said...

Well, pat Carl on the butt for me if you go.

Gene Haddock said...

The race at Iowa should be much better than the Cup race at Chicago also.

Have fun if you go....I'm betting that you will. ;)

jon_464 said...

Sounds like it's going to be an exciting race. I wouldn't be surprised if you end up going.


Tsfanpc said...

Iowa I have heard Rusty Wallace talk about this track for awhile now. He certainly had alot to do with the development of this track. I hope that the racing is good there. Maybe NASCAR will eventually give them a Cup race. Ditching the California 1 1/2 mile track or Chicago.

photogr said...

I have to agree with Tsfan on having a cup race there. Don't need 2 races in California or Chicago.

klvalus said...

Well Iowa did you go? Post pics if so!

It would be nice to get some new tracks in the mix on the Cup schedule.