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NASCAR buys Iowa Speedway, no Cup date planned (UPDATED)

Nov 27, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

Elliott Sadler, Darrell Wallace Jr AP

UPDATED (3:20 p.m. ET): Shortly after NASCAR announced its purchase of Iowa Speedway, MotorSportsTalk reached out to the INDYCAR sanctioning body for comment on the news.

“We have a multi-year agreement with Iowa Speedway and look forward to working with the new owners,” vice president of communications/public relations Amy Konrath replied via e-mail.

The IndyCar Series has raced at Iowa since the 2007 season.

ORIGINAL: Reports from my colleague Chris Estrada earlier this week first identified that Iowa Speedway would be sold by its current owners, then the ownership transfer was approved by local officials.

The key question though, still, was who was this mysterious buyer of the 0.875-mile track located in Newton, Iowa?

As a quick surprise before most of us retreat to our Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday, NASCAR has just announced it has bought the track. A tweet first from managing director of NASCAR’s Integrated Marketing Communications, David Higdon, broke the news.

A full release formalized the news, including the confirmation that a wholly-owned NASCAR subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is the official purchaser.

“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development, said in the release. “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.”

This will mean a heavy NASCAR schedule occurs at the track in 2014, and even the verbage has left IndyCar as “second tier” by comparison. The IndyCar weekend, on July 11-12, is referred to as the  “NASCAR Camping World Truck Series/IndyCar Series race weekend.” IndyCar shifts its date from a traditional June date to July in 2014, and Higdon added in a tweet later Wednesday that, “#IndyCar race very important to @iowaspeedway #NASCAR. Nothing changes.”

The key line from the release though is that the track does not plan to have a Sprint Cup race “next year or in the immediate future.” Further details about this announcement will be held at a special event in Des Moines on December 12.

Iowa did release its full 2014 schedule though, and is as follows:

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

  1. manik56 - Nov 27, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    This cannot be good for IndyCar.

  2. Jeff - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    That’s a damn shame.

  3. wallio - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    We can now add Iowa to the list of ovals NASCAR has locked out open wheel racing on, including Chicagoland, Atlanta, Charlotte, and MIS. Sad day.

  4. Matthew - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    I’m of two minds in regards to NASCAR’s purchase of Iowa Speedway. On the one hand, it is surprising that NASCAR and not ISC, bought the speedway (though to be fair, both companies operate under the same broad umbrella). On the other hand, I honestly don’t see where all the NASCAR hating is coming from, judging by other comments on this story; considering the track’s successful record w/Indycar, it would be asinine for NASCAR to mess with that as it would affect NASCAR’s profit margins.

    • testover6370 - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      Unlike NASCAR, Indycars are fast, have competitive races, a close championship even without a race for the chase for the cup for the thing, and no phantom yellows. It is definitely within NASCAR’s interest to minimize the exposure of their fans to real racing. Otherwise, the Emperor’s lack of clothes would become apparent rather quickly. Then again, I would be shocked *shocked!* I say, if the organization that gave us the Lucky Dog, Green White Wreckers, racing Camrys, phantom cautions, fines for every statement that isn’t unqualified praise of NASCAR, a fear of the satanic black magic that is fuel injection, the slowest Ferrari 458 in the world, and the aforementioned race for the chase for the cup for the thing, would do anything that harmed racing. It’s not like they completely ruined sports car racing or anything like that…

      • convincedofthehex - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Testover6370 wins the award for the best internet comment of the entire month. Could not have said it better myself.

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