Iowa Speedway had a buyer, but mystery remained. Who was it? ISC said it wasn't them.
And while that's technically correct, there aren't many degrees of separation between ISC and the company that bought the track. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced that it was purchasing the 0.875 mile track in Newton, Iowa.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president of strategic development said in a 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.
“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.”
(ISC is a separate company from NASCAR, but both are controlled by the France family.)
Money was tight at Iowa Speedway, and the track was set to operate three race weekends in 2014, down from five in 2013. Now, with the almost unlimited resources of NASCAR behind it, prospering -- and keeping NASCAR race dates -- shouldn't be an issue.
NASCAR said in the release that there were no immediate plans to put a Cup race at Iowa, but no matter what the Cup plans are for the track, this was a very wise business move from the sanctioning body, even if it's simply for public perception.
In the age of 1.5 mile tracks, fans have clamored for more short track racing, and the multi-groove racing at Iowa is cited as an example of what NASCAR needs. Letting the speedway falter and potentially disappear would be a perception problem too dangerous for NASCAR to even consider.
But we don't have to worry about that now, do we? Consider this some Thanksgiving good news, folks. Iowa Speedway is sticking around.
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