The speculation about a possible Indy Car race at the new Iowa Speedway in Newton was put to rest Wednesday with the announcement of two races by track co-designer Rusty Wallace.
Wallace announced that the IndyCar Series will run a 250-lap race on June 24 and the Indy Pro Series a 100-mile event on June 23 of 2007. The June 24th race will be shown an A-B-C television at noon Iowa time. Wallace is a former NASCAR champion and current ABC Sports/ESPN IndyCar Series commentator. He says the races will be exciting as the cars will go about 185 miles an hour and be “pretty cool.”
Indy Racing League president Brian Barnhart says Iowa has historic ties to racing and Indy. Barnhart says the Newton track is about 30 miles north of the Knoxville track where the Knoxville Nationals are run, and says some 18 former Knoxville drivers have raced in the Indianapolis 500.
Barnhart says Iowa has a lot of race fans and says there are 56 oval tracks in the U.S. — second only to the 59 oval tracks in Pennsylvania. He says roughly 45-percent of their fans come from the 19 major t-v markets in the midwest. Barnhart says Iowa is a perfect fit for the I-R-L.
The Iowa Speedway will have a seating capacity of 40-thousand including 25-thousand permanent seats. Paving of the racing surface was completed in late July, and the speedway will host its inaugural race September 15th.