A little over a year ago, it was a grassy field. Today (Friday), the Iowa Speedway hosts its first stock car race. Laura Manatt, the track’s marketing director, says some finishing touches are still needed outside on the landscaping, but the track and grandstand are ready for racing.

Manatt says ground was broken 15 months ago and it must be a record to get the speedway up and running this quickly. The seven-eighths of a mile track is hosting the Soy Biodiesel 250 today, with more races through the weekend. Manatt says the gates open at noon today and those who arrive early, won’t be bored.

There are events all afternoon, corporate displays and vendors will be open, and there’s a country music concert prior to the race. Practice racing begins at noon with qualifying at 5 P.M. Tom Wardlow, Newton’s interim city administrator and police chief, commends the city and everyone else who worked on the track for getting everything ready in such short order.

Wardlow says “That area has been an anthill of activity since this spring and we have, though our contractors and city staff, put together infrastructure to support this facility in a short period of time that under normal circumstances, would’ve taken much longer.” He says it’s amazing to see the new gleaming track, ready for racing.

Wardlow says “To have viewed that field just a few slight months ago and then to look at it today, it’s almost impossible to imagine this could have happened.” For more information on the races and the track, surf to “www.iowaspeedway.com”.

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Iowa Speedway