The Iowa Speedway in Newton today announced a schedule that includes eleven events in seven weekends for this season. General manager Craig Armstrong says the two races the track held last fall was a soft opening designed to get them on their feet.
Armstrong says the racing season for most tracks was over when they began their season last year. He says the short season was used to bring all the staff at the track up to speed so they could start ready to go in the first full season in 2007. The season will begin on April 21 with the Grand Am Cup, and will host three other races before the big event — the Indy Pro Series in June.
Armstrong says, "The Indy Racing League Indy car series is the crown jewel of our 2007 season." He says the I-R-L cars and drivers will compete and he says "the records surely will fall for a seven-eighths mile oval, possibly a mile oval." The weekend culminates with the national television broadcast of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 race.
"The Indy Racing League coming here in June will arguably be the biggest event in the history of Iowa sports," Armstrong says, "we will be worldwide broadcast on ABC television live. We will be …certainly at the point of having the greatest crowd, certainly well past the original capacity of our racetrack on that day." Armstrong says the NASCAR Grand National East-West Series on May 20th will also be a first.
Armstrong says this will be "truly historic" as the Grand National Series from the east and west coasts have never come together before in one place to compete in a points race. Armstrong says many of the races will be accompanied by a mini concert, such as a performance by Three Dog Night during the Indy Series. Armstrong says the track also wants to hold three to four concerts separate from the races. He says they’re looking at trying to do a couple of "major country concerts", a rock concert and a Christian concert as well.
Armstrong says they can’t discuss any details until they have the deal done. But, Armstrong says they hope to get some top concerts. Armstrong says he is talking about "top acts" for the country and rock concerts, and a "well known" act for the Christian concert. Armstrong says the concerts are a way to cross-promote the track. Armstrong says the casual race fan who likes concerts will buy a ticket to the race and get a concert too. He says the concert will give the casual race fans something to do along with the race. As for the other concerts, Armstrong says they’re looking to get people to the track and maybe get them interested in the racing.
Armstrong says the track will also offer legends cars that allow someone to get into racing at a minimal cost, and plan to use their drag racing track for "street legal" races on Fridays.