The Iowa Speedway in Newton is preparing for what will be its biggest crowd in the four years since it opened. The track will host the U.S. Cellular 250 Nationwide series race Saturday.
The Nationwide series is operated by NASCAR and is just a step below the Sprint Cup where the major NASCAR stars race. Speedway president Jerry Jauron says fans should get to the track early.
Jauron says they will be well over the capacity of 55,000 people and they will open the parking lots at six A.M., nine-and-a-half hours before the race starts. Jauron says come out early and tailgate and have a good time, and the spectator gates will open at nine A.M. Jauron says they have detailed plans for getting people in and out of the race — but with so many people — fans will have to be patient.
Jauron says the 55,000 is about 15 to 16,000 more fans than the Indy Corn 250 and that means six or seven thousand more cars to park. The Iowa State Patrol and Iowa Department of Transportation are working with area law enforcement to help with the extra traffic on I-80 for the race.
The state patrol says it is working in conjunction with a private traffic control company, to set up signs and cones which will clearly mark travel routes for fans attending the race. Officials expect traffic to be heaviest approximately two hours before and after the race.