A second NASCAR race added to next year’s Iowa Speedway schedule is expected to pump an additional $9 million into the area economy. Linda Bacon is the executive director of the Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau.”It’s not just out at the track where money’s being spent,” Bacon said. “It’s being spent in town as well at all locations…there’s also the sales tax, hotel/motel tax and just a trickle down effect.”

A NASCAR Nationwide Series race last month at the Iowa Speedway drew 56,000 fans from 26 states. Bacon says communities like Grinnell, Colfax, Pella, Knoxville and Des Moines also see added revenue from the Nationwide races. “We work closely with those other communities to try and make sure everybody’s full. We obviously want our hotels and restaurants full first, but Newton only has so much room,” Bacon said. “When you have a community of 15,000-plus people and you bring in 50,000 people, that’s a big impact. The other communities are excited as well and we work quite closely with them to make sure everybody’s happy.”

The NASCAR Nationwide races will bookend the 2011 racing season. The first will be held May 22. The other Nationwide race is scheduled for August 6. The Iowa Speedway will also host an Indy car race and a truck race in 2011.

by Randy Van (KCOB) and Pat Curtis (Radio Iowa)