Is Iowa Speedway in Newton Nearing the End?
Last weekend was the only race weekend of the year at Iowa Speedway in Newton. The only one. Two IndyCar races paired with an ARCA race. The question many are asking is, 'Will those be the last races ever run at Iowa Speedway?' There's plenty of reason for concern.
In October of 2019, NASCAR merged with the International Speedway Corporation. When they did that, NASCAR took ownership of 12 tracks. NASCAR has owned Iowa Speedway since 2013, according to Newton Daily News. NASCAR also owns the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Do they also need the Rusty Wallace-designed track in Newton, just four hours away? Actions this year point to 'no.'
In early April, NBC Sports reported that NASCAR had "moved to a “centralized” model at Iowa Speedway, meaning the majority of its staff has been dismissed."
In mid-May, NASCAR canceled this year's NASCAR national series races at Iowa Speedway.
So, will NASCAR close the track and possibly sell it? Racer reports there's a rumor Roger Penske might buy Iowa Speedway. What Penske told them doesn't sound promising:
At this point, it’s owned by ISC and we’d like to continue to rent it in the coming years. We did a contract this year where we were the promoter, and all we did was make a deal to rent the track. And we’d like to continue to rent it in future years.
NASCAR also owns the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet where, in early May, they cut staff and also punted the 2020 NASCAR race.
Also in May, came word that the Joliet (Illinois) Plan Commission was looking at a proposal to subdivide the Chicagoland Speedway property. That caused quite a ruckus, especially when it was originally thought some of the property was actually part of the racing oval. Instead, over 82 acres of the property, which is used for overflow parking, was what may be subdivided. Speedway Digest published this clarification from the interim City Manager of Joliet. The discussion was tabled until last week as speculation continues whether Chicagoland Speedway will remain intact.
Meanwhile, after last weekend's races at Iowa Speedway, the track thanked fans (below) for "15-years of world-class racing." Should we be concerned there was no mention of looking forward to 2021?