Iowa gets Truck Series race
DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's taken the Iowa Speedway just three years to position itself as a leading track in the Midwest.
The speedway announced Thursday its third major event for the 2009 season. The track will host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race -- formerly known as the Craftsman Truck Series -- on Sept. 5.
The race was originally planned for Mansfield Motorsports Park in Mansfield, Ohio, but was canceled because of the struggling economy.
In swooped the fledgling Iowa Speedway, which also landed a Nationwide Series race for 2009 earlier this year. The track's 2009 schedule includes the third annual Iowa Corn Indy 250. The two new events are part of NASCAR's top two circuits below the Sprint Cup Series.
"We could not feel better and be prouder, and we just feel honored with the fact that NASCAR chose and felt that we'd put on a heck of a truck race for them next September," said Jerry Jauron, Iowa Speedway's president and chief financial officer.
Much of the credit, Jauron said, goes to track designer and co-owner Rusty Wallace. The former NASCAR champion has used his close ties with the circuit to quickly turn what he's dubbed his "second child" into a well-respected track among the national racing community.
NASCAR drivers such as Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have tested at the 7/8-mile oval since it opened in late 2006, and the reviews have been positive.
"He had his influence in every piece of this venue, and it's showed in the results," Jauron said of Wallace. "Everyone says it is one of the nicest if not the nicest race tracks in the country right now."
As a result of landing both a Nationwide and a Camping World Truck Series race, the track's next order of business will be to increase its capacity.
Iowa Speedway has drawn roughly 35,000 for each of its first two Iowa 250 races, and Jauron said the track will monitor ticket sales before moving forward with plans for additional seating.
According to Jauron, the speedway will use temporary seating to accommodate up to 60,000 fans for 2009 events, adding that it's "highly likely" that permanent seating will be added in 2010.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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