Since opening in 2006, the Iowa Speedway has brought world class racing to the state. Just 30 miles east of Des Moines, in Newton, tens of thousands of race fans come to central Iowa every summer and the Speedway has five race weekends planned this year.
The Indy Car Iowa Corn 250 is the best known race, getting national TV coverage since the first event in '07. But the NASCAR Nationwide series, the sport's "minor league" circuit will come twice to Iowa, the first time in early June.
Hawkeye basketball great and broadcaster Bobby Hansen has joined the marketing team and he's also a fan.
"I saw the second Iowa Corn 250 out there. My wife had a good time. We saw some friends, we saw a concert and that's sort of what we sell," said Hansen. "We're more than racing. It's great racing but you don't have to be a race fan, all in, to enjoy the time at Iowa Speedway."
The 30,000 seat facility had an ownership change two years ago, but the track continues to bring in the stars. You can see some of the young racers, but if you can see big names too.
Hansen knows Iowa fans are passionate about sports, including auto racing.
"There's a ton of race fans around here," said Hansen. "Historically, Iowa per capita has more dirt tracks than anywhere else in the country. Joey Lagano, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, are guys we hope to have coming up in 2013. Then you go to Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick has raced there. They love coming to the Iowa Speedway. But number one, because of the race fans, that hardcore, grass roots, race fan that really understands what's going on the track."
The NASCAR Nationwide series comes to Iowa on June 7th and 8th, then again in August. The Indy Car Iowa Corn 250 is June 23rd. The NASCAR Truck Series comes the weekend of July 12th and again in September.
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