Ownership transfer of Iowa Speedway approved by local officials

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The Des Moines Register is reporting that the Newton (Iowa) City Council has approved the transfer of ownership for the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway from the U.S. Motorsports Corporation to Iowa Speedway, LLC. However, the major figures behind the track’s new ownership group have still not yet been revealed to the public.

“[We’re] fully aware of who the new entity is,” Newton mayor Mike Hansen said during today’s Council meeting according to the Register’s Bryce Miller. “And we’re extremely pleased…There will be an announcement shortly.”

The transfer involves multiple deals, include one for development on the land that Iowa Speedway sits on and a lease agreement with a nearby airport.

As for who could be the new mystery owners, it may be easier to figure out who wouldn’t be on that list at this point in time. To that end, Dustin Long of Motor Racing Network is reporting that a spokesperson for International Speedway Corporation (which owns 12 NASCAR facilities) has said they’re not involved with the Iowa purchase.

As for the other major NASCAR track conglomerate, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (which owns 8 NASCAR facilities), Long writes that one of their spokespeople declined to comment altogether on the matter.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.