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 weโ€™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.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).