UPDATED (3:20 p.m. ET): Shortly after NASCAR announced its purchase of Iowa Speedway, MotorSportsTalk reached out to the INDYCAR sanctioning body for comment on the news.
“We have a multi-year agreement with Iowa Speedway and look forward to working with the new owners,” vice president of communications/public relations Amy Konrath replied via e-mail.
The IndyCar Series has raced at Iowa since the 2007 season.
ORIGINAL: Reports from my colleague Chris Estrada earlier this week first identified that Iowa Speedway would be sold by its current owners, then the ownership transfer was approved by local officials.
The key question though, still, was who was this mysterious buyer of the 0.875-mile track located in Newton, Iowa?
As a quick surprise before most of us retreat to our Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday, NASCAR has just announced it has bought the track. A tweet first from managing director of NASCAR’s Integrated Marketing Communications, David Higdon, broke the news.
We just finalized purchase of @iowaspeedway. VP Eric Nyquist: “#NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on entire resources of our company.”
— David Higdon (@HigNASCAR) November 27, 2013
A full release formalized the news, including the confirmation that a wholly-owned NASCAR subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is the official purchaser.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development, said in the release. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.”
This will mean a heavy NASCAR schedule occurs at the track in 2014, and even the verbage has left IndyCar as “second tier” by comparison. The IndyCar weekend, on July 11-12, is referred to as the “NASCAR Camping World Truck Series/IndyCar Series race weekend.” IndyCar shifts its date from a traditional June date to July in 2014, and Higdon added in a tweet later Wednesday that, “#IndyCar race very important to @iowaspeedway #NASCAR. Nothing changes.”
The key line from the release though is that the track does not plan to have a Sprint Cup race “next year or in the immediate future.” Further details about this announcement will be held at a special event in Des Moines on December 12.
Iowa did release its full 2014 schedule though, and is as follows: