DES MOINES, Iowa — IndyCar returns to the Iowa Speedway in Newton in one month, but on Tuesday drivers took laps on a different Iowa track – the streets of downtown Des Moines.
In a scene reminiscent of the Ruan Grand Prix of the late 80s and early 90s, drivers Josef Newgarden and Jack Harvey took over a closed-down Grand Avenue.
The pair cruised up and down along the Capitol Complex, from E. 13th Street to Robert D. Ray Parkway.
The Iowa Speedway in Newton will host an IndyCar weekend from July 22nd-24th. The doubleheader race weekend will feature the Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 on Saturday and the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 on Sunday. The race weekend will also feature concert performances by Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton.
Tickets for all events are still on sale at hyveeindycarweekend.com.
Harvey, who’ll drive the Hy-Vee car in the Hy-Vee sponsored races, was amazed by his short trip on Grand Avenue on Tuesday. “It’s awesome. We drive on some street circuits, but this is very raw, very pure. We literally have people already back driving on the roads that we were just going down,” Harvey said.
“I’ve been a part of a couple of cool promotions and this is definitely right up there. Its super cool to drive an IndyCar down the streets of downtown Des Moines”, said Newgarden about the unique track on Tuesday, but he said the real thing will be even better, “I love coming here to race at Iowa Speedway in Newton and excited to back there next month.”
Newgarden and Harvey’s visit to Des Moines comes one day after racing legends Jimmie Johnson and Helio Castroneves visited Newton.