DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — The countdown to the green flag on a historic day at the Iowa Speedway is on. On Thursday NASCAR made it official – the best stockcar drivers in the world will be in Newton on June 16, 2024 racing in a Cup Series race.
The race, which will be sponsored by Iowa Corn, is the culmination of 17 years of work and campaigning by the owners and operators of the Iowa Speedway. The track first opened in 2006 with a dream of one day bringing NASCAR’s top series to Iowa. On Tuesday, it was mission accomplished.
“To everybody who had anything to do with the Iowa Speedway and getting it going: today is our day, we finally got it!” track designer and NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Rusty Wallace announced on the steps of the State Capitol, “This is a fantastic day for everybody and we should all be excited.”
The Iowa Corn Cup Series race will cap a weekend of racing in Newton including an ARCA Menards series race on Friday and a NASCAR Xfinity race on Saturday. The official race name and distance will be announced later.
The full race announcement from NASCAR reads:
Iowa Speedway to Host First-Ever NASCAR Cup Series Race in 2024
Iowa Corn Signs on as Entitlement Partner for Historic Event on ‘Fastest Short Track on the Planet’
Weekend also includes the NASCAR Xfinity Series & ARCA Menards Series, June 14-16, 2024
NEWTON, Iowa (Oct. 3, 2023) – NASCAR today announced that it is bringing its first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race to Iowa Speedway on Sunday, June 16, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. CT on USA Network. This inaugural Cup Series race in Iowa Speedway culminates a weekend that will also include the NASCAR Xfinity Series at 2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network and ARCA Menards Series racing on June 14-16, 2024.
“Today’s announcement is an exciting one for NASCAR and for race fans in the state of Iowa,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Racing Development and Strategy. “They have long sought a NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway, and we’re happy to deliver that for them. We fully expect this to be one of the most highly-anticipated dates on the 2024 schedule and an amazing weekend of NASCAR racing in The Hawkeye State.”
“The things Iowans value most are what NASCAR represents best—hard work, family, and community—which is exactly why our partnership has always been a natural fit,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said. “We’re thrilled to bring a NASCAR Cup Series race to Iowa Speedway next summer and for this incredible opportunity to introduce millions of racing fans to our great state.”
Iowa Corn will be the entitlement partner for the first-ever Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway. Comprised of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Corn works to unlock the potential of corn in a sustainable manner to meet the global need for food and energy. The name and logo of the Cup Series race will be announced in the near future.
“Iowa Corn is no stranger to racing and the Iowa Speedway as we helped introduce farmer produced biofuels to consumers through race sponsorships for a dozen years,” shared Craig Floss, Chief Executive Officer of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “By bringing the NASCAR Cup Series to Iowa, farmers are able to showcase the power and performance of Sunoco Green E15 at the fastest short-track on the planet, which is surrounded by corn fields, the very source of that amazing, renewable, homegrown and affordable biofuel.”
Iowa Speedway successfully hosted the Xfinity Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series from 2009-2019, while the ARCA Menard Series has competed at the track in all but one season since the facility opened in 2006. Yet, since the racetrack opened in 2006, and was acquired by NASCAR in 2013, placing a Cup Series race at the venue had yet to materialize – until June 16, 2024.
Iowa Speedway is the latest new venue added to a season schedule as NASCAR continues making bold moves with its schedule, entering new markets and engaging new audiences with its premier series, the sanctioning body brought the Cup Series to the streets of downtown Chicago earlier this year and began its season with an exhibition race on a temporary oval inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 2022.
Now NASCAR is bringing a Cup Series race to Iowa Speedway’s 7/8ths-mile tri-oval, considered one of the most challenging short tracks in the country. The race will feature the best drivers in the world vying for a ‘win-and-you’re-in’ berth to the Cup Series Playoffs.
“This is a dream come true,” said NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, Iowa Speedway’s co-founder and designer. “This track was built with the intent of hosting a NASCAR Cup Series race one day, and to finally see it come together is a testament to the tenacity of the great race fans in Iowa.”
The action will begin on Friday, June 14 with the ARCA Menards Series, continuing on Saturday, June 15 with the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and concluding on Sunday, June 16 with the NASCAR Cup Series.
Of the drivers projected to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series next year, 19 have won at Iowa Speedway in other NASCAR national and touring series, including Brad Keselowski, who joined NASCAR and state dignitaries for the announcement Tuesday on the Iowa State Capitol steps.
“For years, the Iowa community has patiently waited for the NASCAR Cup Series to come to town,” said Keselowski. “It is with great pleasure for all of the racing community to announce they will finally see that dream come together. Iowa truly is a hotbed for motorsports fans, I saw that enthusiasm firsthand in 2009 for the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series race, and can’t wait to see the atmosphere on race day in 2024.”
On-sale ticket information for the first-ever Cup Series Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway will be announced in the near future. Today, fans can put down a $25 deposit for priority access to purchase tickets before the public on-sale at iowaspeedway.com.