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NASCAR buys Speedway near Des Moines

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NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - NASCAR has bought the Iowa Speedway.

But that doesn't mean that the track will be hosting a Sprint Cup any time soon - if ever.

NASCAR announced Wednesday that it had finalized the purchase the seven-year-old track. It's a move NASCAR said solidifies the future of the 0.875-mile tri-oval track in Newton. A purchase price wasn't disclosed.

Featherlite Inc. founder Conrad Clement and his family purchased the track - which with temporary seating has held up to 60,000 fans for NASCAR Nationwide events - in 2011.

NASCAR will be the Iowa Speedway's third owner since it opened in 2006.

''Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,'' said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR's vice president of strategic development. ''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.

''NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans.''

There has long been hope among racing fans that the Iowa Speedway - long a favorite of drivers for its bullring setup - might someday land a Cup event because of its success hosting Nationwide, Camping World Truck series and IndyCar races.

But NASCAR specifically noted in a release there are no plans to bring the Sprint Cup Series to Iowa in the immediate future.

NASCAR said it will host a special event in Des Moines on Dec. 12 to outline additional details on the purchase and its future plans for the track.

''In the meantime, let's just say that Thanksgiving came a day early for Iowa Speedway fans, the community of Newton, and indeed the entire state of Iowa. Iowa Speedway is here to stay, thanks to the strength, stability and resources of NASCAR,'' Iowa Speedway spokesman Craig Armstrong wrote in an email to The AP Wednesday night, adding that the track estimates that it has an annual economic impact of $50 million in Iowa.

The Iowa Speedway is scheduled to host an IndyCar race and two Nationwide events, though it'll have just one NASCAR trucks race after hosting a pair in recent years.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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