INDYCAR SERIES ADDS STATE OF THE ART IOWA SPEEDWAY TO ITS 2007 SCHEDULE INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006 -- The IndyCarÂ® Series will make its first visit to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, in 2007 for a race at the new "Rusty Wallace ...
INDYCAR SERIES ADDS STATE OF THE ART IOWA SPEEDWAY TO ITS 2007 SCHEDULE
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series will make its first visit to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, in 2007 for a race at the new "Rusty Wallace Signature Series Track."
The inaugural IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway is scheduled for June 22-24, 2007 and will feature the IndyCar Series running a 250- lap race on June 24 and the Indy Pro Series^Ù running a 100-mile event on June 23.
The announcement was made in conjunction with an IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series compatibility test that included 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and 2005 Indy Pro Series champion Wade Cunningham of Brian Stewart Racing.
"The midwest is home to the core IndyCar Series fan so we are thrilled to partner with Iowa Speedway to bring IndyCar Series racing to Iowa," said Brian Barnhart, president & COO of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. "The combination of the Iowa Speedway's 7/8-mile size with the speed and side-by-side action of the IndyCar Series promises to keep race fans on the edge of their seats."
Located near Newton, Iowa -- 30 minutes east of Des Moines -- Iowa Speedway is located along Interstate 80 adjacent to Newton Airport. The track is being built by the U.S. Motorsport Corporation. The "Rusty Wallace Signature Series Track" will have a seating capacity of 40,000, including 25,000 permanent seats and 15,000 festival seats. Former NASCAR champion and current ABC Sports/ESPN commentator Rusty Wallace is co-designing the state-of-the-art track, which will be the industry's first driver-designed speedway
The 7/8-mile tri-oval has a track width of 60 feet with 12-14 degree compound banking in the turns. The front stretch features 10 degrees of banking and the backstretch has 4 degrees of banking. Iowa Speedway is the first track to ever have the SAFER Barrier installed around the entire perimeter of the race track and first to use the New-Age SAFER Barrier, which does not have a concrete wall behind the energy absorbing barrier. Additionally, Iowa Speedway will also be the first racetrack to have state-of-the-art camera angles -- with audio -- embedded in the racing surface similar to how current race facilities have miniature cameras in the walls.
"It will be fan-friendly and driver-friendly, a premier racing facility -- if not the premier racing facility in the United States," Wallace said. "I've driven many racetracks as a veteran driver and past NASCAR Champion -- I've seen the good and the bad -- and Iowa Speedway will be 'the best of the best."
Construction crews laid approximately 180,000 tons of rock around the entire facility. Paving of the track was completed in late July. Iowa Speedway will open for its inaugural race event on Sept. 15.
"We are extremely proud to showcase the Indy Racing League here at our fabulous facility designed by one of our partners, Rusty Wallace," said Iowa Speedway President Stan Clement. "The Indy Racing League will allow spectators and race fans an opportunity to attend a first-class display of talent and speed. So, with great enthusiasm, we welcome these world-class drivers and the Indy Racing League to Newton and the state of Iowa".
The Iowa Speedway event is the third announced date for the 2007 IndyCar Series season. Earlier this year, the IndyCar Series announced it would return to the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., for the third Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 1. The 91st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will be held on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The remainder of the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule will be announced at a later date.
DRIVER IMPRESSIONS OF IOWA SPEEDWAY:
WADE CUNNINGHAM (Brian Stewart Racing, 2005 Indy Pro Series champion): "It was interesting going out there first. It's the first time I've ever been the first person on a track. I didn't know what to expect. In karting, the asphalt is greasy, so that's what I was expecting. But the surface was good straight away. They warned us about the transitions, so they were not much of an issue. It's fast. The corners come at you quick. We're going around in 20 seconds, but I'm sure it will be quicker I think it will be a good track. It's nice to be on a smaller track where the driver input has a lot to do with the result. I think it's going to be a great race for the Indy Pro Series."
SCOTT DIXON (Target Chip Ganassi Racing, 2003 IndyCar Series champion): "It's a lot bigger than we thought it was going to be. We thought it was similar to Richmond. It's easy flat. It will be fast and provide good passing because it's so wide, and the transitions are smooth. It's a nice track."
The next IndyCar Series event is the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Secret at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 13 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast live by ABC Sports and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPN Deportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio channel 145 "IndyCar Racing" and www.indycar.com. The fifth season of Indy Pro Series competition continues with the Kentucky 100 on August 13 at Kentucky Speedway.