Iowa Speedway will host its first NASCAR Cup Series event in 2024, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday. The Cup race, set for 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 16, will be part of a tripleheader weekend June 14-16 that also includes a NASCAR Xfinity Series race and an ARCA Menards Series race.
The 0.875-mile, progressively banked track opened its doors in 2006 and hosted Xfinity Series and Truck Series races from 2009 through 2019. Nineteen Cup Series competitors projected to race in 2024 have won at the Newton, Iowa, race track, including champions Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano.
The ARCA Menards Series began competing there in 2006 and has raced there every year since, with the exception of the 2014 season. Iowa has also played host to 19 IndyCar Series events dating back to 2007.
“We’re really excited to be heading to Iowa Speedway,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing development and strategy. “The first time in what will be the 76-year history that we’ve had a (Cup) race at Iowa Speedway, and the first time in a really long time that we’ve had a (Cup) race in the state of Iowa, so we’re excited to get there.
“We talk a lot about the racing product and what that looks like, and we hear from a lot of our fans that would like to see more short tracks. And then we also hear how good intermediate racing is with this Next Gen car. And I think Iowa in a lot of ways shows both the short track as well as an intermediate race track in the way that it races. I’m so excited to see it on the schedule.”
The Midwestern short track is a favorite among drivers and fans throughout its 17-year history. With Tuesday’s announcement, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to the Hawkeye State for the first time since 1953, when Herb Thomas drove the No. 92 Fabulous Hudson Hornet to victory at Davenport Speedway, a 0.5-mile dirt track 130 miles east of Iowa Speedway.
“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.”
Kennedy, a former racer himself, competed at Iowa three times in the Xfinity Series, including his series debut when he scored a top-10 finish for Richard Childress Racing. He also ran four Truck Series events and six ARCA East races at the Iowa short track through his racing career.
“Selfishly as a fan but also as a driver being able to race around that track, I loved Iowa Speedway as a driver,” Kennedy said. “It’s a ton of fun and had a lot of grooves. We know what the racing product looks like on a worn-out surface. So I think to be able to go there on the same surface that’s there today is going to put on a great racing product. There’s going to be a lot of energy around it. So I’m looking forward to that.”