Categories
XFINITY

Iowa Perfectly Captured Identity of XFINITY Series

The two stand-alone NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Iowa Speedway are always among the best events of the season.

2017 proved no different as each visit to the 7/8-mile oval featured a first-time winner, season-best finishes for many drivers, and produced great racing.

The compelling competition resulted from the absence of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and always unpredictable short-track racing.

In June, Christopher Bell made his second career series start, led a race high 152 laps but fell short of victory by the finish as William Byron earned his first triumph. 

On Saturday, young talent was on display once again as multiple competitors who aren’t typically the classes of the field impressed.

Ryan Preece has made the most out of his two starts with Joe Gibbs Racing this season. After finishing second at New Hampshire, he prevailed over teammate Kyle Benjamin and captured his first career series victory in the U.S. Cellular 250.

While Preece proved successful when racing against Cup Series drivers at New Hampshire, fewer experienced racers in the field provided him an improved chance to showcase his potential given a top ride, and he delivered.

Benjamin finished in the runner-up position in the car that Kyle Busch typically competes in, capturing his best career series finish.

Former Cup Series drivers were also able to shine as Brian Scott finished third and Sam Hornish Jr. placed in the top-10 in each stage before crashing late.

The success of the up and coming competitors and veterans who can still climb behind the wheel and run well is what makes the XFINITY Series unique.

When drivers competing for smaller teams like Ryan Sieg, Ross Chastain, and J.J. Yeley capture their best finishes of the year in these races, it also adds to the appeal of series.

These are also common characteristics of short-track racing which is often the proving ground for drivers looking to make a name for themselves.

While the grand stages of Daytona and Indianapolis are important, races like Iowa are what define the series.

Iowa provided some of the best racing of the season and working towards having more events play out similarly would be an excellent way to enhance the identity of the series.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
News

Majeski to Make XFINITY Debut in the Midwest

Last week, it was announced 22-year-old Roush Fenway Racing development driver, Ty Majeski will make his XFINITY Series debut at Iowa Speedway in June.

The young talent has garnered much attention around the Midwest, and now the rest of the country is beginning to take notice. He made four starts in the ARCA Racing Series in 2016 for Roulo Brothers Racing, finishing as high as fourth at Madison.

Now, Majeski is ready to take on a new challenge and officially begin his NASCAR career.

“It’s a huge step, but I can’t just go out there and simply finish the race. I need to go out and perform, just like anyone else,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I know it’s a hard goal to reach, but I’m aiming for a top 10 there.”

Majeski will feel somewhat at home, as Iowa Speedway is the heart of the Midwest and it’s close to his native Wisconsin. There will be a break-in period, though, as Majeski has never raced at Iowa Speedway.

“I’ve never been to Iowa Speedway, so it doesn’t make much of a difference if it’s Iowa or any other track I’ve never been to. I just want to learn as much as I can before we get there,” Majeski said.

Majeski fits among NASCAR’s new-age drivers in the way he prepares to race at tracks he’s never seen.

“iRacing is a huge tool for learning how to drive racetracks and simulate live race conditions like tire falloff and track surfaces,” he said. “I’ll also spend some time in the Ford simulator as well.”

He’s also leaning on people who have racing experience. One of the people he goes to with questions is Cale Gale, a former development driver for Kevin Harvick Incorporated and competed at both the Truck and XFINITY levels.

“Cale Gale is a guy who I’ve been able to lean on and gain valuable information just through our conversations,” Majeski said.

One of the things Majeski and his team prides themselves in is working hard and letting their performance do the talking, not money. He wasn’t fast-tracked to be the next superstar. Instead, he spent time in each of the ranks and gained experience, and more importantly, learned how to race.

“We’re doing it the old-fashioned way,” Majeski said. “It’s really special to go out and win races and make it through the ranks the right way. When you surround yourself with good people, good things happen, and that’s a testament what this team has been able to do.”

Majeski has high hopes for 2017, as he is set to make five or six starts in the ARCA Racing Series in an attempt to gain valuable experience competing on 1.5-milers before going full-time in either the Camping World Truck Series or the XFINITY Series beyond this year.

You can watch Majeski make his XFINITY debut in the American Ethanol E15 250 on June 24th.

Shane Carlson is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist

EMAIL SHANE AT shane.carlson@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ShaneCarlson4

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
XFINITY

Runner-up Finish Leaves Dillon Heartbroken

With the laps winding down in Saturday night’s U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway, it appeared as though Ty Dillon was going to snap his 65-race winless streak in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Unfortunately for Dillon, Erik Jones had other plans, snatching the lead and victory away from the driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy with just 16 laps remaining.

Dillon grabbed the lead during a round of pit stops after Brandon McReynolds slammed the wall in Turn 1 with 100 laps to go. On the ensuing restart, he cleared Elliott Sadler exiting Turn 2 and began to pull away from the field. Slowly but surely, Jones, who had the most dominant car in the field and led a race-high 154 laps, began to reel in the No. 3 machine.

When Jones got to Dillon’s bumper, he started to work the high side before finally making a move to the inside of Dillon entering Turn 3. Despite a valiant effort, the No. 20 Toyota got around Dillon and cruised to victory.

“The high line wasn’t there. Every lap I was having to do everything I could to keep him behind me,” Dillon told NBC Sports after the race. “He ran a good race, and it just wore my stuff out a little more than I needed to.”

Dillon led a season-high 83 laps in Saturday’s race, the most he has led since leading 43 circuits at Kentucky Speedway last September.

“Man, I want to win so bad,” Dillon said. “That was all I had … we just came up 10 laps short this time.”

With Saturday’s race being the final standalone oval before the inaugural Xfinity Chase starts in September, a victory would’ve all but guaranteed Dillon a playoff spot. Being just close enough is becoming a similar refrain for the grandson of Richard Childress, who has finished in the top five in four of his last five Iowa starts.

“My heart’s been broken every race since Indy,” Dillon said. “I want to get to Victory Lane again. We’re close, we just got to get a little better.”

Dillon’s lone victory in the Xfinity Series came at Indianapolis in 2014. He currently sits third in the standings, 35 points behind leader Elliott Sadler.

EMAIL HANK AT editors@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, it’s owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Commentary

SCHNEIDER: Changes to Schedule, Competition Needed for XFINITY

The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to Iowa Speedway this weekend, nearly 1,000 miles from the Sprint Cup Series action at Pocono Raceway. The 40-car field – filled with names like Elliott Sadler, Brennan Poole and Daniel Suarez – will take the green flag on Saturday night. Only one Cup driver is on the entry list, as Brad Keselowski will fly cross-country to pilot the No. 22.

This standalone event highlights the type of unique element the XFINITY Series should embrace. NASCAR could tweak the schedule, restore the competitiveness of the racing and alter the playoff format a bit, and they’d have everything necessary to fix the XFINITY Series.

NXS raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past weekend, a race disliked by drivers, fans and media. The negative views were hard to ignore as the field rode around and followed leader Kyle Busch. Everyone wants the series to return to Lucas Oil Raceway, also in Indianapolis, which held a XFINITY event from 1982 until 2011. This “track pairing” concept should be adopted in various legs of the schedule by putting the XFINITY Series at a track close to the Sprint Cup event. It would allow fans to attend both races and get two completely different experiences. It also opens the door for fan-friendly promotions, such as getting a discount on your Cup ticket if you present your XFINITY stub or vice versa.

There are plenty of tracks to choose from. When Cup heads to Martinsville Speedway, have the NXS race at South Boston Speedway, which is only an hour away from The Paperclip. The same goes for Richmond International Raceway and Langley Speedway. While Sprint Cup throws it back at Darlington Raceway, hold the XFINITY race at Myrtle Beach Speedway. The tracks are roughly two hours apart, and the series could visit MBS for the first time since 2000. It’s all easier said than done, but diversifying the schedule would put a lot of life back into XFINITY.

The biggest complaint among fans was also on display at IMS; Busch led all but one lap on his way to victory. Nobody could challenge the reigning Sprint Cup champion for the win – and that is the greatest obstacle XFINITY is facing at this point. The element of competition must be restored. Something has to be done about how these cars race around each other, and a new aero package could be the answer. NXS drivers are open to the idea of taking away downforce, yet it comes down to money. If NASCAR could experiment and implement changes gradually, that would make it more economically feasible for the smaller teams.

Even if that’s too expensive, the sanctioning body could go to the drawing board and think of other ideas. Different tires or getting rid of the splitter are alterations that could increase passing and excitement. Changes are needed that allow series regulars to continue running against Cup invaders while also increasing the quality of racing within the field.

Due to the lack of competitiveness, the Chase format in XFINITY is rendered moot. Only three series regulars have won so far this season. This opens up the 12-car Chase to smaller teams; right now, that includes Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch and RSS Racing driver Ryan Sieg. That is a fantastic opportunity for the small organizations and their sponsors. However, they probably won’t be able to compete with the top-tier teams in the seven-race playoff.

If NASCAR wants an exciting way to decide the XFINITY champion, they have to either shorten the field or come up with a different format. The Camping World Truck Series has an eight-car field for their Chase, and there’s a lot of tension surrounding who will get those final spots. Cutting off the XFINITY field at eight cars would put Brandon Jones and Poole in, with Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ryan Reed, Koch and Sieg on the outside. Although this change could be implemented quickly and easily, the sanctioning body can only do so much before they have to increase the level of competition, and that should be the main priority at this point. In the meantime, narrowing the Chase field can provide a short-term solution.

Despite the flaws, there is a lot to love about the second tier of NASCAR. Younger drivers are developing their talents and getting a taste of competing at the top level. XFINITY prides itself on being the series “where names are made.”

However, fans won’t know the names if they aren’t watching the races.

It’s time for NXS to develop its own identity, and many will see why on Saturday night. The series always puts on a show during the standalone event at Iowa, and this time won’t be any different. With a unique schedule, tougher competition and tweaked championship system, the NASCAR XFINITY Series can go from suffering to thriving.

EMAIL KRISTEN AT kristen.schneider@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
XFINITY

JRM Regulars Rebound at Iowa

JR Motorsports XFINITY Series regulars Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier scored top-10 finishes in Sunday’s American Ethanol E15 250 at Iowa Speedway, but it didn’t come easily for the duo.

Sadler finished sixth after starting from the back of the field, and Allgaier rebounded from a speeding penalty on pit road to finish seventh.

Sadler qualified fifth but was forced to start from the tail end because of a post-qualifying body modification. Erik Jones and Brad Keselowski also started from the rear for the same reason, with all three drivers surrendering top-10 qualifying spots.

After a competition caution on Lap 41, Sadler was in the top 10 and by Lap 100, cracked the top five, running as high as third.

Allgaier started fourth and ran in the top five for the entire first half of the race. During a pit stop under caution on Lap 126, he was nabbed for going too fast entering pit road. He restarted 18th, but the No. 7 driver climbed back into the top 10 less than 40 laps later.

When the dust settled, Alex Bowman led the way for JRM, bringing the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro home in fifth.

Sadler now sits second in the standings, just 21 points behind Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suarez. Allgaier sits fourth behind Richard Childress Racing driver Ty Dillon.

JRM has three wins this season — two coming from the No. 88 with Chase Elliott at Daytona and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Richmond. Sadler won at Talladega in April, the site of his last victory, which came in 2014 with JGR.

Both drivers joined JRM for the 2016 campaign. Allgaier left HScott Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series to replace Regan Smith in the No. 7 and Sadler left Roush Fenway Racing to replace Chase Elliott, who graduated to the Cup Series and took over Jeff Gordon’s iconic No. 24 Chevrolet.

Fourteen races into the season, JRM’s toughest competition has been JGR — who has had the upper hand thus far with eight victories. With the Chase drawing closer as the series enters the summer months, JRM is showing more speed and looks like it can give JGR a run at the championship.

Sadler is virtually locked into the Chase with the Talladega win and is third on the 12-spot grid. Allgaier, who last won an XFINITY race in 2012, is yet to visit Victory Lane, but sits comfortably in fifth — 110 points above the cutoff.

EMAIL JOHN AT john.haverlin@popularspeed.com
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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Trucks

ThorSport Doesn’t Miss a Beat Despite Setback

The Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway brought much-needed joy to the entire ThorSport Racing family.

Just days after a fire consumed part of their race shop, the organization put two trucks in the top five. Cameron Hayley and Ben Rhodes contended for the victory in the race’s late stages yet finished third and fourth, respectively.

Hayley fought a tight truck throughout the race, yet the No. 13 came alive after the late-race red flag.

“Our Cabinets by Hayley Tundra kind of came alive there after the red flag, and at that point, it’s whoever makes the best moves at the right time,” he said. “William Byron made the best moves at the right time, and I’m just happy to come home third.”

His career-best finish was even sweeter in light of the team’s current rebuild, which Hayley experienced first-hand early Monday morning.

“As everyone knows, it’s been a tough week at ThorSport Racing, to say the least,” Hayley said. “I was a part of that first-hand. I got the call about 5:30 Monday morning. I was there at 5:30 and probably spent upwards of 36 hours – both me and the team – cleaning the trucks, getting things ready, working out of a parking lot trying to get to this race. To come out here with a third-place finish is not just amazing for me but for the organization as a whole. We really came together as a team.”

Rhodes and his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions team, however, felt like there was a lot left on the table; after his run-in with Johnny Sauter at Kansas Speedway earlier this season, Rhodes admitted he ran conservatively to preserve their trucks. He had Iowa circled on his calendar as the race to go all-out, but the shop fire changed those plans. Despite that, he was able to keep up with the difficult conditions and green flag runs.

“We really needed to be on the outside to keep our momentum up,” Rhodes said. “That’s what our truck really struggled with on the bottom. It was just tough. On those long runs, we have a lot of speed, and I felt like we had the fastest truck tonight.”

Rhodes admitted the fire affected his mentality in the closing laps.

“I’m really proud of all our guys on the Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra tonight. They have worked their butts off all week after the fire. We only had two trucks tonight, and we only have two trucks for the next race so it’s really hard to try to race for a win and have that on your mind.”

“I’m really proud of all our guys on the Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra tonight,” Rhodes said. “They have worked their butts off all week after the fire. We only had two trucks tonight, and we only have two trucks for the next race so it’s really hard to try to race for a win and have that on your mind.”

In addition to Hayley and Rhodes, ThorSport Racing driver Matt Crafton grabbed an eighth-place finish. Rico Abreu, coming off a second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, encountered issues throughout the race. After spinning near the halfway mark, Abreu was just outside the top 10 before overheating under the red flag.

ThorSport general manager David Pepper spoke at the track and reiterated that the organization would run the schedule as previously planned and remain competitive despite the circumstances. The team is full of people that refuse to quit, and Hayley wanted to reward the team in the best way possible – with a victory.

“I wish we could’ve gotten [team owner Duke Thorson] the win,” Hayley said, adding, “But to come from where this team was on Monday to where we are now is just amazing. I just want to thank everyone for that.”

EMAIL KRISTEN AT kristen.schneider@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
XFINITY

Drew Herring Grabs Pole At Iowa Speedway

Newton, Ia. – @Drew_Herring grabbed the pole for the NASCAR XFINITY 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway. He posted a speed of 134.391 with a time of 23.439 seconds. In 16 career series starts, this is his second pole. This also marks his first pole and top-10 start of 2015.

However, @erik_jones is slated to compete in tomorrow afternoon’s race; therefore, the No. 20 Interstate Batteries Toyota will have to start the event from the rear of the field. In his media center post-qualifying, Herring simply stated “I’ve done my part so the rest is up to Erik.”

@dnlsuarez (Daniel Suarez) qualified second posting his seventh top-10 start this season. Rounding out the top three was @bscottracing (Brian Scott) who posted his ninth top-10 start at the speedway.

Final Qualifying Order:

  1. Drew Herring (134.391)
  2. Daniel Suarez (134.351)
  3. Brian Scott (133.906)
  4. Chris Buescher (133.803)
  5. Brandon Jones (133.752)
  6. Chase Elliott (133.735)
  7. Regan Smith (133.678)
  8. Darrell Wallace Jr. (133.616)
  9. Ty Dillon (133.328)
  10. Elliott Sadler (133.271)
  11. Brendan Gaughan (133.102)
  12. Brennan Poole (132.794)
  13. Ryan Blaney (133.311)
  14. Ben Rhodes (132.766)
  15. Dakoda Armstrong (132.760)
  16. Ryan Reed (132.303)
  17. Ross Chastain (131.810)
  18. John Wes Townley (131.711)
  19. Jeremy Clements (131.584)
  20. David Starr (131.453)
  21. Ryan Sieg (131.381)
  22. Boris Said (131.349)
  23. Blake Koch (131.321)
  24. Cale Conley (131.305)
  25. Landon Cassill (130.149)
  26. JJ Yeley (129.774)
  27. Eric McClure (129.630)
  28. Harrison Rhodes (129.566)
  29. Todd Bodine (129.247)
  30. Jamie Dick (129.082)
  31. Joey Gase (128.982)
  32. Ryan Ellis (128.592)
  33. Peyton Sellers (127.810)
  34. Charles Lewandoski (Toyota Owner Points)
  35. BJ McLeod BYB (Chevrolet Owner Points)
  36. Derrike Cope (Chevrolet Owner Points)
  37. Mike Harmon (Dodge Owner Points)
  38. Carl Long Braille (Toyota Owner Points)
  39. John Jackson (Dodge Owner Points)
  40. Kenny Wallace (Owner Points)

The NASCAR XFINITY 3M 250 will be broadcast Sunday, May 16 on FOXSports1 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Categories
XFINITY

Keselowski’s Pit Strategy Equates To A Win in Iowa

By NASCAR Wire Service (NEWTON, Ia.) — The well-worn script read something like this: Brad Keselowski swoops in from the sky.

 

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion snares a second straight win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway, then hops a jet back to Pocono Raceway and competes in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Long Pond, Pa.

 

Simple. Neat. Expected — except part-timer Michael McDowell nearly spoiled the big-timer’s happy, if nerve-wracking Saturday night ending.

 

“I had my shot at it,” said McDowell, who led briefly on lap 248 before the always-fast Keselowski swept high and surged to his third win in four U.S. Cellular 250 starts.

 

That he did — thanks to another driver’s misfortune.

 

James Buescher’s crash on lap 241 set up a madcap three-lap dash to the finish that allowed McDowell to challenge for the upset.

 

“A really good battle,” said Keselowski, who led 146 laps and has finished no worse than third in seven Nationwide starts this season. “He had me there for a minute. Somehow I slid back by him. I’m not really sure how it worked out. These wins aren’t easy to come by and I’m really proud of the effort everyone put into it.”

 

Keselowski’s stated goal entering the Nationwide portion of his weekend was to aid Team Penske in a tight race at the top of the owner point standings.

 

He accomplished that, narrowing Joe Gibbs Racing’s lead from eight points to one (804 to 803).

 

“This isn’t a race that Penske circles and says we want to send a Cup driver to,” Keselowski said. “It’s just the way it works right now, (with) development drivers running in the (Camping World) Trucks series. The race is a conflict and it just kind of schedules out the way it does for me to be here. But I’ve enjoyed the success I’ve had here and it’s important for me personally to see those (developmental) drivers get opportunities in races like that.”

 

JGR drivers Sam Hornish and Elliott Sadler finished fourth and 10th, respectively.

 

Hornish — one of a handful to choose four tires on the last pit stop — led 65 laps and notched his fourth straight top-four finish at Iowa.

 

Trevor Bayne led the first 31 laps and settled for third with a $100,000 silver lining.

 

Bayne locked up the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash prize, earning another $100,000 for fan James Dennis of Henry, Ill.

 

“It hasn’t sunk in entirely yet,” Dennis said.

 

It has for Bayne.

 

“Hopefully we can build on this,” said Bayne, who moved up to fifth in points with 673. “I feel like we did everything but go to Victory Lane this weekend.”

 

Chase Elliott finished eighth and maintains a narrow lead of 714 points to 712 over Regan Smith, who placed sixth.

 

McDowell matched his career-best finish in just his second start of the season.

 

“This is a great finish,” McDowell said. “When you’re that close to getting the victory, it’s definitely a tough one. Brad definitely had the best car tonight, but on those restarts everybody’s got a shot.”

 

Especially at Iowa, where grooves abound.

 

“The cool thing about Iowa is the top and the bottom is about even on the restarts,” said Keselowski’s crew chief, Jeremy Bullins. “So Michael was able to get a good run and get the lead and Brad was able to get it back. I think a lot of places you go, there’s a definitive — there’s no question you’re taking the top or there’s no question you’re taking the bottom. Here, I think you look back, it’s probably closer to 50-50 as far as who gets the lead.”

 

His driver, as usual, held it here at the end.

 

“Thankful that it came together,” Keselowski said.

Categories
Development Journalists

Five Predictions for Pocono and Iowa

By Jason Schultz – Pocono Raceway and Iowa Speedway are two of the most polar opposite race tracks you will find on the NASCAR schedule.

Pocono’s three-turn layout will surely shakeup the race to the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In addition, it will allow the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers to flex some muscle on one of the biggest tracks they compete on.

Iowa has produced fantastic short-track finishes in the past, and the possibility of having another on Saturday night is high. Expect these ideas to play important roles as they drive this week’s five predictions.

Last August when the Truck Series took on the “Tricky Triangle,” @RyanBlaney22 was victorious. With five top-five finishes in the last six events, momentum will be on his side as he looks to continue the streak. Anticipate his consistency as of late to result in his first victory this season.

When the “Dash 4 Cash” program commenced last month in New Hampshire, @ReganSmith was the first driver to walk away with a $100,000 bonus. He is once again eligible for the prize this weekend and will aim to post a similar result. Watch for the No. 7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet to earn it for a second time.

It is very rare that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular competes in an independent Nationwide Series event. Brad @Keselowski will attempt the feat as he will travel nearly 1,000 miles from Long Pond, PA to Newton, IA.

He wouldn’t make the trip unless he sees an opportunity to score his third series victory of the season. I believe the 2010 Nationwide Series champion will do exactly that on Saturday night.

@KyleLarsonRacin is competing on some tracks for the first time this season, including Pocono. Like every challenge the 22-year old phenom faces, he conquers it. He placed fifth in June and hopes to have a better run on Sunday. I expect him to score another top-five finish.

If it hadn’t been for a piece of debris flying onto Keselowski’s grill late during the Pocono 400 in June, he would have won. Instead of reminiscing on what could have been then, focusing on the opportunity that lies ahead this weekend will be crucial for his success.

The No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford will be considered a heavy favorite this weekend. He reached Victory Lane three years ago which showed he knows how to get it done at the track. The team will have another outstanding performance in route to the win on Sunday.

Mid-summer racing always seems to be action-packed. With Blaney picking up his first win of the season, Smith taking the D4C, Keselowski winning in Iowa, Larson finding success once again and Keselowski rounding out Sunday with a Pocono victory – it will surely be a fun weekend for all race fans.

Jason Schultz is a Popular Speed Development Journalist

EMAIL JASON AT jason.schultz@popularspeed.com

Categories
Uncategorized

NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway

By Reid Spencer (NASCAR Wire Service) – NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway, the .875-mile short track in Newton, Iowa, a city about 30 miles east of the state capital of Des Moines.

In a release announcing the deal, NASCAR called the purchase “a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest.”

“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, 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 — much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”

The track opened in 2006 and NASCAR has run NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Iowa Speedway since 2009. In 2014, it is scheduled to host three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races.

NASCAR said it has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.