A major expansion of the Iowa Speedway in Newton could hinge on whether state lawmakers approve $8 million in additional funding. State Representative Dan Kelley, a Newton Democrat, hopes to convince lawmakers to put public dollars behind the project.
Thursday afternoon, Kelley said the Speedway wants to lure a Sprint Cup series race to town. To help those efforts, the Speedway would use the public money to expand its current 40,000 seat capability to up to 100,000, the crowd size the Sprint Cup series race could attract. Kelley said, “We’re bringing a sports entity that is at its highest level to the state of Iowa. We have many sporting opportunities for fans in the state that are just wonderful. We have the I-Cubs, the Barnstormers, Iowa Hawkeye fans and Cyclone fans and so forth. This is the highest level of motorsport in the world. That’s what we’re fighting for today.”
Channel 13 has also learned if state lawmakers reach a deal on the extra funding for the Speedway that would also open up a potentially even bigger deal. Sources close to the deal say an outside group is interested in bringing even more dollars to the project to develop the area around the Speedway. Current Speedway owner and racing legend, Rusty Wallace, had plans to develop that area in the past but never pulled off the deal. Sources say this new outside group would have a better chance of accomplishing that goal.