Kyle Busch blew off most of the central Iowa media after finishing second at the U.S. Cellular 250 in 2009. He was in a better mood Saturday night. Busch had the best car, and it wasn’t even close. Once again, the weather and the sellout crowd were spectacular, but a little more competive race would have been nice. I haven’t seen the official totals on lead changes, but there couldn’t have been very many. Saturday’s race is a perfect example of why Sprint Cup drivers could be ineligible for the Nationwide points race as soon as next season.
Is the Iowa Speedway in line for a second (additional) Nationwide Series race in 2011? It’s not likely. Sure, the unfortunate situation with Gateway Raceway opens up two Nationwide dates for next season. But NASCAR officials seem to be looking for a reason to contract the schedule, and the Gateway situation gives them an easy way to do so. It’s been a struggle for many Nationwide teams to secure sponsorship for the entire season. Trimming five or six races off the schedule would mean teams could ask for less money from sponsors, and that would make securing sponsors easier, especially in an uncertain economy. Additionally, I question whether or not the fans would fill the stands at the Iowa Speedway and support two Nationwide races each year. I’d rather see one spectacular event with 55,000 fans, than two races with 35,000 fans in the seats. Expansion would take away some of the novelty.