The Iowa Corn Indy 250 auto race will return to Iowa Speedway in 2008 and 2009. Track officials last week announced a two-year extension with the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IndyCar series and Indy Pro Series.
The announcement was made at the Iowa State Fair by former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace. Wallace designed the seven-eighths mile oval track located at Newton in central Iowa. Wallace was joined by Julius Schaaf, incoming chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, and Craig Floss, chief executive officer of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Stan Clement, president of Iowa Speedway and Terry Angstadt, president of the Indy Racing League's commercial division, were also on hand.
"I watched Dario Franchitti follow his victory in the Indy 500 with a win here in Iowa before a standing room only crowd and I knew we had a real winner on our hands," said Wallace, who also holds an ownership interest in the Newton track. "It is an honor for us at Iowa Speedway to continue our relationship with a primary sponsor like Iowa Corn, and of course, the IndyRacing League, each with a special interest in ethanol fuel. This is a win-win."
Corn 250's debut was a success in 2007
The IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel series in the U.S. and the Indy Pro Series, the official development series for the IndyCar Series, made a successful debut at Iowa Speedway in June 2007.
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, which served as title sponsor of the inaugural race, returns as the title sponsor for June 2008 and June 2009 races. The ICPB along with the ICGA believes the partnership makes sense. "The IndyCar Series cars run on 100% ethanol fuel grade ethanol produced by our corn growers in Iowa," says Floss. "Last year we had corn growers come out to from across the state and surrounding states to attend the race. This race offers an opportunity for education of motorists regarding the value and benefits of using ethanol in their own cars. It also offers a chance for us to congratulate the corn growers who continue to grow corn for ethanol and promote its use."
"Back in June when the IndyCar Series debuted at Iowa Speedway, we couldn't have asked for a more energetic reception," said Angstadt. "Statewide, the welcome mat met our arrival and it is still very much in mind. We are thrilled to announce a two-year commitment for the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series to race at Iowa Speedway and offer fans the most diverse racing schedule in the world. The IndyCar Series prides itself on innovation and use of 100% fuel grade ethanol. Combined with Iowa Speedway's partnership with the Iowa Corn Growers Association, it makes our partnership even more relevant."
Corn, agriculture and racing fit together
Iowa Speedway President Stan Clement says the partnership with ICGA and the Indy Racing League is a natural. "Anyone who watched this year's Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway - and people all over the world did—saw a world-class facility," he said. "If you live in Iowa or the Midwest, you already have a very good idea of how corn, agriculture and autoracing fit together. Now, you also know why Iowa Corn, Iowa Speedway and the Indy Racing League are teaming up to race again. It's a perfect fit. And based on this year's successful event, racing fans in Iowa and around the country seem to agree."