The ‘grassroots’ of racing remains strong in Iowa
Hometown short oval tracks have long been recognized as the birthplace of big league auto racing, whether we’re talking about NASCAR or IndyCar. And oval tracks in Iowa not only gave rise to some of the biggest racing stars of yesteryear; guys like Don White, Ernie Derr, Ramo Stott, Johnny Beauchamp and ‘Tiny’ Lund, but many of those same tracks have thrived over the years.
The “grassroots” of racing lives on in the Hawkeye State, and nationwide for that matter, and we all benefit from the success of Iowa’s short tracks.
One of the best-kept secrets in motorsports is that Iowa — not North Carolina, Virginia or Indiana — is the ‘racing-est’ state in the nation, based solely upon the number of active racetracks versus the total population. With 55 tracks — the vast majority of them short (5/8-mile or less) dirt or clay ovals running a weekly racing program — and a population of three million, Iowa simply blows away the rest of the nation in terms of race tracks per capita. Small wonder that such new age stars as Michael Annett, Landon Cassill and Joey Gase continue to emerge from our little corner of the Heartland.
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