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Track Talk: Hot racing, cool things to do highlight July at Iowa Speedway

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 11:23 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, July 8, 2013 2:12 p.m. CDT

Once again, the pageantry and tradition of Newton’s Fourth of July parade has captivated a town that could easily be depicted in a Norman Rockwell painting. A slice of small-town Americana quaintly carrying on amidst the culture of cyberspace and smart phones.  

Newton survives not in spite of the New Age, but because of it — young or old, possessing wealth or of modest means — Newtonians celebrate the past while looking expectantly towards the future.

Newton’s strength is in its newfound economic diversity. From TPI to a revitalized courthouse square, and Underwriters Laboratories to Iowa Speedway, Newton’s economic base is no longer bound to one monolithic employer.  

And with a full-summer’s worth of great entertainment at “America’s Place to Race”, the tourism sector is full of youthful vigor in this 167 year old city, much to the delight of Newton residents and merchants alike.

The “Big Show” in July at Iowa Speedway happens near mid-month, with the first of two appearances by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors, in a full weekend of hot racing action, Friday night, July 12, and Saturday night, July 13, under the Musco lights!  

Scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start on Saturday, the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen promises to bring some of the very best NASCAR short track racers together for a classic slam-bang battle on Iowa Speedway’s deceptively fast 7⁄8-mile tri-oval.

Veteran NASCAR Truck racers like Ron Hornaday, Jr., “The Onion” Todd Bodine, Wisconsin native Johnny Sauter, west coast ace Matt Crafton and defending American Ethanol 200 champion Timothy Peters will be upholding the honor of the Old Guard against a slew of super-talented youngsters with a growing number of wins under their collective belts.

Among them would have to be one of the odds-on favorites to drive his Brad Keselowski prepared machine back to Pizza Ranch Victory Lane, Ryan Blaney, who at 19 years of age won our September NASCAR Truck race last year.  

Other young lions include third-generation racer Jeb Burton, Drive for Diversity star Darrell Wallace, Jr., NASCAR legend Richard Childress’s youngest grandson, Ty Dillon, former USAC open wheel and ARCA standout Dakoda Armstrong, and the very talented and accomplished Chase Elliott, son of one of the biggest stars in the history of NASCAR, “Awesome Bill” Elliott.

Not a single one of these gifted, confident young men is over the age of 21, and Chase Elliott – at 17 – is still ineligible for voter registration. In fact, young Mr. Elliott was barely old enough for a driver’s license when he notched his first NASCAR win right here at Iowa Speedway, in the May 2012 K&N Pro Series East vs. West challenge race.

One of the great things about the NASCAR Trucks is that they have two physical features that greatly enhance the entertainment value of the racing.  

The first attribute is the tremendous down-force created by the tonneau cover, which acts as a giant “wing” on top of what would normally be the bed in a pickup truck, and that allows the race trucks to carry much higher speeds through the corners than even Nationwide cars can achieve.

The other feature is the relatively large, flat sides of the truck bodies, which allow the drivers to lean hard on each other — especially in the corners — and sometimes even to use the sides of trucks as rolling battering rams. That may take the old cliché, “rubbin’s racin’” to the outer limits, but it is definitely entertaining for our fans in the grandstands.

In addition to one of the most action-packed shows of the year with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on July 13, on Friday night, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. we’ll roll out something brand new to Iowa Speedway fans: Frank Kimmel’s Street Stock Nationals.

Founded by the nine-time ARCA champion, Kimmel’s Enduro-style series will pit I.M.C.A.— type steel bodied street stock cars — modified slightly for racing, but mostly for safety — in a 100-lap free-for-all on the world’s fastest short track.  

Taking only a short break at the completion of 50 laps, the race will crown an Iowa Speedway Street Stock Nationals champion in a thoroughly entertaining ‘everyman’s race’ that isn’t about big bucks, but rather about having fun.

Starting at $20, tickets for the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race are currently on sale through the Iowa Speedway Ticket Office in Newton, online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or through the track’s toll-free ticketing hotline, 1-866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).  

Weekend passes starting at $30, and including the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals on Friday, July 12, are also available. Tickets are also available at the Iowa Speedway Ticket Office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Now for some cool stuff to complement your hot July days, how about the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience? For as little as $129, you can ride around Iowa Speedway at high speed, with a professional racecar driver at the wheel. Or, for the more adventuresome, try driving one of Rusty’s C.O.T.-style stock cars for $319.  

Both “experiences” are available on July 20-21 (Saturday-Sunday), and on July 26-28 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), and both will put your Fun Meter on the peg! More information is available online at www.racewithrusty.com.

And make plans now to attend the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by The Enlist Weed Control System, starring NASCAR Champion Brad Keselowski, our final NASCAR Nationwide Series race of 2013, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, and the final NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West challenge race of the on Friday, August 2, the Pork, Be Inspired 150 at 8 p.m. Tickets for both races start at $20 each, and are available through all Iowa Speedway ticketing options.

So no matter what other activities you may have planned for the summer month of July, don’t forget to add in a generous scoop of fun at Iowa Speedway, and we’ll save a seat for you!

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