When folks think about big-time motorsports in Newton that draw drivers and fans from all over the United States, they usually look to the high banks of the paved 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway.
They think of NASCAR and IndyCar. They think of Rusty Wallace, James Hinchcliffe and Trevor Bayne. They think of high-octane race fuel and even higher horsepower engines.
Usually. But not this weekend.
This weekend, the focus will be on a smaller track just south of town — far enough south it’s on a gravel road — on East Fifth Street South, at the Newton Kart Klub, which this year entered its 40th year of operation as a family-owned business. But while the racing will involve smaller machines with substantially smaller engines, the racing will be just as hot.
Saturday, the International Kart Federation will host its state championship races at Newton Kart Klub. Founded in 1957, IKF is the governing body for the sport of go-cart racing. It sanctions nearly 20 classes of go-cart racing in the U.S.
The next day, the top racers in the two-cycle speedway classes will converge upon Newton to hold practice for the IKF 2-Cycle Grand Nationals, which will begin Monday at Newton Kart Klub. The Grand Nationals will conclude with championship races Thursday.
Newton Kart Klub was founded in 1974 by Ed and Dixie Peterson. Today, it is owned by Wes Stierwald, and operated by promoter Josh Peterson, grandson of the track’s founders.
The Newton Karting Klub website states: “Ed Peterson is no longer with us but his dreams and visions of providing a fast, fun, competitive, family oriented sport still remain our focus today. It is our mission to provide kart racing available to as many participants as possible ...”
Daily News Editor Bob Eschliman may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 423, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.