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Column

Is Iowa Speedway in trouble?

The NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule was released on Friday and for the first time in several years, it did not include a stop at Iowa Speedway.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series also has been a yearly stop at the Newton 7/8 oval. While that schedule has not yet been released, Iowa Speedway does not anticipate a date for 2021, according to a press release on its website.

What does this mean for the local track that was first brought to Newton by Rusty Wallace?

I wish I had more answers. The truth is, I don't know. And most of the local contacts I had a relationship with at the track are no longer there.

Since NASCAR bought the track, several changes were made and with it went some communication with us.

The press release on Iowa Speedway's website had a little more information.

In that press release, Iowa Speedway representatives admit not being able to determine what happens for 2022 and beyond. Nothing is on the schedule for 2021.

"Working with NASCAR and our partners, we will continue to look at what potential opportunities might exist, and we will keep you updated," Iowa Speedway representatives said in the release.

Customers who purchased tickets for next year, assuming NASCAR was returning in 2021 will receive a refund for your original purchase amount.

If you requested a 2020 NASCAR event credit on to your account, you will also receive a refund for your original purchase amount.

Customers who purchased by credit card will receive the refund on to the credit card. Customers who purchased by cash or check will receive the refund as a check in the mail. Refund processing could take up 30-45 days.

For more information, contact Iowa Speedway at 641-791-8100 or tickets@iowaspeedway.com.

There are a lot of rumors floating around about the track. My plan is release more information when I have it and avoid spreading any more rumors about the future of the track.

This weekend was quite the experience for me from a sports journalist standpoint. It was a very busy two days.

The weekend started with me driving to Fort Dodge to cover Newton at the state cross country meet. I drove two hours to Lakeside Golf Course, covered Cardinal juniors Jackson Mace-Maynard and Treycen Garton in the 3A boys' race and then drove back to Jasper County to cover PCM in a third-round football playoff game.

On Saturday, I drove back to Fort Dodge to cover PCM, Baxter and Lynnville-Sully at the state cross country meet.

By the time I got back to town, I was exhausted. I don't remember the last time I was in bed by 9 p.m.

It's part of the job. I'm not complaining. It's an unusual year for sure the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union are making decisions to make us as safe as possible in the COVID-19 era.

This year, the state meet was broken up into two days and spaced out to keep the crowds down.

The Class 4A and 3A races took places on Friday and the 2A and 1A races were Saturday. They also spaced out the classes each day. I covered a pair of PCM girls in the 2A girls' race and then had to wait five hours before the 1A races.

No one knows what 2021 will bring. If COVID-19 is still around next fall, I imagine this format will return. But speaking with Chris Cuellar of the IHSAA, the gap between classes may not be as long.

It was the first time they did it this way so they were bound to learn a few things for future tweaks. That would be one I would suggest. Five hours between classes is too long.

Cuellar couldn't confirm if the two-day state meet would return no matter what but did suggest that there have been discussions about keeping the two-day state qualifier setup. They have gotten a lot of positive feedback about that.

That's another one I loved. It allowed me to cover Newton on Wednesday and another meet on Thursday. This year, weather postponements allowed me to cover all three of our area state qualifiers.

None of this stuff is official. They are just discussing things right now. And being proactive is a good thing.

Contact Troy Hyde at thyde@shawmedia.com

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