NASCAR will be hosting its first events as the new owner of Iowa Speedway on the weekend of May 17-18, when the Casey’s General Store 150, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, and NASCAR Nationwide Get To Know Newton 250 presented by Sherwin Williams will take place. In addition to the action on the track, fans can expect loads of entertainment with a special feature being fan photo opportunities with winning drivers. Moreover, instead of being held inside the media center, drivers’ meetings will be held on the opposite side of the front stretch, giving fans more opportunities to see the competitors before the race starts.
New president of Iowa Speedway, 28-year-old Jimmy Small is reportedly determined to make a success of this new venture, and to include fans and the State of Iowa in the process. Small concedes that he’s aware that many people think he is a bit young for the position he is in, but notes that he is professional in his approach and passionate about the sport.
Born and raised in Detroit, historically the automotive capital of the United States, Small is a graduate of Notre Dame University in Indiana, not far from the renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During his senior year he applied for a position at NASCAR’s headquarters in Daytona, and was hired soon after his graduation. Starting off in series operations, Small went on to gain experience in other areas of NASCAR’s operation, and when offered the position of president of Iowa Speedway, he readily accepted.
NASCAR’s announcement last year that it was buying Iowa Speedway generated a lot of speculation, and a lot of excitement among fans and teams alike. Top notch drivers, including Brad Keselowski and Trevor Bayne, tested the track last week and gave it the thumbs-up. Certainly autoracing fans in this region have some thrilling racing to look forward to at Iowa Speedway this season.
Kevin Harvick earned his first victory with Stewart-Haas Racing on Sunday in The Profit on CNBC 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took second place followed by Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon in third, fourth and fifth places respectively. Starting the race in 13th position, Harvick moved his #4 Chevrolet into 5th position for a time before moving into second place just before the caution flag was given on lap 35. After taking the lead, it became evident that the victory would be Harvick’s and the other drivers were competing for 2nd place.
Harvick dominated both practice sessions on Saturday and was considered to be the favorite for Sunday’s race – and he didn’t disappoint. This was Harvick’s fifth win at Phoenix International Raceway, and his 24th in 468 career starts. Having moved to Stewart-Haas after 13 seasons with Richard Childress Racing, Harvick noted after the race that his victory “solidifies so many things and so many decisions”. He went on to say that the Stewart-Haas crew had put so much work, time and effort into the car, giving it his stamp of approval with an enthusiastic “What a race car”.
Kyle Busch dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Blue Jeans Go Green 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, leading for 155 laps in a race that was cut short by 32 laps due to persistent rain. Commenting that he would have loved to have gone back out on the track to complete the race, Busch commended crew chief Adam Stevens and the rest of the crew for the work they do and the prime condition the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Kevin Harvick took second place, followed by Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth.
Meanwhile, NASCAR is reportedly still mulling over the issue of whether or not to limit participation by Sprint Cup Series drivers in the Nationwide and Truck Series. With the second race of the season over, it appears that no decision has been taken as yet. Some fans are of the opinion that Sprint Cup drivers should leave the so-called “developmental series” to drivers who are developing their skills. Kyle Busch is a case in point. As the owner of his own truck team, he competes in Nationwide and Truck series, and reportedly says he will continue to do so until the rules are changed.