NASCAR bringing its top Cup Series to Iowa for the first time in 2024

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Christoper Bell (21), Joey Lagano (22), William Byron (24), Kyle Busch (18) and Tyler Reddick (8) compete in the NASCAR Southern 500 auto race, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, in Darlington, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — NASCAR announced Tuesday that it will finally bring its top Cup Series to Iowa for the first time.

Cup Series drivers will race at Iowa Speedway in Newton in June 2024, a weekend that will also include the second-tier Xfinity Series at the track about a forty-minute drive east of Des Moines.

“Today’s announcement is a triumph for incredible race fans around the world,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president for racing development and strategy. “They have long sought a NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway, and we’re happy to finally deliver that for them.”

NASCAR has held Xfinity and Truck series races at the 0.875-mile oval but none since 2019. Iowa Speedway has hosted IndyCar Series races for years, since it first opened in 2006. The NASCAR-owned track lists a 30,000 capacity.

Rusty Wallace, a former Cup series champion who designed the speedway, and former Cup champion Brad Keselowski were in attendance at the announcement outside of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Keselowski said he’s been “pestering” NASCAR leaders to bring the Cup Series to Iowa, calling the speedway “one of the best tracks” in the country and next year’s race one of the “can’t miss” events of 2024.

Gov. Kim Reynolds applauded the addition of Iowa to the schedule, saying Iowa has “worked so hard over the years to establish itself as a racing destination.” Reynolds noted the economic boost to the state from a Cup series event.

About 85,000 fans attended the speedway’s IndyCar doubleheader over three days in July, the racing body said. Popular music artists Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Zak Brown Band and Ed Sheeran also brought star power — and big crowds — to the track for performances.

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing