NASCAR Returns to Iowa Speedway, But Drivers Are Wary Of Repaved Track

iowa speedway 2019
(NASCAR via Getty Images)
iowa speedway 2019
(NASCAR via Getty Images)

The NASCAR Cup Series is making its first visit to Iowa Speedway on June 16 for the Iowa Corn 350 Powered By Ethanol.

The Xfinity Series and Truck Series last raced at the short-oval track in 2019.

NASCAR recently repaved the track to prepare it for the upcoming weekend, which will also feature an Xfinity Series race on June 15, but not all of it.

It only applied the fresh surface in the turns and just one or two lanes wide.


Some drivers are concerned it will not provide good racing.

“It just completely ruined the corners and it’s going to make a one-groove race track,” Christopher Bell, who participated at a tire test held on the surface in May, told Fox Sports at Sonoma Raceway last weekend.

“Repaving the bottom half of the corners is going to make it where the top half is completely unusable.”

“It looks like you will be able to force whoever’s on top of you into the not-so-good-grip,” Bell’s teammate Denny Hamlin said.

“It’s very interesting that they paved so much of it, but they didn’t pave all of it.”

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that they hadn’t planned to pave the NASCAR-owned it when the race was announced last year, but that it was later determined that some work was required and that there wasn’t enough time for a full repave.

“As we started scheduling events, whether it was a tire test and looking at the facility, and once we got into the early part of the calendar this year, it was apparent that there were some areas we were going to have to take a look at and do some repaving. Again, our goal all along was not to do that. We wanted our fans to see that track and a race where the surface had been worn, but that just wasn’t going to be the case.”

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe won the last Xfinity Series race held at the track, but Bell, points-leader Kyle Larson and Hamlin are the top three favorites to win the Cup Series race, according to BetMGM.

No Cup Series drivers will be competing in the Xfinity Series race.