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Iowa NASCAR Weekend Primer

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What’s Happening?

For the first time in history, NASCAR’s top division is heading to the cornfields of Iowa. While it’s a brand new venue for that division, it’s not the first rodeo for the Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series at the track. Here is everything you need to know about NASCAR in Iowa this weekend.

  • Iowa Speedway was built in 2006, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace designed the track layout. In the off-season, the track was partially repaved with new asphalt on the bottom lanes in all four turns.
  • The Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series will also race this weekend at Iowa. The Xfinity Series held 20 races at the venue between 2009 and 2019, bringing in over 56,000 people for the inaugural race in 2009. The ARCA Menards has hosted at least one race at the track every year, except 2014, since it opened in 2006.
  • Fans have waited for a Cup Series race at Iowa for over a decade. The time has finally come, but the repave has caused some concern about the racing product at the venue.

Weekend Schedule (All Times ET)

Friday, June 14th – ARCA Menards Series RACE

  • 3:00-4:30 PM – ARCA Practice/Qualifying (No TV)
  • 4:30-5:30 PM – Xfinity Series Practice on USA
  • 5:30-6:30 PM – Cup Series Practice on USA
  • 8:00 PM – ARCA Menards Series Atlas 150 on FS1

Saturday, June 8th – Xfinity Series RACE

  • 12:00-1:00 PM – Xfinity Series Qualifying on USA
  • 1:00-2:00 PM – Cup Series Qualifying on NBC
  • 3:00-3:30 PM – Xfinity Series Countdown to Green on USA
  • 3:30 PM – Xfinity Series Hy-Vee Persk 250 on USA

Sunday, June 9th – Cup Series RACE

  • 6:30-7:00 PM – Cup Series Countdown to Green on USA
  • 7:00 PM – Cup Series Iowa Corn 350 Powered by Ethanol on USA

Race Facts

Iowa Speedway

  • Year Built: 2006
  • Length: 0.875 Miles
  • Shape: D-Shaped Oval
  • Banking: 12-14 Degrees
  • Surface: Asphalt
  • Lights?: Yes
  • Rain Tires?: Yes

ARCA Menards Series 

  • Race Length: 150 Laps (131.25 Miles)
  • Stages: None
  • 2023 Winner: Luke Fenhaus

Xfinity Series

  • Race Length: 250 Laps (218.75 Miles)
  • Stages: 75 Laps (Stages 1 and 2), 100 Laps (Stage 3)
  • Purse: $1,408,568
  • Most Recent Winners (2019): Christopher Bell (June) and Chase Briscoe (July)
  • Former Iowa Xfinity Winners in the Field: Justin Allgaier

Cup Series

  • Race Length: 350 Laps (306.25 Miles)
  • Stages: 70 Laps (Stage 1), 140 Laps (Stages 2 and 3)
  • Purse: $8,881,630
  • Former Iowa Winners in the Field: Brad Keselowski (3 Xfinity), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (3 Xfinity), Erik Jones (2 Trucks and 2016 Xfinity), Christopher Bell (2 Xfinity), Chase Briscoe (2019 Xfinity and 2016 ARCA), William Byron (2017 Xfinity and 2016 Trucks), Ryan Blaney (2015 Xfinity and 2012 Trucks), Ryan Preece (2017 Xfinity), Ty Gibbs (2 ARCA), John Hunter Nemechek (2017 Trucks), Chris Buescher (2015 Xfinity), Alex Bowman (2012 ARCA) Kyle Busch (2010 Xfinity), Austin Dillon (2010 Trucks).

Entry Lists

ARCA Menards Series

A total of 26 drivers are entered in Friday night’s race at Iowa. Notable entrants include Marco Andretti (No. 17), William Sawalich (No. 18), Toni Breidinger (No. 25), and Connor Zilisch (No. 28).

FULL entry List can be viewed HERE

Xfinity Series

A total of 38 cars are on the entry list for the Xfinity Series race at Iowa for 38 spots, meaning no drivers will go home. Notable entries include Daniel Dye (No. 10), David Starr (No. 14), Brett Moffitt (No. 19), John Hunter Nemechek (No. 20), Corey Heim (No. 26), Blaine Perkins (No. 29), and Ross Chastain (No. 92). The No. 53 for Joey Gase Motorsports is still TBD on who will drive.

Cup Series

The Cup Series features 37 drivers entered for 40 spots at Iowa, meaning no drivers will go home. Kaz Grala hops back aboard the Rick Ware No. 15 and A.J. Allmendinger will drive the Kaulig No. 16. The lone open entry, David Starr in the No. 66, has withdrawn from the event.

What to Watch For

ARCA Menards Series

The ARCA Menards Series was the only of these three series to race at Iowa in 2023. William Sawalich led every lap until an overtime restart when he lost the lead to the eventual winner, Luke Fenhaus. With Iowa being a short track, watch for ARCA East and maybe some ARCA West competitors to make noise this weekend.

Xfinity Series

The Xfinity Series hasn’t raced at this venue in five years, but Iowa’s closest comparison, even after the repave, is probably Richmond Raceway. At Richmond this spring, Toyota drivers Chandler Smith, Aric Almirola, and Corey Heim combined to lead 186 of 250 laps. Toyota has won all three Xfinity races at tracks 1.0 miles or less this season, so they are the ones to beat this weekend.

Cup Series

The last time NASCAR was in Iowa with the Xfinity Series in 2018, Christopher Bell made it his own personal playground leading 420 of 500 laps combined in the two races that summer, winning the June event. Toyota has won three of the four Cup Series races at tracks 1.0 miles or shorter this season, with Bell winning at Phoenix and Denny Hamlin conquering Richmond and Bristol. Toyota will be hard to beat this weekend, but 14 former Iowa winners are in the field.

This article will be updated as the week progresses and more information about the race weekend comes out.

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