WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The IndyCar series is headed back to the Iowa Speedway.
The series announced Thursday the nation’s top open-wheel racing circuit will host a doubleheader next July as part of a multi-year agreement.
Hy-Vee, which hosted a press conference at its West Des Moines headquarters on Thursday, will sponsor both races and will provide what the racing league described as “broad support.”
"We've been working with Penske for the last 14 months, encouraging bringing back the IndyCar series," said Michael Hansen, mayor of Newton. "That was, frankly, our best hope for resurrecting the Iowa Speedway."
The announcement marks the end of a year-long absence from the open-wheel racing circuit. The Iowa Speedway's last appearance was in 2020.
IndyCar first began racing in Newton in 2007. It had raced there 15 times before taking that hiatus.
"We’re extremely pleased to return Iowa Speedway to the NTT IndyCar Series calendar,” said Roger Penske, founder and chair of the Penske Corporation and owner of the series. “Over the years, Iowa has proven to be a fitting showcase for North America’s premier open-wheel series. A key oval and a hallmark on our schedule, we deeply missed seeing our fans in Iowa this year and look forward to what’s ahead.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds was also at the press conference Thursday. She said she wants this event to put Iowa racing on the map.
"We want Iowa to be an IndyCar destination where people from all over the country come to enjoy racing and, of course, our beautiful state for years to come," she said.
The circuit will race on July 23 and July 24 of 2022. Additional dates were not immediately announced.
City officials said the double-header races will bring between $7-10 million for the city and central Iowa. They also said it could generate up to 500 part-time jobs.
NASCAR, which ran at Iowa Speedway for many years as well, also didn’t run in Newton in 2020. But it has yet to say whether it plans to return to the 0.875-mile oval in the future.