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Iowa Corn 300 celebrates its tenth year this weekend

originalThe Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300, which reaffirms Iowa Speedway as “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”, returns on Sunday, July 10. Iowa Corn celebrates its tenth year of partnership with Iowa Speedway, and continues as the second longest running entitlement sponsor in INDYCAR competition. In last year’s edition, Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay raced his way to Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane to give the team its sixth consecutive win and its seventh in nine races on the 7/8 mile paved tri-oval. The win puts Hunter-Reay in the exclusive three-win-club at Iowa Speedway alongside NASCAR drivers Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

WAVE OF NEW ACTIVITIES GREET RACE-GOERS THIS WEEKEND

Racing alongside the Verizon IndyCar Series is the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Launched in 2010, the Mazda Road to Indy provides a scholarship-funded path for drivers to progress from karting into the Verizon IndyCar Series. The 2016 Indy Lights champion will receive a Mazda scholarship toward three 2017 IndyCar races, including the Indianapolis 500. Last year’s Indy Lights winner at Iowa, Max Chilton, has since graduated to IndyCar and will drive in the Iowa Corn 300 for Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing.

TV: NBCSN Distance: 300 Laps

Friday Schedule:

12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Paddock Open (Additional purchase required)

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Horsepower Hour (Newton Club)

Saturday Schedule:

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. IndyCar Practice

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Paddock Open (Passes for purchase at Ticket Booth 1 & 2)

1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Indy Lights Practice

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. IndyCar Qualifying

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. IndyCar Autograph Session – Indy Fan Village

5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Indy Lights 2nd Practice

6:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. IndyCar Final Practice
Sunday Schedule:

7:30 a.m. Parking Lots Open

8:30 a.m. Spectator Gates Open (first 500 fans through gates receive a giveaway)

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Paddock Open (Passes for purchase at Ticket Booth 1 & 2)

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Concourse Activities – Rival Screen Printing, Crash Course 2.0, Pedal Pull Contest, Chainsaw Carver, Caricatures, Air Brush Tattoos, Living Statue, Racing Simulator & Mechanical Bull

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Lazer Tag (Casey’s General Stores Fan Walk)

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Season Ticket Holder Tailgate (Turn 4 Hospitality)

11:20 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Kids Q&A (Access through Casey’s General Stores Fan Walk – meet in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane)

11:30 a.m. Bags Tournament (Free Entry – Turn 4 Bar Tent)

12:00 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. Indy Lights Qualifying

2:15 p.m. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires (115 laps)

4:00 p.m. IndyCar Driver Introductions

4:40 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300

Post-Race Turn 4 Bar Tent Open with Dueling Pianos

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Country duo LOCASH, corn feed and youth pedal contest part of second high-powered weekend of racing

originalNEWTON, Iowa (July 5, 2016) – Building on Iowa Speedway’s popular 2016 debut weekend, race-goers will see plenty of their favorite activities and games return for a second weekend of all-day entertainment. Country music duo LOCASH, a youth pedal pull and live chainsaw carving highlight the new additions for an action-packed weekend of racing at “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”.

Tickets for the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores and the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 can be purchased at www.IowaSpeedway.com or by calling 866.787.8946.

Here’s a list of what fans can expect during Iowa Speedway’s ag-inspired weekend:

Corn Feed presented by Iowa Corn and Chevrolet
For the third year in a row, fans can enjoy a free ear of sweet corn prior to the Iowa Corn 300, courtesy of Iowa Corn and Chevrolet. Fans are invited to enjoy this summer treat in the Chevy display on Sunday, July 10 from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. CT. Iowa Corn returns as the title sponsor of the INDYCAR race at Iowa Speedway for the tenth consecutive year, making it the second longest running partnership within the series. The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) works to develop and defend markets, fund research, and provide education about corn and corn products. The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a membership organization lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its 7,800 farmer members.

Youth Pedal Pull Contest
Our youngest fans will notice a new addition to the growing lineup of activities offered each race weekend for kids. Starting at 10:00 a.m. CT on Sunday, July 10, children can participate in a pedal pull contest on miniature tractors that will include “sled” weights for increased difficulty, presented by the Northwood-Kensett FFA. All contestants will receive a participation ribbon and the top finishers will advance to the state pedal pull competition!

Chainsaw Carvers
The roar of ARCA and INDYCAR won’t be the only engines fans hear around the track. Keeping in the spirit of the weekend, Iowa Speedway’s crew of Chainsaw Carvers will showcase their skills on the concourse on Saturday, July 9 at noon and again on Sunday, July 10, at 10:00 a.m. CT. These wizards of woodworking produce incredible carved sculptures, including Iowa Speedway’s 7/8 logo.

NASCAR Green
NASCAR has put a particular emphasis on finding increased ways to be “green,” which has led the sanctioning body to become the largest recycler in sports, and to adopt eco-friendly practices like running American grown E15 race fuel in its national series races. As the only track under the NASCAR umbrella, Iowa Speedway proudly waves its green flag as well, showcasing partnerships with Iowa Corn Growers, American Ethanol and Iowa Pork Producers. New in 2016, Iowa Speedway has worked with concessions partner Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, to bring Iowa-based Green RU to the track by composting organics, food scraps, cardboard and other items from the Speedway’s kitchens rather than sending it to the landfill. The customized recycling program helps ensure that Iowa’s rich farm land stays green for future generations.

Last year, as part of the NASCAR Green program, Iowa Speedway stepped up its recycling efforts by adding Coca-Cola recycling stations throughout the concourse, Newton Club and Suites and the infield.

NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series presents LOCASH
The NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series continues this weekend, following the conclusion of the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores. American country music duo LOCASH will rock the Pork Party Pavilion, overlooking Turn 4, following Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane activities on July 9. LOCASH has taken the country music world by storm with their smash hit “I Love This Life”, which peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Country Airplay chart this year. LOCASH released its third studio album “The Fighters” on June 17, and the duo’s stop in Newton is part of a nationwide tour.

Dueling Pianos Performance
The music this weekend doesn’t stop with LOCASH. Following the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 on Sunday, July 10, Andy Anderson and Mike Leeds will return to Iowa Speedway for another dueling pianos performance. Performing in the Turn 4 bar tent, this fan-favorite brings a high-energy and engaging dueling piano routine to the post-race environment. They will incorporate hilarious spontaneity, crowd-pleasing antics, and a musical camaraderie that delivers a one-of-a-kind, unique show to close out the race weekend.

Signature food
Iowa Speedway along with concession partner Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, will continue to showcase the Track’s evolving palate with brand new signature food items for 2016. These tasty, if not always tasteful, expressions of Iowa Speedway are the latest offerings in a series of signature food options that debuted in 2014. This year’s editions include:

The Commitment Cone – A waffle cone filled to the brim with eggs, potatoes and bacon, skewered by a pancake-battered sausage-on-a-stick. This is a meal for those who demand attention and have no problem standing out in a crowd
Scoring Pile-On – Layer after layer of food, piled high in a mason jar, modeled to look like a sundae… This “Iowa Speedway-ification” of a hot-beef-sundae includes pulled pork, mashed potatoes and corn, topped with a cherry tomato and cheese
Engine Block – A sweet and savory sandwich that features a pork tenderloin and slice of cheddar cheese between two apple fritter “buns.” A marriage made in heaven… aka Iowa
Where Race Fans Meet
This weekend at Iowa Speedway, there will be another way to engage with other fans and the Iowa Speedway community. MeetBall, a real-time location sharing navigation application, has helped thousands of fans locate friends in large tailgating spaces since 2012. The interactive mobile app will allow race-goers to stay engaged online with event-related conversation. Last year, MeetBall beta-tested at Iowa Speedway during the U.S. Cellular 250 and enabled the race day experience to be more efficient through real-time GPS navigation tools and access to the live social media conversation.

Through a deep integration with the Twitter platform, MeetBall transcends conventional location sharing by giving attendees the ability to stay engaged with event-related conversation. The Iowa Speedway Community on MeetBall has a custom social feed where fans can share their experiences at the track as well as the ability to send messages and questions directly to the Iowa Speedway team and the rest of the community.

Download the MeetBall app and join the Iowa Speedway community here: http://meetball.com/IowaSpeedway.com.

#ThisIsMySpeedway
As in previous years, fans are once again encouraged to use the hashtag #ThisIsMySpeedway on social media to tell their stories of the weekend. As part of Iowa Speedway’s promotion of the multitude of ways fans make race weekend at “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet” their own, the #ThisIsMySpeedway hashtag is a social media rallying point for those who love the Speedway. By using the hashtag in social media posts, fans may check out what else is happening around the track and share their experiences through photos, videos or messages.

Returning Favorites
Look for all of your favorite activities from Wide Opening Weekend including racing simulators, Lazer Tag, bags tournament, Crash Course 2.0, beer garden, oversized games and more!

About Iowa Speedway
Iowa Speedway, “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”, is a state-of-the-art 7/8-mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located in Newton, Iowa. Our 2016 schedule includes three exciting race weekends: June 18-19 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Speediatrics 200 and NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen), July 9-10 (ARCA Racing Series 150 presented Casey’s General Stores and Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300) and July 29-30 (NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College and NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250). For tickets, call 1-866-787-8946. To learn more, visit www.IowaSpeedway.com, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @IowaSpeedway.

Even the most acrobatic kayakers - known as 'play boaters' - enjoy the water elements in Manchester. Photo by David Mable.

Dam Debate II: Whitewater in downtown Des Moines?

Manchester, Iowa converted old dams into a popular whitewater park. Photo by David Mable

Manchester, Iowa converted old dams into a popular whitewater park. Photo by David Mable

The Dam Debate II: Bring river recreation to downtown Des Moines?

The Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines would become a signature recreational destination for the region – with beaches amid naturally restored riverbanks, more fishing areas with improved habitat, calm-water and whitewater channels for beginner and expert-level paddling and tubing – under a proposal to mitigate the Center Street and Scott Street dams. The dams would be replaced with a series of drops, spaced out over approximately one mile, which would maintain the water level north of the Center Street dam at current levels to preserve boating and rowing upstream.

Overhead video of riding an inflatable orca in Manchester.

Overhead video of riding an inflatable orca in Manchester.

Is that what residents of Greater Des Moines want?

The public is invited to weigh in on these recommendations at The Dam Debate II, hosted by The Des Moines Register as a follow up the first Dam Debate on April 26. The Dam Debate II is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, in the Register’s Community Room of Capital Square, 400 Locust St., Des Moines. Doors open at 6 p.m. with an open house to view river and creek recommendations and speak with planners about the proposals.

Kayakers, tubers, canoeists and more enjoy the river features in Manchester. Photo by Noah Mable

Kayakers, tubers, canoeists and more enjoy the river features in Manchester. Photo by Noah Mable

“We worked with the community to put together a vison for what the rivers of Greater Des Moines could look like as major recreational amenities for the region,” said Rick Tollakson, president and CEO of Hubbell Realty Co., who chairs the Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Steering Committee. “The question we need to answer before we go any farther is, did we get it right?”

The proposal for the downtown dams is one of many recommendations in the DRAFT Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Master Plan that the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is developing on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. When complete later this year, the plan will become the first regional roadmap for developing a network of recreational corridors along 150 miles of rivers and creeks in central Iowa.

Even the most acrobatic kayakers - known as 'play boaters' - enjoy the water elements in Manchester. Photo by David Mable.

Even the most acrobatic kayakers – known as ‘play boaters’ – enjoy the water elements in Manchester. Photo by David Mable.

The Dam Debate II – Tuesday, June 28 – An open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. with displays of proposed recommendations. The main program will be 7 to 8:30 p.m. with a short presentation, panel discussion, and question-and-answer with panelists Rick Tollakson, Nate Hoogeveen of Iowa DNR, and Teva Dawson of Des Moines Area MPO.

Water Trails Public Meeting – Wednesday, June 29 – The draft water trails plan will be presented and public comment collected at a public meeting 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at the Ding Darling Shelter, 2100 Saylor Road, Des Moines.

Paddle Outings – Thursday and Friday, July 7 and 8 – The public is invited to join a paddle on the Raccoon River, starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 7, or on the Des Moines River, starting at 4 p.m. Friday, July 8, Both paddles will last 2-3 hours. Participants need to provide their own watercraft and shuttling; rental and shuttle service is also available through Argo Adventures at 515-996-0063. Details are available at dmampo.org/water-trails/events/.

For more information, please visit dmampo.org/water-trails/, call 515-334-0075 or email info@dmampo.org.

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Menace women score four yet again.

IMG_4032Friday, June 24, 2016 – Whitney Sharpe and Sarah Brandt led the scoring party, and the Des Moines Menace romped to a 5-0 exhibition victory today against the WSA North Stars.

Sharpe and Brandt each scored twice in the first half, giving the Menace a 4-0 halftime lead to match the team’s score from each of its first three Women’s Premier Soccer League matches. Camila Parra closed the scoring in the 73rd minute, putting away a long-distance through-ball from Sharpe.

Head coach Justin Vorster shuffled the Menace’s starting lineup in this opener of a Friday-Saturday doubleheader at Valley Stadium, and the visitors from Winnipeg played even with the Menace for the first third of today’s friendly.

Though Des Moines held most of the possession in the early going, it wasn’t until the 30th minute that the home side found the net. Following a well-served corner kick from Mandy Pochobradsky, the ball bounced around and Sharpe opportunistically punched home her header.

“It took a while for us to get on the same page,” said Sharpe. “After the first goal, we were able to relax a little bit and get into our rhythm. They (WSA) started physical, but we were able to wear them down eventually.”

Just a minute later, the Menace’s second goal – the first of consecutive scores from Brandt – followed a scramble on the heels of another Pochobradsky corner kick.

Des Moines’ lead quickly doubled. Sharpe set up Brandt in the 34th minute, and Brandt returned the favor in the 41st minute.

With the game settled, the Menace showed an act of sportsmanship early in the second half, when WSA goalkeeper Justina Jamozco needed to leave the game with an injury. The Menace’s backup keeper, Katlyn Schochenmaier, helped the cause by stepping in against her own team.

WOMAN of the MATCH: Whitney Sharpe, for scoring two goals and assisting two more. Sharpe is a West Des Moines Valley product in her third season with the Menace. She played professionally for Ajax (Holland) in 2013-14, in between her stints with her hometown team.

UP NEXT: The Menace hosts WSA for one more match tomorrow. This weekend doubleheader is the only Menace’s home action in a five-week span. Des Moines travels to reigning WPSL champion Chicago on July 2 and hosts Quad City on July 9.

Match: WSA North Stars at Des Moines Menace
Date: Friday, June 24, 2016
Competition: Exhibition
Venue: Valley Stadium (turf) in West Des Moines, Iowa
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CDT
Weather: 80s, sunny

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
MENACE 4 1 5
WSA 0 0 0
MENACE – Whitney Sharpe 30:00; Sarah Brandt 31:00; S. Brandt (Sharpe) 34:00; Sharpe (S. Brandt) 41:00; Camila Parra (Sharpe) 73:00

Hornish stands in for injured Matt Tifft and winds up in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane

Special Father’s Day for Sam Hornish Jr. – Victory in Newton.

Hornish stands in for injured Matt Tifft and winds up in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane

Hornish stands in for injured Matt Tifft and winds up in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane

NEWTON, Iowa (June 19, 2016) – A week ago, 2014 Get To Know Newton 250 presented by Sherwin-Williams winner – Sam Hornish Jr. – had no idea that he would be spending Father’s Day in Newton, Iowa let alone find himself in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane at race’s end.

But there he stood, with a backdrop of confetti and his wife and three kids by his side. It was a memorable Father’s Day in the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen.

“What an unbelievable day. I feel so lucky and blessed to have come out and raced today. I knew the car was good,” said Hornish who led 183 of 250 laps. “I feel like Iowa has been a special place to me in the fact that this was my first opportunity to bring my kids to Victory Lane. In my racing career, I always wanted them to have the opportunity for them to experience that.”

original-3Hornish filled in behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 after scheduled driver Matt Tifft was advised by his doctor to rest a disc condition in his back. Strong results for Hornish at Iowa Speedway are nothing new. In his last five starts at the Fastest Short Track on the Planet, the Ohio native has five top-four finishes – including his win in 2014.

Hornish last raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship finale 201 days ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Since Homestead, Hornish has been doing “a lot of normal dad stuff” as he describes it: dance recitals and more with his wife and three children. He also went to Alaska with his dad and took his kids to the Indianapolis 500 for the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – a race he won in 2006.

The only races on Hornish’s schedule prior to being called to sub for Tifft were two standalone events later this summer. He will pilot the Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on July 30 and a race at Kentucky.

“I definitely want to thank the fans and happy Father’s Day to everybody,” Hornish said. “This is definitely one of the best ones I’ve ever had. I can guarantee you that.”

Ty Dillon, driving the RCR No. 3 Chevrolet, finished second. 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski came home third. Of the top three finishers, only Dillon earned points in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

“We still got some speed to gain, but all in all, proud of our guys,” Dillon, a 2011 ARCA winner at Iowa Speedway, said. “We executed on pit row and put ourselves in a position to win.”

Keselowski raced at Iowa Speedway during a weekend off from Cup action. He hosted a party in the Newton Club on Friday night benefitting his Checkered Flag Foundation and offered fans a ticket package, “Brad K’s Father’s Day Special for 2.”

“I thought we had a shot at the 18, but we got stuck behind the 3 car there and couldn’t quite clear him,” Keselowski said. “All in all, a decent day. We wanted a lot more than that, of course. But that’s where we ended up.”

Next up for Iowa Speedway is the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores and the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 on July 9-10.

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2014 Iowa Speedway Winner Sam Hornish Jr. Returning to Newton

Hornish Jr. will look to defend his win against a stacked field this weekend in the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sam Hornish Jr. will make his way back to the world’s only 7/8-mile oval this weekend looking to repeat his 2014 win against another stacked field. Hornish Jr., driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18, will race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen on Sunday, June 19. It will be his first NASCAR roriginalace of 2016.

Hornish Jr. finds himself in Newton, Iowa, after Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Tifft was forced to sit out the main event while undergoing treatment for a disc condition in his back.

Last year, Hornish Jr. competed in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In total, he’s won three NASCAR XFINITY Series races, the most recent at Iowa Speedway in 2014. On the INDYCAR side, Hornish Jr. is a three-time championship winner, including a win at the famed Indianapolis 500. He ranks No. 15 all-time with 19 career wins on the INDYCAR circuit.

Hornish Jr. will compete against a familiar name: Brad Keselowski, who is also entered in Sunday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen. Keselowski will race in the Team Penske Discount Tire No. 22. He’s the winner of three NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Iowa Speedway, including the inaugural U.S. Cellular 250 in 2009. The No. 22 has raced into Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane in three consecutive U.S. Cellular 250 races in central Iowa.

Keselowski and Iowa Speedway have teamed up to offer a special ticket package: “Brad K’s Father’s Day Special for 2.” The package includes 25% off retail pricing on two (2) Upper Grandstand Tickets, two (2) Casey’s General Stores Fan Walk Passes and two (2) Racing Electronics Headsets and Scanners. The ticket package is available through June 17 at the Iowa Speedway’s Box Office or IowaSpeedway.com.

Keselowski and Hornish Jr. will represent some of the most powerful and preeminent teams in motorsports, at Iowa Speedway. Team Penske is currently No. 6 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Owners Championship standings with 419 points, and Joe Gibbs Racing is No. 1 with 478 points. Both teams routinely have drivers competing for the top step of the podium in both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and with these drivers behind the wheel, this weekend should be no different.

About Iowa Speedway

Iowa Speedway, “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”, is a state-of-the-art 7/8-mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located in Newton, Iowa. Our 2016 schedule includes three exciting race weekends: June 18-19 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Speediatrics 200 and NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen), July 9-10 (ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores and Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300) and July 29-30 (NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College and NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250). For tickets, call 1-866-787-8946. To learn more, visit www.IowaSpeedway.com, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @IowaSpeedway.

Ankeny's Sarah Cooper wins the Race Across the West in record time.

Sarah Cooper wins the Race Across the West, sets new record

Ankeny's Sarah Cooper wins the Race Across the West in record time.

Ankeny’s Sarah Cooper wins the Race Across the West in record time.

Finishing at 3:45 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time, Sarah Cooper of central Iowa, smashes the previous women’s 930-mile Race Across the West (RAW) and wins overall, beating all of the men and many of the teams to the finish line in Durango, Colorado.

Starting in Oceanside California on Tuesday, June 14, Cooper and her fellow cyclists rode, nonstop over the Sierra Mountains of California, through the Mohave and Sonoran Deserts of Arizona and Utah, and finally over the Rocky Mountains if Colorado before finishing in Durango.

Cooper held a sizable lead from early on, with more than an hour gap between herself and the next rider by the halfway point.

“I’m having the ride of my life,” she said to her crew as the miles ticked by under her wheels, holding her lead and smiling all the while.

Video of Cooper's finish by crew Greg Grandgeorge.

Video of Cooper’s finish by crew Greg Grandgeorge.

After the heat of the day, riding through desert in Utah, Cooper entered the cooler temperatures of Colorado, climbing over and 8,400-foot pass overnight, before rolling into Durango. Her crew kept her warm with much of her cycling gear, as well as some of their own clothing, for the descent into town.

Finishing in 2 days, 11 hours and 59 minutes, Cooper shed more than three-and-a-half- hours from the previous women’s record, set by Leah Gibson in 2012. She also finished more than two hours ahead of second place finisher Todd Carpenter.

Sarah Cooper's crew kept her rolling night and day.

Sarah Cooper’s crew kept her rolling night and day.

Cooper lives and trains in central Iowa, and this past April became the first female to finish the daunting 330-mile Trans-Iowa gravel road race, in it’s 11th year. She was supported by her dedicated crew from Central Iowa and Kyle’s Bikes in Ankeny.

Brad Keselowski will be racing the No. 22 Penske car on Sunday at the Iowa Speedway.

NASCAR Champion Brad Keselowski to race this Sunday in Newton

Brad Keselowski will spend Father’s Day in Newton, Iowa
NASCAR Champion to race June 19 in support of The Checkered Flag Foundation

Iowa Speedway officials announced

Brad Keselowski will be racing the No. 22 Penske car on Sunday at the Iowa Speedway.

Brad Keselowski will be racing the No. 22 Penske car on Sunday at the Iowa Speedway.

that 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Brad Keselowski, will drive the Team Penske Discount Tire No. 22 in the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen on Sunday, June 19. Keselowski has won three NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Iowa Speedway, including the inaugural U.S. Cellular 250 in 2009.

In honor of Father’s Day coinciding with Wide Opening Weekend, Keselowski has generously agreed to partner with the Speedway in offering a special ticket package. “Brad K’s Father’s Day Special for 2” will allow fans to save 25% off retail pricing on two (2) Upper Grandstand Tickets, two (2) Casey’s General Stores Fan Walk Passes, and two (2) Racing Electronics Headsets and Scanners, when purchased as a bundle.

“We want to give every Dad out there an unforgettable Father’s Day weekend experience and are thrilled

Iowa Speedway coverage brought to you by Shottenkirk Chevrolet.

Iowa Speedway coverage brought to you by Shottenkirk Chevrolet.

to welcome Brad Keselowski back to the track to help us do just that with this special Father’s Day package,” said Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small. “Brad is a fan favorite at Iowa Speedway and he has a chance to become the only driver to wheel his way to Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane on four occasions.”

“Iowa Speedway is certainly a track that has been very good to me,” said Keselowski. “The Father’s Day weekend race will be special now not only as a dad myself, but also as I think back on all the time I spent at the racetrack with my father and what a great bonding experience that was – a lot of terrific memories. I look forward to seeing a full-house and hopefully celebrating in victory lane.”

Racing begins this Saturday at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.

Racing begins this Saturday at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.

The package is on sale at IowaSpeedway.com and the Speedway’s Box Office through June 17. Pricing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200 on June 18 is $150 ($75 per person) and for the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250, it is $180 ($90 per person).

On the evening of June 17, ahead of the races, Keselowski will host a party in Iowa Speedway’s Newton Club to benefit his charity, the Checkered Flag Foundation. The Checkered Flag Foundation strives to support those individuals who have sacrificed greatly, including military members, veterans, first-responders and their families. Admission is $10 per person at the door and offers fans in attendance the opportunity to meet Brad and bid on exclusive items, with all proceeds benefitting the Checkered Flag Foundation.

Having Brad Keselowski, a relatively new father, compete at Iowa Speedway on Father’s Day, further highlights what a great family experience a day at the track can be.

About Iowa Speedway

Iowa Speedway, “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet”, is a state-of-the-art 7/8-mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility located in Newton, Iowa. Our 2016 schedule includes three exciting race weekends: June 18-19 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Speediatrics 200 and NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen), July 9-10 (ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores and Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300) and July 29-30 (NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College and NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250). For tickets, call 1-866-787-8946. To learn more, visit www.IowaSpeedway.com, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @IowaSpeedway.

Iowa Speedway coverage brought to you by Shottenkirk Chevrolet.

Iowa Speedway coverage brought to you by Shottenkirk Chevrolet.

A whitewater park in downtown Des Moines moves closer to reality in metro-area plan.

Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Draft recommendations

A whitewater park in downtown Des Moines moves closer to reality in metro-area plan.

A whitewater park in downtown Des Moines moves closer to reality in metro-area plan.

Draft recommendations: Develop abundant regional network of river recreation

Greater Des Moines could become home to an abundant network of river recreation, offering residents and visitors a multitude of places for tubing, birding, hiking, paddling, boating, fishing and more.

Such are the newly released recommendations for 150 miles of the region’s creeks and rivers that are proposed in the DRAFT Greater Des Moines Water Trails and Greenways Plan, now available for public comment. The plan covers the Des Moines, Raccoon, South Skunk, North and Middle rivers, as well as Beaver, Fourmile, Mud and Walnut creeks.

“We know there is tremendous passion among the public to see this project happen – so we want to make sure we get the plan right,” said Todd Ashby, executive director of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which is developing the water trails plan on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

More than 150 miles of central Iowa streams and rivers could be developed into a regional network of water trails.

More than 150 miles of central Iowa streams and rivers could be developed into a regional network of water trails.

The draft plan was developed over the past year with research of existing conditions and input from people and organizations with a wide range of interests in the waterways, notably recreation, quality of life, economic development, tourism and environmental conservation. Over the coming summer, these recommendations will be vetted by the public, and the plan will be refined as needed before being finalized this fall by vote of the MPO Policy Committee.

The plan is available for review online at www.dmampo.org/water-trails/ where the public can also take a three-question survey indicating their level of interest in pursuing water trails. Additionally, the public is invited to public meetings where they can learn more about the draft plan and give feedback to planning staff:

Open House – 6-7 p.m. June 14, Raccoon River Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines
(Followed by Jim Pease presentation at 7 p.m. as part of The Tomorrow Plan 2016 Speaker Series)

The Dam Debate: Part II – 7-8:30 p.m. June 28, The Des Moines Register, Community Room, 400 Locust St., Des Moines

Open House – 6-8 p.m. June 29, Birdland Park – Ding Darling Shelter, 2100 Saylor Road, Des Moines

The plan recommends regional coordination of the water trails network, and highlights the importance of planning for people’s safety in and on the water. Other highlights include

· 23 soft trails

· 13 carry-down accesses points for paddle vessels

· 15 fishing nodes

· 7 economic hubs

· 18 wading areas

· 14 activity hubs
For more information, please visit  www.dmampo.org/water-trails, call 515-334-0075, or email info@dmampo.org.