- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DES MOINES, IOWA (AP) - Featherlite Inc. founder Conrad Clement and his family have purchased the Iowa Speedway in a sale that officials said won’t affect the daily operations of the popular track.

Officials announced Tuesday that the Clement family had bought the holding company that owns the five-year-old track, U.S. Motorsports Corp., from the Manatt family effective June 30. Terms were not disclosed.

The Manatts, who own a Brooklyn, Iowa-based construction company, have been the primary investors since the track was built in 2006 but had always intended to transfer controlling interest within five years.

Track officials said Rusty Wallace will remain a minority owner and that no staff changes are planned.

Featherlite, which was founded in 1973 and has been based in Cresco, Iowa, since 1979, makes aluminum trailers. The company employs about 400 people, according to its website, and makes transports for a number of NASCAR teams.

“It was our privilege to help build the track five years ago, and like a proud parent, we’ve enjoyed watching it thrive and grow,” said Brad Manatt, the company’s president said in a statement.

The 0.875-mile track has been a hit with fans in Iowa since it opened.

This year, Iowa has four major events on the schedule, including last month’s IndyCar race, two NASCAR Nationwide events and a NASCAR trucks series event on July 16.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard also said last week that he’s spoken with track president Jerry Jauron about hosting a doubleheader at Iowa in 2012.

“The Clement family has expressed their willingness to invest in the track, its infrastructure and its future,” Wallace said. “Together, we can establish Iowa Speedway as one of the Midwest’s premier entertainment venues and achieve our ultimate goal _ hosting a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.”

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