Conley brings experience to Iowa Speedway

DES MOINES, Iowa – Nationwide Series driver Cale Conley has experience at Iowa Speedway in a K&N East Series car and hopes it carries over to his No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro Sunday.

Conley has demonstrated his driving abilities at some of the series’ most difficult tracks during his rookie campaign. He posted an 11th place finish in his Okuma sponsored car at Bristol Motor Speedway and 15th at Richmond International Raceway. Conley found it difficult to negotiate the confines at Darlington Raceway dubbed the “Lady in Black.” He was running well late in the race and was spunout coming off turn four and the incident sent him to the pits for repairs. After spending 11 laps behind the wall, he was back out on the track to record a 32nd place finish.

Conley stated, “The team as a whole isn’t happy with how the season has gone so far and is taking steps to better the car’s performance and hopefully put this Richard Childress Racing team in better position to record higher finishes.”

The 21-year-old driver is “happy to be with the team during this time of bettering ourselves and is excited to be competing at Iowa.”

The Nationwide cars will be on the track at 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for their first practice session Friday.

The teams will have a chance to dial-in their rides for the second session from 2-4 p.m. The drivers will be back in action Saturday from 12:30 – 2 p.m. on ESPN for final practice. Conley will get a shot at the pole position during qualifying starting at 7:10 p.m.

He has been able to qualify his No. 33 Camaro in the top 20 during his previous three Nationwide Series starts. With his previous experience at Iowa Speedway, he will no doubt be looking for a top-notch spot to start the race.

He is “hopeful for a full season behind the wheel of a Nationwide Series car next year. It will take top 5s and 10s to see this opportunity come about.”

Conley’s next stop in the series will be at the 1-mile concrete oval at Dover International Raceway.

The track, nicknamed “The Monster Mile”, was built in 1969 by Melvin Joseph of Melvin L. Joseph Construction Company, Inc., with an asphalt surface, but was replaced with concrete in 1995. Six years later in 2001, the track’s capacity moved to 135,000 seats, making the track have the largest capacity of sports venue in the mid-Atlantic. In 2002, the name changed to Dover International Speedway. From 2007 to 2009, the speedway worked to improve the garage area, RV park and fan experience.

Conley believes “RCR is not satisfied with the current performance of it’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series or Craftsman Truck programs, but the teams are making strides to improve how it ventures into the future.”

The Vienna, W.Va. native has a bright future in racing. Childress seen his potential behind the wheel and gave him a dream drive.

GRADUATION: Chase Elliott will juggle school and racing for the final time this weekend.

The 18-yeard-old Elliott will graduate from King’s Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta, Georgia, on Saturday morning and fly straight to Iowa for a qualifying session just 10 hours later.

Elliott says that while he’s excited to focus solely on racing, he also appreciated how school helped balance his life.