Iowa Speedway CEO Steps Down Amid Questions About Track's Financial Health
Iowa Speedway officials yesterday "hustled to calm any potential fears about the racetrack’s financial health or future after confirming the departure" of its CEO Doug Fritz and a pending refinancing deal, according to Bryce Miller of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Speedway employees "were told Tuesday morning about the departure" of Fritz, the man "hand-picked as CEO" in Sept. '11. Speedway officials confirmed yesterday morning that Fritz "had left the company and that a refinancing deal was in the works." Speedway Owner & Chair Conrad Clement acknowledged the "existence of some financial issues." Track co-Owner Rusty Wallace "vowed that a race schedule would be finalized" for next year. Speedway officials also confirmed that the track is "catching up on some payments, but declined to provide specifics about the number of vendors owed or the remaining amount of money still billed for this season." Track President Stan Clement "emphasized that plans for next season remain in motion -- and offered assurances that unpaid bills will be handled." He said, "We’re planning on having everything up to date and are working on next year.” Stan Clement also has been "tabbed to assume the CEO duties vacated by Fritz." He said that negotiations are "ongoing for a schedule that could include a combination weekend with IndyCar and NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series." Speedway Dir of COmmunications Craig Armstrong said that the timing of the split with Fritz and any financial issues with the venue "were unrelated." He added that despite "concerns from speedway business associates," no unpaid bills "remain from last season" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 9/11). Wallace said that the Clement brothers are "examining options to ease financial strain." Wallace: "Whether they want to bring some partners in, or sell off a portion of the track." He added, "They’ve been spending, spending, spending, keep it going, keep it going, keep it going, but they’re about spent out. We’ve had to really cut costs" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 9/10).