IndyCar – Milwuakee Up Next


The Milwaukee Mile resumed its prime location a few years ago on the IndyCar schedule on the week following the Indy 500.  And while Eddie Gossage at Texas Motor Speedway would prefer that IndyCar not hold a race this weekend so that he could have the first race after the 500, traditionalists much prefer the schedule the way it is.

Milwaukee opened for auto racing in 1903, making it the oldest motorsport venue on the planet.  In 1954 the one mile dirt oval was paved and an infield road course was added.  While the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has recieved the lions share of the historical attention, the Mile has also played host to all the greats from the National Championship through the AAA, USAC, CART, CCWS and IndyCar eras.  The tradition of Milwaukee hosting the first race after the Indy 500 started in 1947, but went on a bit of a haitus during the CART/IRL split.  It still held the traditional date as a CART event, so the majority of the drivers from Indy were not participating.  The IRL brought Milwaukee onto their schedule in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the traditional date was reunited with the drivers who ran at Indy.

mile-225The track in West Allis, Wisconsin has seen some hard times of late.  The facility is part of the Wisconsin State Fair Park and is wholly owned by the state, with the right to promote events being contracted to a private promoter.  Contract disputes have been in the news over the course of the last year, with the previous promoter pulling out complaining that he lost money on the deal.  We have even heard that the track may close their doors despite the facility upgrades that have taken place there.  In February though, a new promoter was contracted for a 10 year term (with an option for 30) and the immediate future of the track appears to be secure.

Milwaukee is unique among many of the current crop of oval tracks in the US.  It is a 1-mile track with a flat 9.25 degree banking in the corners which makes it a suitable playground for high downforce IndyCars.  The cars will be fitted with their road course/short oval front wings and also with the triple element rear wings which usually create unpredictable results.

As for the entry list for this weekends race, here it is:

14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Paul Tracy
7 Andretti Green Racing Danica Patrick
11 Andretti Green Racing Tony Kanaan
26 Andretti Green Racing Marco Andretti
27 Andretti Green Racing Hideki Mutoh
98 CURB/Agajanian/Team 3G Stanton Barrett (R)
18 Dale Coyne Racing Justin Wilson
23 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Tomas Scheckter
24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Mike Conway (R)
13 HVM Racing E.J. Viso
5 KV Racing Technology Mario Moraes
2 Luczo Dragon Racing Raphael Matos (R)
02 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Graham Rahal
06 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Robert Doornbos (R)
4 Panther Racing Dan Wheldon
9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Scott Dixon
10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dario Franchitti
3 Team Penske Helio Castroneves
6 Team Penske Ryan Briscoe
20 Vision Racing Ed Carpenter
21 Vision Racing Ryan Hunter-Reay

Notable on the entry list is Tomas Scheckter filling in at D&R this week. Milka does not have a full season program, and as of earlier this week, D&R has not yet finalised which races she will be running.  Darren Manning took that seat for the first two events of the season (on road courses) and Milka filled it for Kansas and Indy.  Interesting that Darren didn’t get the chance again, but most likely it comes down to who has the most sponsorship.

Paul Tracy is going to be replacing Vitor who is recuperating from his back injury at Indy.  Paul and AJ are reportedly in discussions about this becoming a permanent position for Paul, but Paul is signed with KV Racing for the two Canadian races, so it will be interesting to see how that works out.

Stanton Barrett will be back with Team 3G, barring any unforseen circumstances.  Missing Indy had to be a big blow to their program.  With reports that the team had lost their primary sponsor, it will be interesting to see what is on the sidepods this weekend.

Currently, Conquest racing is not listed on the entry list.  Hopefully that will change, but we haven’t heard anything that makes us think that they are going to show up and run.  Recall that they did not compete at Kansas either.

The AJ Foyt 225 will be aired on ABC this Sunday at 3:30pm est.

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