Historic Mile doesn't have the cash
Historic Mile LLC, the group that wanted to promote races at the Milwaukee Mile, will not meet a deadline today to show it has the financial means to do so.
Craig Barkelar, the Wisconsin State Fair's interim executive, conceded Friday afternoon what many had suspected in the racing community: Historic Mile didn't have enough money.
"Everyone that Historic Mile was counting on has backed out at the last moment," Barkelar said Friday.
The acknowledgment means that the Wisconsin State Fair has no one to promote races at the track and puts the future of the historic racetrack in jeopardy. NASCAR has scheduled two races next year at the track, but right now there is no group available to run it.
Asked if Historic Mile had identified its potential backers, Barkelar said no. Asked if the State Fair felt misled by Historic Mile's promises that it could close the deal, Barkelar said: "I believe they were working with people at the start."
One of those backers was Frank Giuffre, a local businessman and former race promoter who said he had been approached by Tony Machi and Jim Beaudoin, the two known investors in Historic Mile. Giuffre said he had been approached by Machi to lend him money. But Giuffre said he turned down the offer.
Barkelar held out some hope Historic Mile would come up with the money. He said NASCAR, which had been expecting confirmation today from Historic Mile that it had financial backing, wanted to give Historic Mile more time.
"It was obvious they liked Historic Mile and didn't want to do business with anybody else," Barkelar said.
"I'm hoping they can still do it."
A NASCAR spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment. Machi and Beaudoin could not be reached for comment. JSOnline.com