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Road America forces to sock it to fans, NASCAR style
Nearly a year ago, Wisconsin racing fans first heard the news that NASCAR would bring the Nationwide Series to Road America.

This year's bit of information about the series and the Elkhart Lake track didn't provide the kick of an early Christmas present but rather the cringe of the post-holiday bills.

While ticket prices for the Bucyrus 200 have held steady, the cost to camp on the grounds for the June 23-25 weekend has risen sharply [Editor's Note: High prices are common at France family NASCAR events where fans pay exorbitant prices while their company reaps millions in profits even in the worst of times].

But given an almost-anything-goes carry-in policy and compared to other racetracks, the weekend remains a bargain, George Bruggenthies, president and general manager of the track in Elkhart Lake, said Thursday.

"Everything came together so fast last year . . . we didn't what to expect and it cost us more than we thought it would," Bruggenthies said. "It's more expensive than a Champ Car race just to operate, and now we've also added two Grand-Am races (Rolex Series and Continental Tire Series). We do have to pay for those products."

Trackside camping spots have gone from $150 to $250, and non-reserved spots will cost $75, up from $15. Saturday-only tickets cost $55 in advance and $75 at the gate, and deals will be available through Menards, one of the track's marketing partners.

"We've had some price adjustments, yes, but that (camping price) is for four days," Bruggenthies said. "People bring in boatloads of water and beer and food and grills, and we love that. It's a lot of fun and cheaper than a hotel."

On two other topics of interest to fans of the race: Bruggenthies said the acquisition of Bucyrus by Caterpillar would not affect title sponsorship for 2011; and he said the track and NASCAR would work to move the secure garage area to make it easier for fans to see the teams at work. JSOnline.com

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