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DATE News (chronologically)
06/15/12
IRL
MIS interested in IndyCar replacement for China
Brooklyn, Mich.— If IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard gives Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis a call about having the series' season-ending race at the two-mile speedway, he'll listen.

Bernard needs to schedule another race after announcing the event at China — originally scheduled for Aug. 19 — has been cancelled.

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage confirmed Wednesday that IndyCar officials approached him about the possibility of having the facility host the 2012 finale. The high-speed oval just held the latest IndyCar race last Saturday night, with Justin Wilson winning.

While MIS hosted a test session to begin the Sprint Cup race weekend, Curtis talked Thursday about the possibility of hosting an IndyCar event.

"I'd sit down with him, why wouldn't we?" Curtis said of Bernard. "We love open-wheel racing here. It was fantastic racing. I took Sarah's (Davis, IndyCar official) calls and she took mine (this winter). We left the door wide open this winter that we'd keep talking in 2012 about 2013. Back then, the desire to be here on their part was there, and the desire to host them was there on our part. It was just a financial model that needed some tweaking.

"Then, I heard Randy's comments at Indy that he didn't want any more high-speed ovals and he wasn't coming to MIS because he wanted to give Belle Isle a chance. It was like we went from mutually agreeing to not do it this year, to looking to the future and then to, 'No, we don't want MIS.' If Randy hadn't said anything during Indy 500 week, I probably would have picked up the phone and called Sarah after this week."

And Curtis was baffled why Bernard would go back to Texas to race — again on a high-speed oval — when he didn't want to run at MIS, a similar high-speed track.

Could Curtis pull off hosting an IndyCar race in September at MIS, a month after hosting the second Sprint Cup event of the summer?

"Yes, I don't know why not," Curtis said. "We've put together a lot quicker than that. Operationally, from an event standpoint that's what we do. I don't know guys, I haven't gotten a call yet."

MIS last hosted an IndyCar event in 2007, won by Tony Kanaan, run in front of approximately 35,000 fans. The race saw Dario Franchitti's car flip into the air, landing upside down. Detroit News
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