Road America to take over Milwaukee race, promote doubleheader?

Why did Road America President George Bruggenthies (L) visit the Milwaukee Mile Friday? Was he there to look at promoting a race, or to buy the grandstands for Road America when the Milwaukee Mile gets boarded up?

A month after an IndyCar official offered encouragement about a race at the Milwaukee Mile and weeks after the intended announcement of a 2016 schedule, State Fair Park management waits for news.

Rick Frenette, executive director for the park, where the track is located, said Friday he hasn't been a part of discussions between IndyCar and any potential promoters and he hasn't even heard anything. State Fair Park's stance, though, hasn't changed.

"We need a promoter to come in and run the race; we'll make any day they'd like work, except if it's during the fair (Aug. 4-14)," Frenette said in a phone interview.

"We're not going to be a detriment to anybody coming in, as far as high rent. We just want to be able to do enough other business to support our commitments, and we want the track to be used, at least for a while for another public event, and that's the only (racing sanctioning body) out there that's looking for a place."

The future of a Milwaukee race was cast in doubt after a four-year run with Andretti Sports Marketing that weren't as successful as business ventures as the group had hoped. Shortly after Milwaukee IndyFest in July, partners in Andretti Sports Marketing split.

Five weeks ago, when IndyCar announced it would race next June at Road America in Elkhart Lake, it came to light that Road America also could become involved in promoting an IndyCar race at the Mile. Derrick Walker, then president of operations and competition for IndyCar, said a race at the Mile was likely in 2016.

Road America officials, including president George Bruggenthies, visited the Mile on Friday. They did not meet with Frenette, who was out of town, and nothing immediately came of the time spent there.

"If Road America wants to do it, we've got the facility and they've got the contacts," Frenette said. "It could be a good partnership."

An IndyCar spokesman said Friday he could offer no specific update on Milwaukee but reaffirmed that the series would like to have it be part of its 2016 season. The latest target for a schedule announcement is the end of September. JSonline.com

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