IndyCar wants Milwaukee success before returning to Road America

IndyCar’s interest in racing at Road America remains, but the urgency to get to the Wisconsin road course isn’t what it once was.

“I get a lot of questions of, ‘When are you going back to Elkhart Lake?’ " Randy Bernard, the sanctioning body’s CEO, said Friday. “I think we owe it to Michael Andretti, who is laying out a lot of money to make that event (at the Milwaukee Mile) successful, and he’s asked us, he’s said, ‘Hey, let’s not try to rush Road America right now. Let me try to succeed here.’

“He’s all for it. He loves Road America, but I think we have a responsibility to try to help Milwaukee every way we can. And we are. We’ve put a lot of money into this too. Because I think it’s very important to keep the Milwaukee Mile on our schedule."

Road America probably would have been part of the IZOD IndyCar Series this year had IndyCar not decided to go travel to China.

The series’ race on a street circuit in Qingdao is scheduled for Aug. 19. Road America — which is in heavy use throughout the year with racing, schools and other track rentals — wanted that weekend to pair IndyCar with the American Le Mans Series.

“George is awesome," Bernard said of Road America president George Bruggenthies. “If we could do something there and have the support of Andretti, we would.

“And let’s look and see how well the Milwaukee Mile does this year. That’s where our emphasis is right now, and our concentration is, let’s make the Milwaukee Mile what the Milwaukee Mile is all about.

“It’s a track that was built in 1903, the oldest track in America, and I damn sure didn’t want to see that track dying on my clock. I want to make sure we do everything we can to keep that race going. I really feel if we let it go this time, it becomes a mothball, it dries up."

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