Frank Giuffre, who with his brother, Dominic, ran the track from 1983-'91, said Friday that his group is ready, willing and able to take over. As proof, he released letters from TCF Bank and Tri City National Bank that express support for setting up a $10 million credit facility in support of auto racing at the track.
"I want to talk to the State Fair," Giuffre said. "But there has to be a process."
Giuffre said he doubted Historic Mile LLC could meet the requirements necessary to come to a contract with State Fair Park. Historic Mile officials have until Sept. 29 to demonstrate they have an agreement for races and prove they have the ability to meet their financial obligations.
One of the biggest issues affecting the future of the 106-year-old Mile is the debt run up by former promoter Claude Napier in 2009. Napier left owing NASCAR and the Indy Racing League an estimated $2 million.
In a statement, Patrice Harris, a State Fair spokeswoman, said State Fair officials were still in negotiations with Historic Mile.
"And we feel good about where things are headed," she said. "If something would change on where things are headed, the Fair Park Board would contact those who submitted the second highest rated proposal. That was strategy (that) was outlined in July, and nothing has changed with the board's intentions."