Milwaukee Mile closes its doors, plan the funeral

The Milwaukee Mile office is closed, and all 12 staff members have been laid off at least temporarily. Whether the oldest auto racing facility in the country lives to see its 107th birthday is in grave doubt even among its biggest boosters.

''It depends totally if I'm able to get some investors," promoter Claude Napier said Thursday in a telephone interview from Texas.

''I knew I was going to be short of money."

Napier, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Motorsports, admitted to the Journal Sentinel for the first time that he had no other financial backers when he entered into a deal in February with State Fair Park, where the track is located.

Napier's organization owes NASCAR nearly $1.9 million for staging two races in June and owes the Indy Racing League an undisclosed amount for its weekend in May.

Order the flowers and plan the funeral, this track, like countless oval tracks have in the past around the country, is dead. Sure they are talking about bringing back Frank and Dominic Giuffre but let's not forget that they ran the track before and failed. At least a road course can generate revenue from clubs and driving schools almost year round, while oval tracks sit dormant the majority of time consuming profits. Only NASCAR Sprint Cup races generate enough revenue to sustain these tracks throughout the year.

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