IndyCar racing series to return to Road America

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:14 pm

The IndyCar racing series will return to the Road America road course racetrack in Elkhart Lake in 2016.

The event is set for June 24-26. In addition to the Verizon IndyCar Series, all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy will compete on race weekend.

Road America is a four-mile, 14-turn racetrack that was established in 1955. Road America hosted IndyCar races from 1982 to 2007.

“We know how revered Road America is by our drivers, teams and fans and we’re confident it will be a great event on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We’re thankful to (Road America president and general manager) George Bruggenthies and his staff for their collaboration in bringing IndyCar back to one of the most iconic road courses in North America.”

Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of competition and operations, visited Road America several times during negotiations for the 2016 event.

“It’s truly great news that open-wheel racing will be back at Road America,” Walker said. “It’s a classic road course: long, with almost every type of challenging corner. The track is designed to make full use of the natural terrain, which makes for great spectator locations to see the Verizon IndyCar Series at its best.”

Road America officials say they have been overwhelmed with fan requests for Indy car racing to return.

“We listened to the fans and the local community, and after careful negotiations struck a deal,” said Bruggenthies. “We have wanted to bring IndyCar back for quite some time and we knew what it would take to make it work for everyone involved.”

IndyCar also holds a race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis. That race, the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250, was held on July 12 this year. The future of the IndyCar race at the Milwaukee Mile is uncertain. Walker said IndyCar wants to continue racing there. But reports indicate the Milwaukee Mile race will need a new promoter to replace Andretti Sports Marketing. One possibility is that the Road American and Milwaukee Mile IndyCar races could be co-promoted.

“Milwaukee is very similar to Elkhart Lake to us,” said Walker. “It’s a classic track. It’s a track that IndyCar does really well and we don’t see Milwaukee going off our schedule. We want it to be part of our schedule. In fact, not breaking any secrets, but George (Bruggenthies) has been looking at it with us to see how we can co-produce—promote—both events because there’s a lot of fans in this region and both tracks are very important to IndyCar. So we want to see it continue and although the schedule is still being worked on, Milwaukee is still very much on the list.”

Other races held at Road America include the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 Fired Up By Johnsonville race on Aug. 29.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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