Death for Irwindale and Resurrection for the Milwaukee Mile

Irwindale Speedway has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This is incredibly disappointing news as the paved quarter mile oval, open since 1999 has been a magnificent facility here in Southern California.

Since 2008 the track was known as Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Unfortunately, at the end of the 2011 season, Toyota did not renew their charter. The shocking news came to many of us as Doug Stokes at Stokes Communications released a statement declaring “The management of Irwindale Speedway today announced that the 2012 racing season has been cancelled.”

Shortly thereafter the bankruptcy filing became public.

According to officials, the land owner is still interested in hosting races at the San Gabriel, CA raceway.   But as of now there are no plans for the track this year. The Agajanian family, which has promoted the USAC Turkey Night at many different venues in SoCal for generations, says that this year’s November 22 race will have to be held elsewhere.

“It’s unlikely you’re going to see any racing at Irwindale,” USAC Western director of operations Tommy Hunt told ESPN.

Let’s hope that another group can come in and resurrect the Brilliant facility!

After the dismal attendance at last year’s Milwaukee 225 IndyCar race, I feared the worst for the event–and even the Milwaukee Mile. But good news has hit:

Yes Indy Car fans, there is a Santa Claus!

Santa came early this year with an announcement this week that Andretti Sports Marketing will be promoting an IndyCar race at the Legendary Milwaukee Mile. Details are still coming in, but, the race is on the official schedule and is planned for the weekend of June 15-16.

“It’s a historic track in a great city, and it’s a place that has always been a favorite for my family,” said Andretti. “But, more importantly, it’s an ideal track for Indycars and always produces exciting racing for the fans.”

This writer is extremely hopeful as Michael Andretti certainly has seen the promotion done there in the past. He was driving for Carl Haas when Mr. Haas and Pinnacle Marketing were the official promoters of the Milwaukee Mile, Road America and the Houston Grand Prix in the 1980’s and 1990’s–in what could easily be called the gilded age of CART.

The Mile is a driver’s track. Road Racers have a tendancy to do well there as the flatter oval requires a great deal of footwork.

“It is essential that we keep The Milwaukee Mile’s legacy alive, and we stand committed to continuing its IndyCar racing heritage,” said Randy Bernard. “We know there are passionate IndyCar fans in Wisconsin that want to see a successful event at the track.
Together with Andretti Sports Marketing, we can deliver great racing at a great value to the loyal fans in the area while adding to the storied history of The Mile.”

Randy bernard has finally said something I can agree with.

With a schedule that includes a visit to Belle Isle in Detroit, Mid Ohio and Sonoma, plus a real engine war with Chevrolet and Honda I am really getting excited about this series again.

Let’s just get Road America on the schedule soon!


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