Milwaukee For IRL
August 6, 2003 | 12:28 A.M. EST
The Milwaukee Mile, in West Allis, Wis., is located on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park, and the announcement was made at a press conference during the Wisconsin State Fair.
Jim Doyle, governor of the state of Wisconsin, Tony George, president and CEO of the IRL, and IndyCar Series driver Kenny Brack participated in the press conference announcing the new venue for the IRL.
The four-day weekend of racing will feature the IndyCar Series and the Infiniti Pro Series events taking place on July 25.
"The Milwaukee Mile and Indy-style racing have had a long and storied history," George said. "We look forward to bringing the drivers of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and the IRL back to Milwaukee and to a track that will showcase our wheel-to-wheel racing."
Originally a privately owned horse-racing track, the 1-mile oval has been in existence since at least 1876 and played host to automobile races since 1903, making it the oldest racetrack in continuous use.
"We couldn't be happier or more excited to add the IRL IndyCar series to the 2004 schedule," said Wisconsin State Fair Park Board Chairman Martin J. Greenberg. "The IRL has really come of age in popularity both on and off the racetrack. Tony George and his entire staff have revitalized open-wheel racing in this country and beyond.
"In turn, we've revitalized The Milwaukee Mile as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary. We've had an incredible 100th season so far and to be able to cap it off with such an important addition to our schedule shows the racing community and our fans that we're serious about bringing this great racetrack into the next century by offering the best and most exciting racing in the world."
The first Indy-style event at Milwaukee that paid points toward the national championship was conducted in 1939 and won by Babe Stapp. Many Indianapolis 500 champions have competed at The Mile, including every Indianapolis 500 champion since 1946, with the exception of 1966 "500" winner Graham Hill.
Brack, Unser excited about returning to Milwaukee
Brack, the 1998 IRL IndyCar Series champion and 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner, won a CART event at Milwaukee in 2001. He drives the No. 15 Pioneer Miller Lite Dallara for Team Rahal in the IRL IndyCar Series.
"It is very exciting to bring the IRL IndyCar Series to Milwaukee," Brack said. "The Milwaukee Mile has such a great history and tradition of Indy-style racing, and I really think next year's race will be a tremendous event for the drivers, teams and fans. I have won at Milwaukee before, and the racetrack is wide and good for passing. With the IndyCar Series cars, a driver will be able to race side by side, and that is something we are always looking for at a track. We have some of the best racing in the world in the IRL IndyCar Series, and I think we'll show that again at The Milwaukee Mile."
Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr., driver of the No. 31 Corteco Dallara for Kelley Racing, won Indy-style events at Milwaukee in 1990 and 1994.
"It's going to be great to go back to The Milwaukee Mile," Unser said. "'The Mile' is a great race track, and there is a lot of history surrounding that track. I think the track will be very suitable for the IndyCar Series cars and that we will continue the tradition of great races at 'The Mile.' I can remember going there as a kid and watching my dad race. I'm looking forward to going back to 'The Mile.' It's going to be great."