Being a huge fan of oval races, I was excited to hear that Milwaukee was officially confirmed today to the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. Also being a new father this year, I was happy to see the race is being held on the day before Father’s Day, on Saturday.
Michael Andretti owns Andretti Sports Marketing Wisconsin, which will promote the Milwaukee IndyFest on race weekend, which is June 15-16. In addition to the main event on Saturday, there will be a Firestone Indy Lights race on Friday.
The Milwaukee race has always been a fan favorite, and even the drivers love racing there. Perhaps no one loves it more than Michael Andretti himself, who went to victory lane eight times, five as a driver and three as an owner. Now his marketing team will headline the race, which will easily be one of the five best races of the season.
The famous one-mile oval has so much history and tradition, it would seem like just having the two races would bring fans in from all across the country. They see it as being much more than that, as concerts and other entertainment are in the works for the Milwaukee IndyFest.
They should see much more success this year after last season’s race saw one of the smallest crows of the season. The weather didn’t help any, as well as the fact that it was held on Sunday, which was Father’s Day. This year the race will be held on the Saturday before, and is scheduled to begin at 12:30pm local time.
The Milwaukee Mile has held auto racing events since 1903. Even though it hosted NASCAR races from 1984 to 2009, it is most closely linked to IndyCar racing. The addition of Milwaukee gives the series their 16th official race, and their much-needed fifth oval race of the season. Just as important, keeping the history and tradition of one of the most famous races in IndyCar alive.
Practice and qualifying for the IndyCar race, as well as the Firestone Indy Lights race will be held on Friday. Another interesting aspect of the date is that the series will have five consecutive races beginning with the Indianapolis 500 on May 27. The next four will be Detroit on June 3, Texas on June 9, Milwaukee on June 16, and finally Iowa on June 24.
For most years starting in 1949, Milwaukee hosted the first race following the Indy 500. From 1947 to 1982, the track hosted two races, one in June, and the other in the fall. Just looking at the drivers who have won at Milwaukee (AAA, USAC, and CART) tells you all you need to know about the history of this place.
This list includes drivers such as Ted Horn, Johnnie Parsons, Jim Rathmann, Rodger Ward, Lloyd Ruby, AJ Foyt, Jim Clark, Parnelli Jones, Gordon Johncock, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford, Rick Mears, Tom Sneva, Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, and Sebastien Bourdais. Current IndyCar drivers Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Scott Dixon have also added their names to this list.
While tickets to the Milwaukee event go on sale March 1, you can find more information about the weekend events by visiting www.MilwaukeeMile.com