ISR Racing Beat Writer
INDIANAPOLIS- The IndyCar Series schedule isn’t set to release until 8 PM ET tomorrow on NBC Sports Network, but another date is set in stone. An announcement at the Milwaukee Mile was made today stating the race would return next year as part of a two-year deal with Andretti Sports Marketing to bring them there with race day being Sunday August 17th at the Milwaukee State Fairgrounds in West Allis, Wisconsin.
The Series has been coming to the 1-mile track on the west side of Milwaukee since 1903. It’s the longest running race in motorsports. IndyCar has typically run in Milwaukee the weekend following the Indianapolis 500 but that changed when the split happened in 1996. Milwaukee became a CART race and hosting both CART and the IndyCar Series from 2004-2006. It shifted back to only IndyCar in 2007 then in 2008 when both series’ became unified again it was back to one.
The past three years the race was held on Fathers Day weekend but the new date marks the first time IndyCar raced at Milwaukee in August since 1982. Now, Milwaukee is the third to last race and could provide a big key in who wins the championship.
The last two years Ryan Hunter-Reay has won the race as him and his team owner Michael Andretti saved the track and event. After not running in Milwaukee in 2010 Andretti used one last effort on the track and decided to promote it under his marketing group. With attendance failing and lack of money most thought this race would go by the wayside. Andretti didn’t take failing as an option as they went from 15,000 fans in 2011 to 25-30,000 in 2012. This past year’s race was pretty even with a slight increase from last year so they thought moving it to a new date could spark a bigger jump.
Also, ABC Supply Company who’s located in Beloit, Wisconsin will be the title sponsor agreeing to be in that role for the next two years. It’s the first time since 2009 that the Milwaukee race has a title sponsor as the ABC Supply Co. 250 will be the name the next two seasons.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indy Sports Report covering Racing. Follow Eric and the Indy Sports Report on Twitter.