IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard told SPEED.com that he is considering a possible return of IndyCar racing to the Road America road course for 2012 – although such a welcome development could come at the cost of another cherished venue. After last week's IZOD IndyCar Series race at the Milwaukee Mile drew a disappointing crowd, estimated at the most 15,000, Bernard admitted that while the series would like to return there next year, he put the chances of doing so at only 50-50.
Meanwhile Bernard said he went to see Road America track president George Bruggenthies last Friday. “It was a great track, I liked it, and it will get strong consideration next year,” he told SPEED.
Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., was an extremely popular stop on the CART/Champ Car World Series calendar for many years, but has never hosted an IRL/IndyCar race.
Although replacing Milwaukee's oval with Road America would further imbalance the schedule in favor of road courses over ovals – a point Danica Patrick again warned the series against in interviews last weekend – Bernard indicated there was a good chance of one or more ovals being added as well, with Chicagoland Speedway – dropped from the calendar this season – first in line.
“I've had several good conversations with [Chicagoland president] Scott Paddock and if we can work out a deal that makes sense for both of us, we'll go back,'' said Bernard, who has also acknowledged that conversations also continue with Fontana, Calif.'s Auto Club Speedway about a possible return to that facility.