Michigan International Speedway has not hosted an IndyCar race since 2007, but MIS president Roger Curtis told the Detroit Free Press that he has had discussions with IndyCar about the possibility of running a replacement race for the canceled Aug. 19 IZOD IndyCar Series round in China. The paper also quoted Bud Denker – chairman of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and a senior vp of Penske Corp. – as saying Roger Penske would be fully in favor of such a move.
"From a Team Penske and Detroit Grand Prix perspective, we would love to see an IndyCar race at MIS this fall and would certainly support such an effort," Denker told the Free Press. I am confident Roger Curtis and his team would provide a terrific experience for the fans."
With MIS set to host NASCAR Sprint Cup on the weekend IndyCar had planned to be in China, an IndyCar event at Michigan would likely have to be scheduled in September, possibly making it the season finale. Although Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., is currently scheduled to be the final round of the IZOD IndyCar Series on Sept. 15, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said during the Texas race weekend that the Southern California speedway – which is almost identical in configuration to Michigan's 2.0-mile, D-shaped oval featuring 18-degree banking – is not guaranteed the finale.
Michigan Speedway has a long history of IndyCar racing, spanning the USAC, CART and IRL IndyCar eras. The track was repaved ahead of last weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race there, leading to record speeds in qualifying, when Marcos Ambrose took the pole position at 203.241mph. The track record at MIS for open-wheel cars is 234.949mph, set by Paul Tracy in a CART Indy car in 2000 (ABOVE).