The Milwaukee Mile will be back on the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series calendar, as the track website listed a June 16-17 date, although the website later took the post down. It was later amended to June 15-16, with the IndyCar race on the Saturday. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard had said in previous interviews he would reveal a 16th race at Monday's State of IndyCar presentation to the media in Indianapolis.
On its website, the track posted: “Find out who will be immortalized in the Milwaukee Mile record book this year.” More importantly, it included a link to Andretti Sports Marketing – who appear to be the promoters of the race.
A secondary post included a brief statement from the group that read: "Andretti Sports Marketing is thrilled to bring the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series back to the Milwaukee Mile the longest continually operating motor speedway in the world. The (Insert sponsor name here) Indy 225 presented by (Insert sponsor name here) will rumble to life Father's Day weekend. Plan to have your family join three generations of (cont) join three generations of the Andretti family at the Milwaukee Mile, June 16 - 17." A full screen grab of that statement is posted below. That has been amended to June 15-16, with IndyCar itself confirming the event later on Friday.
Michael Andretti, who has now branched off into race promotion of his own with this development, released a statement in IndyCar's official announcement.
"Andretti Sports Marketing is excited about promoting IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile,” said Andretti, CEO of Andretti Sports Marketing. “It's a historic track in a great city, and it's a place that has always been a favorite for my family. But, more importantly, it's an ideal track for Indy cars and always produces exciting racing for the fans.”
Kevin Healy, a 30-year airline industry veteran, has been named managing director of the Milwaukee IndyFest. Most recently he had worked with AirTran Airways, a longtime sponsor of Andretti's Andretti Autosport team. Tickets will go on sale March 1, with more information available on the track's website.
Rumors had been swirling for the better part of the offseason that a return to the track would happen, despite a small crowd when the race returned to the 2011 calendar this year on Father's Day. The Indianapolis Star reported Milwaukee was targeted for a return at the start of January, and a week later, a source hinted to RACER.com that an Andretti would be “en route” to Milwaukee for further meetings with the State Fair Park board. Andretti confirmed the deal late Friday.
The addition brings the 2012 IndyCar calendar up to 16 rounds and means there will be five ovals on the list. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said it was very important for the series to have Milwaukee back on the calendar. "It is essential that we keep The Milwaukee Mile's legacy alive, and we stand committed to continuing its IndyCar racing heritage," said Bernard. "We know there are passionate IndyCar fans in Wisconsin that want to see a successful event at the track.
"Together with Andretti Sports Marketing, we can deliver great racing at a great value to the loyal fans in the area while adding to the storied history of The Mile."