IndyCar Engines Breathe Life Back Into Milwaukee Mile

West Allis, WI (June 1, 2011) – While it was only a practice day, race fans should be giddy to hear the sounds of IndyCars screaming around the historic Milwaukee Mile once again.

After being missing from the IndyCar schedule in 2010 due to promoter issues, the Milwaukee Mile is back on the 2011 schedule with an event on Father’s day weekend, June 18-19, the Milwaukee 225.

The KV Racing Technology, Andretti Autosport, AJ Foyt Racing, Sara Fisher Racing, HVM Racing, Dale Coyne Racing and Conquest Racing teams hit the one mile oval with their drivers testing out the track. Testing programs varied from veterans re-familiarizing themselves with the flat track and newcomers learning the nuances of getting around the Mile.

Tony Kanaan of KV Racing Technology was one of those drivers acquainting himself with a track where he has been very successful with wins in 2006 and 2007. “It’s a driver’s track, not a typical oval,” said Kanaan. Looking for his first win with his new team, Kanaan said, “hopefully it can happen here (Milwaukee Mile).” Kanaan left Andretti Autosport last year after his primary sponsor chose not to continue that role. Five days before the 2011 season began, Kanaan joined KV Racing Technology and finished third in the opening race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Kanaan finshed fourth in the Indianapolis 500, and currently sits in fourth place in the IndyCar Series point standings.

Seeing the track for the first time, Simona de Silvestro spent the early part of the practice day learning the Mile. The HVM Racing driver has also found some new fans after her gritty performance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After severely burning her hands during a violent practice crash, de Silvestro qualified for the Indianapolis 500 and toughed out a run in the race with painful bandaged hands. Milwaukee 225 officials reported that phones have been ringing with calls from concerned fans wondering if de Silvestro will be competing at the Milwaukee Mile. She definitely will be.

Amongst all the media concern about Danica Patrick’s possible move to NASCAR next year is the fact that she still has an IndyCar season that she is competing in, and that is where her focus is at. “I had to watch the news to know what my news was,” explained Patrick. As far as a deadline for her decision, Patrick said, “traditionally they (contracts) come together at the end of the year. It’s still in the pretty early stages. I’m considering all my options.”

“This is the best track for racing for us,” Patrick said about the Milwaukee Mile. “This place is like a big oval, where you can run two wide. It’s good to get back out there, feeling the speed in the corners. This is a great racetrack.”

A second round of testing will take place on Friday, June 3rd at the Milwaukee Mile. Scheduled to attend the session are Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball from Chip Ganassi Racing, Penske’s Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe and recent Indy 500 runner-up J.R. Hildebrand of Panther Racing. Due to restrictions on testing events, spectators are not allowed to watch the drivers in action from the Wisconsin State Fair park grandstands. However, the Gate 1 parking lot at State Fair Park will be open for free to fans who want to watch from the hill on Greenfield Ave. (near the Milwaukee Mile ticket office) from 9 a.m to 5 p.m and “Party in the Parking Lot.”.
“With the Milwaukee 225 approaching on Father’s Day weekend, we felt the testing session by the IZOD IndyCar Series teams shouldn’t be missed by the fans,” said R. Chistropher McGrath, executive director of AB Promotions, the organizer of the Milwaukee 225 event scheduled for June 17-19. “While we can’t open the grandstands to the public for a test, this is a chance for everyone to see the cars in action for free. We’ll have concessions available in the Gate 1 parking lot and tickets will be on sale for the weekend which will feature seven racing divisions including the IZOD IndyCar Series.”

Tickets for the June 18-19 Milwaukee 225 will be on sale at the Gate 1 parking lot as well as the ticket office located at 7722 Greenfield Ave. in West Allis or through the website.

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