Milwaukee Indy Fest

Andretti Sports Marketing, in its second year of promoting IZOD Indy Car racing here at the Milwaukee Mile, must be getting frustrated. The two Indy Fest races into which they’ve put so much effort have apparently not captured the imagination of open wheel fans here in the midwest. Open wheel racing in Milwaukee has, at best, been met with luke-warm enthusiasm. Silver and blue empty seats called glaring attention to the weak attendance here on Saturday; and that’s sad.

The Andretti group has worked hard to give fans many things to do here at the track during the weekend. From carnival rides and live music to a well-organized racing program and exciting on-track action, the effort has been there, but box office support has been sadly missing.

On internet racing sites, fans beg for more oval track dates to be added to the Indy Car lineup, but if attendance at Milwaukee and Texas is any indication, those same fans who want Phoenix, Michigan and Kentucky to rejoin the schedule had better start supporting the ovals that they apparently hold so dear.

Andretti Autosport had a great weekend on the track, but Andretti Sports Marketing must be wondering what they need to do to make Indy Fest a success at the historic Milwaukee Mile.

Support Races:

Matthew Brabham, nineteen-year old grandson of three-time F1 world champion Sir Jack Brabham, continued his domination of the Cooper Tires Pro Mazda series by leading all 90 laps in Friday’s race at the Milwaukee Mile. Brabham scored his fifth-straight series win and leads the championship by 49 points over Diego Ferreira. Juan Piedrahita finished second, 9.7 sec. behind.

Saturday’s 100 mile Firestone Indy Lights run was captured from the pole by Sage Karam driving for Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports. Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz was second, 1.08 sec. behind, followed by Zach Veach, 18, who led the first 56 laps while posting his best series finish. Karam, whose win was his first in the series, closed to within 18 points of championship leader Munoz.

Of concern to many is the problem of small fields in both the Firestone Lights (8) and Cooper Tires Pro Mazda (10) events. Andretti Autosport, Schmidt-Peterson and Belardi Racing supplied 7/8 cars in Lights, while AA and JDC MotorSports supported half of the Mazda field. There would be no “Road to Indy” program without those teams.


• A race-morning story by motorsports writer Dave Kallmann that ran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stated that Andretti Sports Marketing wasn’t totally sure there would be a 2014 version of today’s event. Citing high costs to put on the weekend’s activities and noting that other tracks might be in line for spots on next year’s schedule, the article went on to say that the promoters weren’t ready to announce to the race-day crowd, as they did in 2012, that there would for sure be a third event next year. A banner attached to the infield tunnel did, however, give a website address and phone number to look for info regarding 2014 race tickets.

• Panther Racing’s Ryan Briscoe was planning to leave the Milwaukee Mile after today’s race and head straight to Chicago for a flight to Paris. He is planning to compete in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race on June 22-23. Oriol Servia, who will drive for the team at Iowa, was in Milwaukee, set to replace Briscoe if rain had postponed today’s race to Sunday. Qualifying in France is Wednesday, but inspection (scrutineering in Europe), will be this Sunday.

• Local Fox 6 news anchor Ted Perry gave the command to start engines under clearing skies. Temperature at race time was 86 degrees.

• The age old phrase, “Andretti is slowing on the backstretch”, has become a clich

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