End of Auto Racing In Milwaukee

Troy SparksColumnistMay 30, 2010

DOVER, DE - MAY 14:  Johnny Benson drives the #15 Red Top Auto Collector Toyota ahead of Jason White, driver of the #23 GunBroker.com Dodge, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Next week, we would've seen the Indy cars at the Milwaukee Mile race track.

That won't happen.

And it's a shame, because the State Fair Park Board dropped the ball last year.

Neighbors, local politicians, and environmental groups didn't want to hear all that noise or smell the exhaust from the cars.

Plus, they let inexperienced Claude Napier manage the track's activities, including the Indy and NASCAR races.

For the life of me, I don't know why the light bulb inside his head didn't screw on.

The Mile management team ran the Indy and stock car races on that aging track, with the stars driving on the one-mile oval.

They didn't have enough money to pay the IRL and still may owe the IRL from last year.

After that screw-up, the IRL scratched Milwaukee from their schedule forever.

And now the track sits dormant, with weeds sticking out of the cracks in the asphalt.

NASCAR wanted their cash up front for their races in the Camping World and Nationwide Truck Series last June.

Since the Mile management team didn't have the money to cover all expenses, NASCAR collected the proceeds from the gate, concessions, parking, and anything else they could get their hands on.

But NASCAR was willing to crack the door open for the Mile.

A new management team initially agreed to take over after Napier quit.

That new group just needed some committed investors, which they didn't get.

And the group of investors didn't want to pay the remaining balance owed to the IRL and NASCAR.

The group backed out of the deal and put the responsibility back on the board.

All the employees who worked for the Mile were let go.

So far, there's no new annoucement of the future of auto racing in Milwaukee.

There is some recovery in this situation with NASCAR, though.  They're running the truck and second-tier car series in Wisconsin, at Elkhart Lake.