WEST ALLIS, Wis. – The Milwaukee IndyFest will be the ninth IZOD IndyCar Series event at the historic oval on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park, and an Andretti Autosport car has won four of the eight races.
Triumphs and tradition are among the reasons that Andretti Sports Marketing, an arm of Andretti Autosport, stepped in to revive the IndyCar race in 2012 after its was cancelled in 2010 and had an interim promoter the following June. To Andretti, an IndyCar race at Milwaukee "is personal."
“It's important to me because I've had such great times (at The Milwaukee Mile) with my career as a driver and team owner,” said Andretti, who won five CART races as a driver. “I think it's very important to IndyCar racing because it's second only to Indy with history. It's the oldest racetrack in the world. They had a race there in 1903 so there a ton of history at the track.
“So I think it's quite important for the series to be there. We're excited about it and we just can't wait for the weekend.”
Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has won a Champ Car and IZOD IndyCar Series race at the track, said it’s a favorite among drivers.
“It is a hard place to get right, and when you do, it's so rewarding,” said Hunter-Reay, whose victory last June in the Milwaukee IndyFest in an Andretti Autosport-prepared car jump-started his drive to the title. “Like Michael said, it's been a place in my career that has meant a lot to me. I've had some pretty breakthrough performances in my career there, and I've also been on the other side of it where we just couldn't get it right and struggled.
“So I have a lot of respect for it for that reason. If you ask any other IndyCar driver out there, they'll say it's probably one of the most fun ovals you'll go to, and at the same time, one of the toughest to get right.
"Milwaukee makes for some of the best racing we have in the series. I think you'll see this as one of the most action-packed places that we go to.”
USAC schedule bypassed Milwaukee in Carpenter's days of competition
Ed Carpenter is the only IZOD IndyCar Series driver to begin his racing training in the USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars. But the team owner/driver never raced at Milwaukee during his USAC days.
"I have always liked The Milwaukee Mile," said Carpenter, who placed fourth at Texas Motor Speedway in the Firestone 550. "What is funny is that I never raced in USAC there, even with my USAC midget, sprint car and Silver Crown experience. The schedule never went to Milwaukee. We raced sprint cars at Angel Park in Sun Prairie near Madison. That was the closest."
Kimberly-Clark North America will be the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Dario Franchitti in the Milwaukee IndyFest. The company is based in Neenah, Wis. Franchitti has two wins (2004, 2011), two poles (2011, 2012), six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at The Milwaukee Mile. … Dads competing in the Milwaukee IndyFest on this Father’s Day weekend: Sebastien Bourdais, Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato and Justin Wilson. … Since 1993, three drivers scored their first win at Milwaukee: Ryan Briscoe 2008, Michel Jourdain Jr. 2003 and Greg Moore 1997. ... IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe, USF 2000 driver Andrew Hobbs and Pro Mazda driver Anders Krohn visited patients at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (photo below) on June 13.