Randy Bernard considering Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- The president of Michigan International Speedway is interested in bringing open-wheel racing to the track, and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard says he'd like to start a dialogue with MIS after the series canceled a race in China that was scheduled for later this season.
The race in China on Aug. 19 was officially scrapped this week, leaving Bernard looking for another event for the second half of the season. MIS president Roger Curtis said he's always interested in bringing an open-wheel race to his track, but the business model has to make sense.
"Our business department put a call in to Roger late this afternoon to explore any potential opportunities and see what type of interest either side has," Bernard told The Associated Press on Thursday. "We've appreciated some of these track presidents coming out and expressing interest in IndyCar."
Detroit's Belle Isle hosted an IndyCar race this month. The contract with that event wouldn't preclude a race at MIS.
"If they're interested in coming here, we'll talk," Curtis said. "If they're not, that's cool, too."
Curtis said Thursday he assumed MIS wasn't on IndyCar's radar, but Bernard indicated otherwise.
"When we saw Roger's comments, we got right on the phone," Bernard said. "We'd love to see what opportunities might exist between IndyCar and Michigan."
Drivers in Wisconsin for Saturday's race at the Milwaukee Mile mentioned Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as a potential replacement venue for the China race. Adding a second stop at Texas Motor Speedway also has been discussed.
But TMS president Eddie Gossage said Friday that the offer has been declined because the proposed date of Oct. 7 falls too close to the NASCAR triple-header weekend at Texas four weeks later.
Other tracks drivers mentioned as potential replacements were Laguna Seca in California, Watkins Glen in upstate New York and Phoenix International Raceway.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer Terry Blount was used in this report.