One day after the IZOD Indy Car Series announced that it would keep its 2012 schedule at 15 races, declining to add an event to replace the race in Xingdao, China that came off the books, Michigan International Speedway president Roger Curtis described Indy Car’s handling of their replacement talks as "junior high school stuff” in an interview with the Detroit Free Press.
According to Curtis – who has never shied away from criticizing open-wheel sanctioning bodies that don’t sign up to race at MIS – Indy Car was in the midst of negotiating with MIS for a September event before the series pulled the plug yesterday.
"I'm dumbfounded -- it's almost surreal," Curtis said of the announcement. "I'm still yet to talk to Randy, but I spoke with his general counsel during the Sprint Cup event and asked him to give me a couple days off and that I would talk to them again in a week and a half. They put a deal on the table. They knew I was going to call this week."
Indy Car investigated potential events at Texas Motor Speedway, Road America and apparently MIS before deciding that it was in the best interest of the series to stick with a 15-race schedule this year.
Curtis went on to express his confusion with the way things were handled regarding MIS as a replacement venue.
"I can't figure him (Bernard) out. God bless open-wheel racing and the drivers and teams. I'm a huge open-wheel fan. MIS will always remain interested in having an open-wheel race. It is part of our history. But I don't get Randy's logic. I just don't think they have their sea legs now."
MIS began hosting Indy cars in 1968 and featured legends like Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, A.J. Foyt and Emerson Fittipaldi going to Victory Lane. The last Indy Car event to take place there was in 2007.