CHAMPCAR/CART: Champ Cars night race at Milwaukee announced

Champ Cars to light up 100th Anniversary of Milwaukee Mile. INDIANAPOLIS (January 16, 2003) - The historic Milwaukee Mile on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park has seen a myriad of things during its 100 years but this year's Champ Car...

Champ Cars to light up 100th Anniversary of Milwaukee Mile.

INDIANAPOLIS (January 16, 2003) - The historic Milwaukee Mile on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair Park has seen a myriad of things during its 100 years but this year's Champ Car World Series stop will bring something entirely new to the venerable mile oval.

When the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford takes its 750hp road show to Milwaukee for the 102nd Champ Car race in the history of the Milwaukee facility, it will happen under the lights at night for the first time ever.

The night race, which will take place Saturday May 31, will be the culmination of a year of changes for the Milwaukee Mile, which celebrates its 100th season in 2003. The newly-refurbished facility has installed new grandstands and improved amenities for the fans, and will give them the chance to see Paul Tracy defend his 2002 Milwaukee win under the glare of Musco lighting.

"We are excited to have the chance to create a new, exciting atmosphere for the devoted fan following that we have built over the years," said Milwaukee Mile race organizer Carl Haas. "We have made a lot of changes to the facility in the past 12 months and I can think of no better way to show those changes off than to literally cast the lights on them."

Tracy dominated last year's Milwaukee event, leading the first 113 laps around the mile oval and pacing 184 of the 250 orbits to claim the 19th win of his Champ Car career. The newest driver in the Player's/Forsythe stable for 2003, Tracy has never raced at night but is looking forward to the challenge.

"I think it's a great opportunity for CART to host its first night race at a track with such tradition and heritage," Tracy said. "I understand the track has been revamped and moved into the 21st Century and I'm excited to be going there as the defending champion for this historic event."

Iowa-based Musco lighting will construct temporary light towers that will turn the Milwaukee night into day for Thursday practice, Friday qualifying and Saturday's race. The company, which maintains permanent lighting at many different racetracks around the United States, is the world leader in temporary lighting for sports events, counting the lighting job for the Sydney Olympic Games and the Rose Bowl among its many projects.

The event will be the first night race ever at the Milwaukee Mile in a history which goes back to an inaugural season in 1933 that featured a Champ Car race won by the fabled Wilbur Shaw. The facility has cast lights on the front grandstand area during State Fair events but has never done anything on this scale.

"We wanted to do something special for Milwaukee and for the fans that have supported us over all these years," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We are excited about the opportunities that running a night race presents and are glad to be able to present something new in such a valuable market for Championship Auto Racing Teams."

The move to a night race will also give the facility a chance to show off the many changes and upgrades that have taken place over the last year. Two entire sections of grandstands, including the large center of the structure, have been retrofitted with new seating while new scoreboards and infield facilities will be added in time for the event.

"We were looking for something to make the race event a better show for our fans and I think this will give us a combination of state-of-the-art facilities, urban proximity and racing history that is unmatched," said Director of Business Operations Mark Perrone. "I think our track is paralleling the resurgence and energy level of CART and we are looking forward to working together."

Fans will get three nights of action under the lights, with a Thursday night Champ Car practice and Friday night qualifying leading up to Saturday night's race. The event will be Round 6 of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta led a list of open-wheel stars this past season competing with teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Fernandez Racing, Patrick Racing, Herdez Competition, Walker Racing and others. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 19-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

Champ Cars to light up the night in Cleveland

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Carl Haas , Cristiano da Matta