IRL: St. Louis: IRL Notebook 2003-8-7

Milwaukee Mile reaction positive; Schmidt to entertain guests at Gateway INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2003 -- The Aug. 6 announcement that the IRL IndyCar Series and Infiniti Pro Series will compete at the historic Milwaukee Mile was met with...

Milwaukee Mile reaction positive; Schmidt to entertain guests at Gateway

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2003 -- The Aug. 6 announcement that the IRL IndyCar Series and Infiniti Pro Series will compete at the historic Milwaukee Mile was met with rave reviews from those associated with the event. Both events will take place July 25, 2004. Kenny Brack, the 1999 Indianapolis 500 champion and 1998 IRL IndyCar Series champion, participated in the announcement. He won a CART event at the track in 2001.

"It's a great track," Brack said. "Obviously, Indy-style racing at the Milwaukee Mile has a great history -- nearly a century. It's great to be part of that equation. I'm sure the IndyCar Series will put on a great show. We'll see if we can pull off a win here in 2004."

Brian Barnhart, senior vice president of the Indy Racing League, said a question he's been asked many times has now been answered.

"A lot of our drivers and owners have always been asking, 'When are we going to get to the Milwaukee Mile?'" Barnhart said. "It just seems like such a natural fit. It's something we've been looking forward too very much because I think with the formula of our cars, the quality of teams and drivers, we're going to put on an outstanding show."

"It's a track that's always been an outstanding challenge to teams and drivers because you really give the driver a chance to show his abilities, and the team is challenged to get the race car set up."

Barnhart thinks there will be plenty of side by side racing at 1-mile oval, which has turns banked at 9 degrees.

"I've seen guys get into a rhythm around this racetrack and be able to pass guys around the outside or if they get the car working, they can go on the inside," Barnhart said. "The track has as many options as our guys are accustom to on the higher banked tracks."

Track officials are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of "The Mile" in 2003, and the track was recently renovated with a new main grandstand.

"I don't think I've been here since 1994 or '95," Barnhart said. "The changes are just outstanding. It's a great mixture of a place that has a tremendous heritage, yet it's in the modern stages now. It's beginning a new phase of existence now, and it should be an exciting time for all."

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle supports the Indy Racing League coming to Milwaukee.

"We're thrilled to have the IRL coming here," Doyle said. " It's really restoring a great tradition of Indy Racing at The Milwaukee Mile. I know what a quality organization the IRL is and the partnership between the IRL, The Milwaukee Mile and State Fair Park is going to be a great one that I know we'll build on for many years to come."

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Day at the track:

The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) will entertain approximately 60 people associated with Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis Aug. 9 at Gateway International Raceway as part of its "Disability Day" program.

The effort is part of SSPF's program to provide a behind-the-scenes look at Indy Racing for spinal-cord injury patients and their families. The SSPF's guests will enjoy lunch in the infield and one-on-one conversations with Sam Schmidt and Infiniti Pro Series drivers Tom Wood and Brandon Erwin.

Schmidt was paralyzed in an IndyCar Series accident during a test session Jan. 6, 2000. He now serves as a team owner and is also the founder of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation, which strives to improve the quality of life of paralysis patients and also raise funds for medical research and treatment of spinal-cord injuries.

For more about the SSPF, visit www.samschmidt.org.

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Festival of Speed:

The Indy Racing League, Kentucky Speedway and Newport on the Levee will host "Festival of Speed" at noon Aug. 14 at Newport on the Levee in Newport, Ky.

An autograph session with IRL IndyCar Series drivers Sarah Fisher, Robbie Buhl and Scott Sharp along with Red Bull Cheever Racing owner Eddie Cheever will take place from 5-6 p.m. on the Levee Upper Level near the Newport Aquarium.

Following the session, Fisher and Sharp will drive IndyCar Series cars through Newport, across the Taylor-Southgate Bridge and into Great American Ballpark where they will deliver the first pitch for the Cincinnati Reds/Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Johnny Rutherford will sign copies of his book, Lone Star J.R., at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble location on the Levee.

The Indy Racing League Fan Experience will be on display throughout the the day beginning at noon. The experience features Indy Racing League Challenge race simulators, the Indy Racing League Pit Stop Challenge, an Indy Racing Kids activity area and the Indy Racing Live stage. All properties will be located in the parking areas on the east side of the entertainment complex near the Hofbrauhaus Restaurant Big Ham Blues band will play on the Indy Racing Live stage at noon, while Robin Lacy & Dezydeco will entertain at 6 p.m

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Hot Laps:

The Met-Rx Superstars competition that IndyCar Series standout Tomas Scheckter finished second in earlier this year will be rebroadcast by CBS at 1 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 9 and 2 p.m. Aug. 10--Red Bull Cheever Racing merchandise is now available online at www.cheeverracing.com.

-irl-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Sarah Fisher , Eddie Cheever , Robbie Buhl , Scott Sharp , Brandon Erwin , Kenny Brack , Sam Schmidt , Tom Wood , Brian Barnhart , Johnny Rutherford