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August IndyCar race at Road America a 'long shot'
Saturday - 6/23/2012, 9:06pm EDT
AP Sports Writer
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) - Road America President George Bruggenthies called it a "long shot" that the track would host an IndyCar race in August.
Bruggenthies said the track had made a proposal to IndyCar to host a race Aug. 19, potentially filling a spot on the schedule that came open when a planned race in China was canceled. But Bruggenthies said the two sides were six figures apart on the sanctioning fee the track would pay to the series.
Bruggenthies said he and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard have had a series of discussions and spoke as recently as Friday.
"It's still on the table," Bruggenthies said. "It's a long shot. I don't know what's going to happen. It's up to him; he's got other options."
Road America hosts the American Le Mans Series and other events on the proposed IndyCar weekend in August, but the track could make time for an IndyCar practice session that Saturday, then qualifying and the race Sunday. Bruggenthies said he needed an answer from IndyCar by Sunday night to properly promote the race.
"There is no doubt that Road America is the fan and driver favorite," Bernard told The Associated Press. "IndyCar continues to do their due diligence on our schedule. We have reached out to all of our sponsors to have a better understanding on what is important to them for this season. We will be making a decision very soon."
Bruggenthies says the track and IndyCar also remain in discussions for a race in 2013.
"That's where we were going initially, look at doing a combined event with the American Le Mans series in the middle of August for 2013," Bruggenthies said.
Indy-style racing has a long history at the scenic four-mile, 14-turn road course in central Wisconsin, drawing huge crowds for the now-defunct CART series in the 1980s and '90s.
"Fans tell us, `Hey, get IndyCar back,'" Bruggenthies said.
Road America is hosting the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend, and Bruggenthies said he fully expected NASCAR to be back at the track next year.
"Unless you screw up, you're going to be on the card," Bruggenthies said. "They're a great organization to work with, just very basic _ there's no hidden agendas or anything. It's very cut and dried. It's very easy."
AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer in Sonoma, Calif., contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)