IndyCar engines to start at State Fair Park in West Allis during next Labor Day Weekend
High-speed auto racing, known as the IndyCar Series, where the race cars get between two and four miles per gallon of fuel is returning to the State Fair Park racetrack in West Allis for the first time since 2015.
The Milwaukee JournalSentinel reports that in recent decades, promoters have had trouble offering profitable IndyCar events at the oval track, where auto racing first started in 1903.
But Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced at a Monday news conference that two races will be held during Labor Day Weekend in 2024.
What's unclear is how much Fair Park revenue will go into improvements in the racing area to prepare for the events and how much INDYCAR, the Indianapolis-based governing body for the open wheel (where wheels are outside the main body of the car) racing series, will provide.
State Fair Park executive director Shari Black tells WUWM that the state has helped fund some previous repairs: "The SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier) wall has all been repaired. We started with the main points that needed to be done for the NASCAR (truck) race, and now, in phase two, we'll be finishing those areas. The catch fence (designed to catch cars in mid-crash to protect the audience from debris) has been replaced. The asphalt within the pit row (also known as pit road-off, the racing surface where cars go for adjustments) is getting redone. So a lot of those safety upgrades have been completed," says Black.
A State Fair Park spokesperson said she was unable to provide the public cost of those projects on Monday.
Black says additional changes at the racetrack will be negotiated with INDYCAR. IndyCar Series owner Roger Penske, who also owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500, attended the news conference held at a building inside the racetrack oval.
In 2022, Forbes magazine estimated Penske's wealth at $2.7 billion.