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CATEGORIES (articles) > American Motorsport > Race Circuits > Milwaukee Mile Race Circuit

Milwaukee Mile Race Circuit


Milwaukee Mile
America's Legendary Oval
The Mile
Facility statistics
Location 7722 West Greenfield Avenue,
West Allis, Wisconsin , 53214
Broke ground ????
Opened 1903
Owner State of Wisconsin
Operator Milwaukee Mile LLC
Construction cost $??? USD
Architect
Former names
Major events
NASCAR Busch Series
SBC 250

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200

Champ Car World Series
Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 Presented by U.S. Bank

Indy Racing League
Milwaukee Indy 225

Seating capacity
45,000
Current dimensions
Track shape Oval
Track length 1.032 miles
Track banking Turns - 9.25°
Straights - 2.5°

The Milwaukee Mile (also "The Mile" and "America's Legendary Oval") is a race track in West Allis, Wisconsin, USA. It is a mile long (1.032 mi, 1.66 km) oval track that seats about 45,000.

The Milwaukee Mile’s premier distinction is as the oldest operating motor speedway in the world, hosting at least one auto race every year since 1903. The track holds the distinction of being the only track that currently holds races for NASCAR, the Champ Car World Series, and the Indy Racing League. The track is located at the grounds for the Wisconsin State Fair. The track has held events sanctioned by major sanctioning bodies, such as the American Automobile Association, USAC, NASCAR, CART/Champ Car World Series), and the Indy Racing League. There have also been many races in regional series such as ARTGO.

Racers who have competed at the track are a Who's Who of racing history: Barney Oldfield, Ralph DePalma, Parnelli Jones, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Jim Clark, Darrell Waltrip, Alan Kulwicki, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Allison, Davey Allison, Nigel Mansell, Dick Trickle, Michael Andretti, Harry Gant, and Walker Evans, as well as current NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Dale Jarrett, Greg Biffle, and Kurt Busch.


Current races

  • Champ Car World Series - Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 Presented by U.S. Bank (June 4 2006)
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 (June 23 2006)
  • NASCAR Busch Series - AT&T 250 (June 24 2006)
  • Indy Racing League - ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 (July 23 2006)
  • Governor's Cup Weekend - ARCA, ASA late models, Wisconsin Challenge Series (August 25 to 27, 2006)

Records

  • NASCAR Busch Qualifying: Johnny Sauter, 122.595 mph (29.365 s,; 197.297 km/h), June 25, 2005.
  • NASCAR Busch Race: Ron Hornaday, 105.052 mph (2 h, 26 min, 59 s; 169.065 km/h), June 26, 2004.
  • Champ Car Qualifying: Patrick Carpentier, 185.500 mph (20.028 s; 298.5 km/h), 1998.
  • IRL Qualifying: Sam Hornish Jr., 170.296 mph (21.456 s; 274.064 km/h), 2005.
  • IRL Race: Dario Franchitti 128.272 mph (1 h, 46 min, 49 s; 206.43 km/h), 2004.

History


Dirt track history

View of grandstands during the Wisconsin State Fair

The track started out as a one-mile private horse racing track on or before 1876. In 1891, the site was purchased by the Agricultural Society of the State of Wisconsin to create a permanent site for the Wisconsin State Fair (which it still is).

The first event was held on September 11, 1903. William Jones of Chicago won a five lap speed contest, and set the first track record with a 72 second, 50 mph lap. There were 24-hour endurance races in 1907 and 1908. Louis Disbrow won the first 100 mile event in 1915, averaging 62.5 mph.

Barney Oldfield's success at The Mile helped make him a legend. He set the track record in 1905 and raised his speed in 1910 to 70.159 mph in his "Blitzen Benz". In 1911, Ralph DePalma won the first Milwaukee Mile Championship Car race a week before his Indianapolis 500 win. Oldfield made a gold car that completely enclosed the driver (called the "Golden Submarine"), and in June 1917 he beat DePalma in a series of 10 to 25 mile match races.

The first Champ Car event was held on July 17, 1933. The show was rained out. Wilbur Shaw and the other drivers convinced the track promoters to run the race the following day and the term "Rain Date" was born.

Huge new grandstands were installed in the 1930s, with seating for 14900 people. They replaced the original grandstands built in the 1914. A roof was placed over the grandstands in 1938. These grandstands stood until new aluminium grandstands were installed in September 2002.

The 1937 Champ Car event was best known for running 96 laps (instead of 100) due to a scoring error. It was won by Rex Mays, who continued his domination throughout the 1940s by winning in 1941 and the next race (after World War II) in 1946.

The tradition of hosting the "race after the Indianapolis 500" began in 1947.

The Milwaukee Mile held more national Championship midget, stock and Indy car races than any other track in the country between 1947 and 1980.


Pave track history

In 1954 the 1 mile track was paved. The 1/4 mile dirt infield track was kept for weekly programs during the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1963 Jim Clark won the first victory for a rear-engined Indy Car in his Lotus-Ford.

In 1964 A.J. Foyt dominated in what was to be his final race in a roadster. The rear-engine began dominating races in the 1960s, replacing the front-engine roadster, but not before one unexpected race. In 1965 A.J. Foyt had to tow his front-engine backup dirt car from Springfield because his primary car and crew wouldn't make it to Milwaukee in time for qualifying. He prepared the car himself for pavement, and put the car on the pole with a speed of 107.881 mph. He led for 16 of 200 laps, and finished second.

The track was repaved after the 1967 season. By 1970 both the 1/4 dirt track and 1/2 mile road course were closed to accommodate the pit area.

In the CART 1983 race, Tom Sneva finished first by 10 seconds. Post race inspection found an improper ground clearance on the side mount skirts, so second place finisher Al Unser was given the win. Sneva's appeal was upheld, and Sneva was awarded the win two weeks later. Sneva was lucky that the 1984 event was lengthened from 100 to 200 miles. He got his third straight win by passing Rick Mears on the final lap for the win.

NASCAR held two Busch Series stock car races at Milwaukee in 1984 and 1985. The 1984 field was full of NASCAR legends: Alan Kulwicki (2nd), Dick Trickle (3rd), Bobby Allison (4th), Davey Allison (5th), Dale Jarrett (6th), and Darrell Waltrip (25th). The 1984 race was won by Sam Ard.

In the 1985 CART event, Mario Andretti won the pole on his way to his fourth career track win. His son Michael won the next two races in 1986 and 1987.

Al Unser Jr. won the 1990 CART race after Michael Andretti ran out of fuel with two laps to go. The victory was the ninth for the Unser family (father Al Unser, Sr. and uncle Bobby Unser each have four).

The 1991 CART event, however, was dominated by their archrival Andretti family. For the first time in the worldwide history of auto racing, three member of the same family finished 1-2-3. Michael Andretti won the race, second went to his cousin John, and third to his father Mario. Michael's brother Jeff finished 11th.

Milwaukee was in danger of losing its CART date in 1992. To save the date, the track hired Carl Haas to organize all track activities.

The 1992 CART event was again won by Michael Andretti. In 1993, reigning Formula One champion Nigel Mansell got his first oval track win on his way to winning the CART championship.

On July 3, 1993, the NASCAR Busch Series returned to Milwaukee. The event was won by Steve Grissom. In 1996, Wisconsin native Dick Trickle was passed with four laps to go by Buckshot Jones. The Busch Series has run every year since 1993.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (CTS) began racing at Milwaukee in its inaugural season in 1995. Mike Skinner (NASCAR) won the event. The 1996 event featured 17 lead changes. The CTS has returned every season since 1995, with no repeat winners.

The track was resurfaced after the 1995 season.

In 2000, Juan Pablo Montoya gave Toyota its first CART win.

In 2004 temporary MUSCO lights were brought in for the Champ Car World Series event. The temporary lights were also used for the CTS and Busch Series events in 2005.




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