Kenseth May Pull Out of Milwaukee Mile Event
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The organizer of an August event at the Milwaukee Mile has threatened to pull out because of the racetrack's financial troubles.
Roy Kenseth says he will pull out of a stock-car race he has planned in August if he's not soon paid $88,000. That race is to feature 2003 NASCAR champion and 2009 Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth, Roy's son and a native of Cambridge, near Madison.
Milwaukee Mile promoter Claude Napier, president and chief executive of Wisconsin Motorsports, already owes NASCAR nearly $1.9 million for two races in June. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Wisconsin Motorsports also owes the Indy Racing League an undisclosed amount.
Napier told the newspaper he was working to pay the various organizations what he owes.
He said he had no financial backers when he entered a deal in February with State Fair Park, where the Milwaukee Mile racetrack is located. The facility's office is now closed and all 12 staff members have been laid off temporarily.
Even the track's biggest boosters wonder whether the nation's oldest auto racing facility will make it to its 107th birthday.
"It depends totally if I'm able to get some investors," Napier said. "I knew I was going to be short of money."
One of the problems he ran into, Napier said, was that before the two races, "everyone wanted their money up front."
"Paying everything out in advance was tough," he said. "I need more support from the community."
It is "very uncommon" for NASCAR to stage a race without being paid in advance by the promoter, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said.
The races were already scheduled and television contracts in place when Napier took over. Given its dealings this year, NASCAR is not expected to grant credit to the track -- no matter who operates it -- to return for 2010.
The Indy Racing League event at the Milwaukee Mile ran May 31, one week after the Indianapolis 500.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)