Less than a week after announcing that the Milwaukee Mile had been dropped from the 2010 Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series schedules, NASCAR found a way to ensure that Wisconsin will continue its 17-year streak of hosting Nationwide races next year.
The sanctioning body announced Monday the addition of Road America, a 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course near Elkhart Lake, to the 2010 Nationwide Series schedule.
Scheduled for June 19, the Road America race takes the place of the event at the Milwaukee Mile, after the state of Wisconsin was unable to find a satisfactory promoter for the race. NASCAR has made no announcement on the future of the truck race.
The race will be run the day before the June 20 Sprint Cup road-course race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, giving drivers who participate in both series a long commute (as was the Milwaukee Mile) and back-to-back races on distinctly different road-course venues.
That doesn't bother Wisconsin driver Paul Menard.
“It's a really great racetrack,” said Menard, a native of Eau Claire. “It's in a very picturesque setting in the Wisconsin countryside. It has every kind of corner you can imagine. When I was a kid, my dad would take me to Road America. The fans love it there.
“By the second practice, I'm sure everyone will be up to speed because the drivers are so good in the Nationwide Series. Braking will be the hardest aspect. Strategy will play a big part in this race. I'm really excited about running there.”
The Nationwide Series hasn't raced at Road America, but NASCAR has. On August 12, 1956, Tim Flock won the Cup event there in the only other national series NASCAR race held there. To prepare for June's event, teams will be allowed an extra day of practice on June 17 before official race weekend activities begin the following day.
by Reid Spencer / Sporting News