Thursday, July 2, 2009

Milwaukee Mile Not Just Finished, but Killed?

Yesterday I had said that I didn't know enough details on the current Milwaukee Mile unpaid bill situation yet, so I didn't go into too much analysis.

Well, we have some freaking details now, and it is absolutely disturbing. You can start with the coverage by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who tells us the numbers that Napier is behind ($1.9 million to NASCAR, and undisclosed amount to IRL), and that the workers at the track have all been laid off... but where it gets truly bad... Milwaukee radio host & newspaper reporter Mark Belling basically filled us all in on what appears to be a clear, but veiled, attempt by the Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, and his people to kill racing at the Milwaukee Mile. Opinion and theories you think...? well Belling has proof:

1) Belling has the copies of public documents proving that the Wisconsin State Fair Board did not require, or even ask, the new promoter Claude Napier (the one who is now failing to pay the IRL & NASCAR sanctioning fees) proof of financial assets needed to run the track.

but the more damning evidence

2) Belling has copies of an e-mail trail between the Wisconsin State Fair Board Chairman, Susan Crane, and a partnership of John Menard, Frank Guiffre & Dominic Guiffre; who offered to take over promotions and use their own capital to assist with financials, likely the money owed to the IRL & NASCAR (not to mention the state itself also has the money to do this). For those of you who don't know, those three men may be three of the Top 10 richest people in Wisconsin, we are talking billions of money in capital, tons of business experience; and the Guiffre family was even promoters at The Mile some 20 years ago.

What an amazing offer right!? Three Wisconsoners willing to pony up whatever it takes to continue racing at the worlds oldest racetrack in their home state!

Well here is where financial failure turns into track murder. The Wisconsin State Fair Board Chairman's response to Dominic Guiffre (the one in the partnership who sent the e-mail), and I'm paraphrasing:

"Thanks for e-mailing, I hope you can attend the race in August."

Are you kidding!? Someone offers up their time, money and expertise to save the oldest racetrack in the world; a racetrack that brings in $75 million annually to the state, and has the cities name in the track, and gets shown on national television, and you blow them off!?

At this point it is pretty clear that certain people may have suceeded in their ridiculous agenda to kill the Milwaukee Mile...

Belling & the Journal Sentinel are predicting if nothing happens by this, or next, weekend that NASCAR & IRL will be forced to announce they are leaving the track due to unpaid money, and that will be the domino the State Fair wants to then close down the track. Good lord I hope this doesn't happen; what a bunch of asses if this is all as true as it pretty well seems evident. But don't take my word for it, go here and listen to Mark Belling's show where he gives you ALL these details, and word for word the email conversations:

Belling's Show Part 1

Belling's Show Part 2


The SpeedGeek said...

Two things:

1) It's "Wisconsinites", not "Wisconsiners". You better watch that stuff, if you ever go to Road America, or you're liable to get doused in Old Mil and three day old cheese curds.

2) That whole saga absolutely churns my stomach. If the thing with Menard and the Guiffres is true (and it sounds like it probably is), and the State Fair Board is willing to ignore it in favor of letting the track turn into a parking lot, then it's a very, very sad day indeed. I'd say that the demise of The Mile could have the faint silver lining of a return to Road America by the IndyCars, but it sounds like that's off the table until at least 2011, and probably longer. No upside to this story. So, when do we hear what's up the Fair Board's butt? Probably never, I suppose, but it'd be nice at least to hear what flimsy sort of reasoning they're using to kill the oldest continually operating race track IN THE WORLD (I think).

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