On Track this Week - Round 8 - Milwaukee IndyFest - Milwaukee Mile
With the much anticipated, not in a good way, Texas race now under their belt, the drivers can relax a little as they head to another favorite stop on the IZOD INDYCAR schedule, and another 'debut' for the DW12, the historic Milwaukee Mile. The newly revamped event, now headed up by Andretti Sports Marketing, has certainly caught the attention of the media, the fans and the drivers, with several drivers getting behind the marketing effort to make this event successful with special bus trip/race ticket promotions.
Also new this year, the race will take place early on Saturday afternoon, so as to take advantage of the Father's Day weekend, without competing with family plans on Sunday (Father's Day)
What to Expect?
Many in the know are expecting the car to perform similar to Indianapolis, which bodes well for all involved. Though several teams have tested here individually, this will be the first time the entire field will be together on the historical track.
Judging by the buzz in the media and from the fans online, we should also expect a sizable crowd (something which has been lacking in previous years under the old promoter) One thing is for sure, if there isn't a large crowd, it certainly hasn't been for lack of effort as Andretti Sports Marketing has pulled out all of the stops for this weekend.
The reward for those who show up? A jam packed, wall to wall day of practice, qualifying and racing on Friday & Saturday!
Here's what a few of the drivers had to say about going back to Milwaukee:
Who's the favorite?
After seeing how horribly wrong the favorites got it in Texas, complete with the unexpected win by Justin Wilson in the Dale Coyne Car, it really is anybody's race to win this weekend. Graham Rahal as been so close and is itching for a win, especially after losing the lead with 4 laps to go in Texas. Likewise, Tony Kanaan is way overdue to stand atop the podium. He has won twice here and been close a number of times, including crashing out from the lead with just laps to go in 2011. Look for the Ganassi and Penske drivers to rally as well. (though the 10 grid-spot penalties are going to work against them)
Who could surprise?
The Andretti drivers will be looking to win, place or show at their branded event. Hinchcliffe coming in 4th at Texas is certainly the favorite of the three, but Andretti and Hunter-Reay will be looking to improve upon their recent disappointing outings.
Again, if the last 2 ovals are any indication, the podium truly is unpredictable. So it's not too far a stretch to say anyone in the field could pull off the "surprise" podium.
Dark Horse Favorite?
Here is a virtual lap around the circuit:
ABC is presenting this weekend, so that means 'main course' only, no appetizers...
For those following along on Twitter this weekend, You can follow along with @MKE_IndyFes , @indycar , @indycarPR , and of course@openwheelworld ;-)
The official #hashtag for the event is: #indyfest
Other hastags to follow: #indycar #indycar2012 #milwaukeemile