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[edit | edit source]
Records[edit | edit source]
- 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[edit | edit source]
Dirt track history[edit | edit source]
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).
Pave track history[edit | edit source]
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. 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.
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.
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 Camping World 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 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.