11/13 2013

Phoenix Track President: IndyCar doesn’t appear interested in comeback

Phoenix Track President: IndyCar doesn’t appear interested in comeback

Phoenix International Raceway track president Bryan Sperber doesn’t believe IndyCar is interested in returning to his speedway, according to an Associated Press report.

In the report, Sperber says that he’s made clear to IndyCar what the financial structure would have to look like in order to make open-wheel racing viable from the track’s perspective. Now it’s up to the IndyCar front office to respond to that stance.

“So really, the ball is in their court,” Sperber said in the report. “Hopefully the interest in Phoenix International Raceway becomes sufficient enough that they would like to pursue that opportunity. But up to now that doesn’t look like that’s in the cards.”

Opened in 1964, Phoenix has been a fixture of open-wheel racing since day one, hosting USAC and CART races until 1995. The former Indy Racing League picked up the event from 1996 until 2005. The facility was a popular stop for both fans and drivers but like many ovals, Phoenix has been passed over by IndyCar in lieu of road and street courses under the current business model.The IndyCar sanctioning fee is believed to be as high as 1.5 million per event and the AP report speculated that Phoenix and Sperber would have to spend close to $1 million to market an IndyCar return following the eight-year absence.

While small, some fans have taken to social media launching the “Bring IndyCar Back to Phoenix” fan page. Would you like to see the IndyCar Series return to Phoenix International Raceway?