SBD/December 14, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

IndyCar, Watkins Glen Talking About A Possible Reunion After Missing '11 Schedule

Both WGI and IndyCar appear willing to compromise to make a deal
Watkins Glen Int'l President Michael Printup and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard have been “discussing the parameters of a potential reunion after a hit-and-miss relationship from 2005-10,” according to Chris Gill of the CORNING LEADER. Tracks in Michigan, Phoenix and even Pocono Raceway have “all been in contact with the country’s lone open-wheel series during a tumultuous offseason that began after the death of Dan Wheldon in the October finale in Las Vegas.” The Izod IndyCar Series is also “trying to develop a new car, which has been challenging, and recently overhauled the front office.” When IndyCar and WGI were “trying to extend" its deal in '10, there were "two main sticking points: the price of a sanctioning fee and the series’ perceived lack of promotion on the part of WGI, and other International Speedway Corp. tracks.” But now there “appears to be a willingness, from both parties, to compromise.” Printup said, “They’re definitely going to change some of it and kudos to them -- they’re willing to work on a deal. I told them it was too late for 2012, because these things take more than a year to plan, I just said, what ever we can work on. The model is up for negotiations. They would like to sit down and consider anything that’s brought to table. Before, you didn’t get that kind of reaction” (CORNING LEADER, 12/13).

RISING PHOENIX? Phoenix Int'l Raceway President Bryan Sperber on Friday said that he would “welcome conversations with IndyCar about a return to the desert.” PIR hosted IndyCar events from '96-'05, but Sperber said that it is “too late for Phoenix to be added to the 2012 IndyCar schedule.” Sperber: "I think 2013 is the earliest we could entertain anything." He added that he also “wants to make sure his track is compatible with the new IndyCar” (AP, 12/9).
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