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SBD/June 5, 2012/Facilities
Belle Isle Lays Out Track Repair Plans, Confident In Venue's IndyCar Future
Published June 5, 2012
BOUNCING BACK: Also in Detroit, Jamie Samuelsen wrote if nothing had happened Sunday on Belle Isle and Scott Dixon had “won a ho-hum race, most of us wouldn’t be writing nor talking about the race.” Samuelsen: "But because the road disintegrated before our eyes, here we are, playing the role of race expert and road guru." A hole in the road is “not enough to overshadow the work" of race organizer and team owner Roger Penske. The track problem is “not a black eye that can’t be repaired,” but rather “a blip.” Samuelsen: “The drivers will be back. The race will be back. And the conditions will improve. I don’t have a shred of a doubt about that” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/4). Dixon said, “I feel bad for everybody that organized the event. They're doing their best, and they did a hell of a job on the weekend.” Dixon added, “It's very important for us to be in the Motor City and Detroit. And we have great fans here. It was a sold-out event today. We've got to focus on the positives. It's something that was just out of everyone's control and I can guarantee you it won't happen again next year.” In Detroit, John Niyo writes, “Clearly, one red-flagged race can't -- and won't -- be the end of this." Niyo notes Chevrolet signed up for a three-year deal as the title sponsor and the three-day event drew attendance more than 100,000, "even on a busy entertainment weekend in downtown Detroit.” Penske said, “It's like everything else in life: The unexpected is what you don't want. ... Obviously, the road hasn’t had much TLC for a long time” (DETROIT NEWS, 6/5).
CLEANING HOUSE: The DETROIT NEWS' Terry Foster writes Grand Prix organizers “tried to put lipstick on Belle Isle, but the ugliness of a neglected island came out during the race when the track got beat up by the roaring cars.” Race organizers “should be applauded" for getting the event back in Detroit, but that "doesn't mean it should have happened.” Foster writes, "We've ignored Belle Isle for years. ... The smart thing would be to repave the entire track.” If the Belle Isle Grand Prix is “really serious about making this a great race, that is exactly what will happen.” Belle Isle "needs better care, and if that happens, the race will be better. If the race is better, Detroit will look better. It's as simple as that” (DETROIT NEWS, 6/5).