IndyCar's Mark Miles Quashes Rumors Of Series Leaving Iowa Speedway
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and Iowa Speedway Principal Owner Conrad Clement called a press conference before yesterday’s Izod IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 to "stomp out the buzz" surrounding the future of the race, according to Bryce Miller of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Miles, addressing comments from IndyCar driver Graham Rahal on Saturday alluding to rumors that the event would not return, said, “I don’t think there’s any chance we won’t be back.” Miller wrote Iowa Speedway is “generally considered a success story" for IndyCar. Though attendance “has slipped from the speedway’s headiest days, it still exceeds most on the schedule in terms of crowds and driver love.” That is what "made the unsolicited comments from Rahal puzzling to most." Miles said, “The way we approach making our calendar next year absolutely includes Iowa. Maybe people have been somewhat, what’s the right word, confused by the fact that we still are talking about the exact date. We’d both like to get back to the point where we have a multi-year agreement. (But) those aren’t reasons for us not to be here." Rahal on Saturday said, “There's a lot of rumors we won't be coming back here, and I hope that's not true.” Clement said of his reaction to the comments, "I was pissed. Irritated. Let’s say irritated. You get these microphones in front of these drivers, in the heat of the moment. I don’t know why it comes up" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 6/23). SPEEDTV.com’s Robin Miller writes the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway "has become one of the best attended and best races to watch” on the schedule. But yesterday morning’s rain "didn’t help the crowds, which appeared to be the lowest since IndyCar began coming” to the track in ’06. The attendance was “estimated at 22,000” (SPEEDTV.com, 6/24).