IndyCar, Road America announce new multi-year extension

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. -- Ahead of the expiration of the pair's latest three-year deal after the conclusion of Sunday afternoon's 55-lap race, IndyCar and Road America have announced a new multi-year extension that will see the premier American open-wheel racing series return to the iconic permanent road course venue "for years to come."

After eight years away (2008-15), IndyCar returned in 2016, and the track has been a staple of the series' schedule ever since.

Josef Newgarden driving at Elkhart Lake, Wis., on June 8, 20204.
Josef Newgarden driving at Elkhart Lake, Wis., on June 8, 20204.

"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with IndyCar," Mike Kertscher, president and general manager of Road America, said in a release. "This collaboration not only ignites the fervor of our passionateracing fans but also plays a crucial role in boosting our local economy and nurturing the motorsportculture that thrives here."

As part of the extension, both sides say they're committed to "enhancing the event experience for attendees," according to the release, including incoming upgrades to fan zones, additional interactive displays and expanded access to drivers and teams.

"Fans can look forward to an even more immersive and engaging experience at Road America,"Kertscher said. "With exciting new features and exclusive access, we're committed to making everyvisit unforgettable."

The extension also ensures a continued partnership as IndyCar returns to a rival venue just over an hour south, the Milwaukee Mile, for a doubleheader event starting late this summer. Having been a staple of American open-wheel racing for decades, the Mile briefly fell off IndyCar's slate in 2010 as the series struggled to draw enough of a crowd to make it financially viable. Despite running under multiple different models and promoters, the Mile fell off the IndyCar schedule after the completion of the 2015 edition, leading to Road America's return.

There was some question in recent years, as discussion about the revitalization of the Mile picked up, whether both could co-exist on the IndyCar schedule nowadays, due to their proximity and the inability for the series to draw large enough crowds at Milwaukee in its final few visits to the legendary short oval.

"Road America is a magnificent facility and great partner to IndyCar,” series president Jay Fryesaid in the release. “With its rich history, iconic layout, and packed grandstands and campgrounds, it remains afavorite for our drivers and teams. We look forward to having this key event on the IndyCar series calendar for years to come.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IndyCar, Road America announce new multi-year extension