Written by: Robin Miller
12/18/2008 - 05:21 PM
The economy has claimed its first major victim in IndyCar. SPEEDTV.com has learned that next year's Detroit Grand Prix has been postponed and there will be an official announcement Friday. Roger Penske had revived the race, held on Belle Isle, in 2007 after getting private donations and sponsorships of an estimated $7 million to upgrade the paddock and temporary road course bordered by the Detroit River.
In addition to getting presenting sponsorship from Firestone and Bosch, Penske reportedly also spent his own money the past two years. But, according to sources in Detroit, the corporate sponsorship for the Sept. 6, 2009 event have "dried up" and the decision has been made to postpone the 16th of 18 races on the '09 Indycar schedule. It's not known whether IndyCar will try to replace Detroit but new venues like Birmingham, Ala. and Utah have expressed interest, as well as a street race in Nashville, Tenn. and the longtime road course in Portland.
"We look at that weekend as a very valuable part of our schedule," said John Griffin, vice president of IRL public relations. "It's a big motorsports weekend. "But what we're going to do, short term or long term, won't be decided quickly."
CUTS AT VISION, IMS
Tony George laid off 12 members of his Vision Racing team last week and
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