A new IndyCar date for 2025 has deeper implications for the Milwaukee Mile and Wisconsin race fans

After returning to the Milwaukee Mile with a doubleheader in 2024, the NTT IndyCar Series will race the venerable track just once in 2025 and not on Labor Day weekend.

The implications go deeper than one series, though.

With IndyCar moving ahead a week to Aug. 24 on the schedule announced Thursday, the weekend headlined by the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023 and ’24 will have to shift for 2025, assuming it returns.

NASCAR and promoter Track Enterprises have not announced 2025 plans, but the trucks are expected to race at the Mile again. The series competed there from 1995-2009 but was away for 13 years before Track brought NASCAR back last season.

Track Enterprises helped rekindle racing on the oval when it brought the regional ASA Midwest Tour stock cars to the Mile in 2019 and then added the ARCA national series and then trucks. The speedway’s last race open to spectators before then was a 2015 IndyCar event promoted by a group led by champion driver and team owner Michael Andretti.

State Fair, which owns the Mile, independently came to an agreement last year with IndyCar to return for 2024 and ’25 with the series helping to put on the races. The deal included more than $3 million in public and private money spent on renovations and upgrades to the facility.

Team Penske drivers Will Power (12) and Scott McLaughlin leave pit road to start the NTT IndyCar Series test Tuesday at the Milwaukee Mile ahead of the debut of the series' new hybrid system next month and also the Labor Day weekend doubleheader at the track.
Team Penske drivers Will Power (12) and Scott McLaughlin leave pit road to start the NTT IndyCar Series test Tuesday at the Milwaukee Mile ahead of the debut of the series' new hybrid system next month and also the Labor Day weekend doubleheader at the track.

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The Mile opened in 1903, eight years before the first Indianapolis 500, and has been the site of 113 Indy-style championship races.

The biggest change on the 2025 IndyCar schedule announced Thursday morning was the anticipated move of the television package to Fox from NBC, a partner since 2009 the exclusive rightsholder since 2019.

After that, the changes are relatively minor, although both Wisconsin race weekends were affected.

In addition to Milwaukee moving ahead, Road America shifts back two weeks, becoming the third stop after the Indianapolis 500. Race day is June 22.

The acclaimed road course outside Elkhart Lake announced Sunday it had reached a multiyear agreement for IndyCar to return.

The 500 is scheduled for May 25, followed by the June 1 Detroit street course event and the June 15 oval race at World Wide Technology Raceway outside St. Louis.

How will getting off Labor Day weekend affect the Milwaukee Mile?

Milwaukee remains the second-last stop on a more compact schedule that finishes Aug. 31 at Nashville Superspeedway.

IndyCar’s 2024 Labor Day weekend at the Mile was seen as a good news-bad news development for Wisconsin racing fans.

On one hand, the track – which has not hosted IndyCar since 2015 – not only returned to the schedule but did so with two 250-milers that are integral to the championship, and the event has a built-in rain date on Monday.

On the other, though, the weekend runs into a classic end-of-summer travel weekend when many people have family traditions that don’t include the racetrack. Also, the fanbase could be split, leaving relatively few people in the grandstands each day.

The first race of the Milwaukee doubleheader is among those this year scheduled to appear on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. The broadcast schedule was split across the network (nine races), the USA cable channel (six races) and Peacock (two).

Next season all broadcasts are scheduled for Fox, including qualifying days for the Indy 500. The network recently signed a seven-year deal to remain a NASCAR television partner that begins next year. That means Fox will have both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 in 2025.

2025 NTT IndyCar Series schedule

March 2 – St. Petersburg, Florida

March 23 – Thermal Club

April 13 – Long Beach, California

May 4 – Barber Motorsports Park

May 10 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course

May 25 – Indianapolis 500

June 1 – Detroit

June 15 – World Wide Technology Raceway

June 22 – Road America

July 6 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

July 12-13 – Iowa Speedway doubleheader

July 20 – Toronto

July 27 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Aug. 10 – Portland International Raceway

Aug. 24 – Milwaukee Mile

Aug. 31 – Nashville Superspeedway

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Mile 2025 IndyCar date affects NASCAR Craftsman Truck race

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