Indianapolis Motor Speedway leaders unsure if they want to host Grand Prix

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Only six drivers competed in the June 19 event, the only stop in the United States for the Formula One series.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two months after the embarrassment of the U.S. Grand Prix, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials apparently aren't quite ready to forgive -- or forget.

Speedway president Joie Chitwood made it clear after Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard that he is still debating whether to bring the race back to Indianapolis for a seventh season.

"It's important to us because we've made a huge investment in the sport by building the road course and adding the buildings to Gasoline Alley," Chitwood said. "But we have to decide what's in the best interest of our fans, the speedway and the city."

Only six drivers competed in the June 19 race after seven F-1 teams pulled their cars off the track to protest safety concerns with Michelin tires. Those teams wanted to use fresh tires or have an extra chicane put in the 13th turn, but F-1 officials opted to make no changes.

Chitwood acknowledged he has been discussing another race with F-1 officials but declined to characterize the talks or offer a timeline for an announcement.

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone contends there is still one more year on the current contract, although speedway officials would not confirm that.

The USGP is the only Amercian event on the top international racing circuit, and Ecclestone hopes it remains on the schedule into the next decade.

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