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Phoenix: Up to IndyCar on series return

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Phoenix International Raceway would welcome IndyCar back, but the track president doesn't believe those who run the series have much interest in a return.

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Bryan Sperber said he's been clear with IndyCar on how the financial arrangement would have to be structured for open wheel racing to run again at the popular oval.

''So really, the ball is in their court,'' Sperber said. ''Hopefully the interest in Phoenix International Raceway becomes sufficient enough that they would like to pursue that opportunity. But up to now that doesn't look like that's in the cards.''

PIR hosted IndyCar races from 1996 through 2005, and USAC and CART ran at the track from 1964 to 1995. IndyCar has six ovals on the 2014 schedule, which includes 18 events between March and August.

With waning attendance at most IndyCar oval events, and the eight-year absence of open wheel racing at PIR, it would take time to rebuild the fan base.

Sperber would have to spend close to $1 million to market an IndyCar return. With no guarantee of a formidable crowd, he can't also afford to pay IndyCar's current asking price on a sanctioning fee believed to be about $1.5 million a race.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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