'Hopefully these stands get pretty packed': Racing returns to the Milwaukee Mile

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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The oldest operating motorsports venue in the United States, the Milwaukee Mile, sits quiet for most of the year. Sunday, the historic oval located at State Fair Park will roar to life as drivers in the ARCA Menards Series, Big 8 Late Model Series and Upper Midwest Vintage Series all take to the track with the hope of adding their name to an extensive list of Milwaukee Mile winners.

West Bend's Mitch Haver and Lake Geneva's Jordan DeVoy will both be competing in the Big 8 Late Model race. Both drivers are excited for the opportunity to show their skills on a historic venue like the Milwaukee Mile.

"This is the big one," said DeVoy. "This is no different than your first time going to Lambeau Field; first time going to American Family Field. You feel so small in such a big place."

"It's unlike any other track that I've raced at," said Haver. "You carry a lot of speed through the corners. The wide, sweeping corners make it a fun track."

Nearly 30 ARCA competitors are scheduled to take the green flag at the mile on Sunday, with six female drivers ready to show what they're made of. Other favorites for the event include Sammy Smith, Jake Finch, Taylor Gray and Jesse Love.

Attendance has been a factor that has plagued the Milwaukee Mile in recent years. For the second year, Sprecher Brewing Co. will serve as the title sponsor. The company is hopeful to get people in the stands by offering free tickets with a purchase of specially marked cases of root beer at local Menards locations.

"The Milwaukee Mile has been the oldest race track in Wisconsin, and to keep that alive, it has to be sponsorships like ours and others," said CEO and President of Sprecher, Sharad Chadha. "It is special, not only for me, but our entire 125 employees and their families, and they're all going to be here."

Like the race's promoters, the local drivers say they're hopeful race fans will make the trip to the Mile this weekend to take in all the high-speed action.

"Every race fan needs to come check this out," said DeVoy. "The Mecca of racing in Wisconsin. Everyone needs to experience it."

"Hopefully these stands get pretty packed," added Haver. "Wisconsin's got some of the toughest competition in the whole country for racing. Having all these big events really puts a lot of people's names out there and doing good solidifies that."

Pit gates and infield ticket sales for the event will open at 7 a.m. on Sunday. The grandstands will open at 9 a.m. when ARCA Menards Series practice begins.

The Upper Midwest Vintage Series race is set for 11:30 a.m., with qualifying for the ARCA Menards Series and Big 8 Series action all set to begin at Noon. The green flag for the Sprecher 150 is scheduled to fly shortly after 2:00 p.m.

In addition to purchasing tickets at the box office on race day, discounted tickets are available at area Menards stores and online. Fans can also purchase a specially marked case of Sprecher Root Beer and turn their receipt in at the box office for a free ticket.

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