The triumphant return of NASCAR to the oldest operating motor speedway in the world will run this summer under the banner of a long-time race partner and worldwide sustainability leader — Clean Harbors.
The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 175-lap race at the Milwaukee Mile on Aug. 27 will be named the Clean Harbors 175.
“The competitive NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series‘ return to the historic Milwaukee Mile is one of the most anticipated races on the series‘ schedule this season,” said Chip Wile, SVP & Chief Track Properties Officer, NASCAR. “We are proud to welcome our long-time partners Clean Harbors and Safety-Kleen as part of the series‘ return to the Milwaukee market for the Clean Harbors 175.”
Wisconsin State Fair Park, home of the Milwaukee Mile, has hosted at least one auto race every year since 1903 (except during U.S. involvement in World War II). The Clean Harbors 175 marks the return of the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series to the famed course following a 13-year absence. The truck series raced 15 times at the Milwaukee Mile from 1995-2009, producing 11 different winners.
“We‘re proud to have played a part in bringing this race back after so long — especially for the playoffs,” said Clean Harbors co-CEO Eric Gerstenberg. “We have a large footprint in Wisconsin and the Chicagoland area, so we‘ll be packing the stands in Milwaukee with hundreds of our employees and customers. We‘re also hiring for a wide range of jobs at our field services, technical services and industrial services branches in the Midwest along with all kinds of drivers. It‘ll be great to network with race fans and attendees of the event. We‘re thrilled to have our name associated with this race and its celebrated return to the Cream City.”
Founded in 1980 with more than 700 service locations across the United States and Canada, Clean Harbors is the continent‘s leader in environmental and industrial services. Clean Harbors currently manages the 17th largest private motor carrier fleet in North America with more than 15,000 vehicles. In 2020, Clean Harbors enabled NASCAR to be the first major sport to return early in the pandemic and subsequently deep cleaned a multitude of race tracks, advancing NASCAR‘s efforts to safely return to competition. Along with decontamination efforts around Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 tragedies, Clean Harbors is noted for aiding in the Deepwater Horizon response and other major oil-spill clean-up efforts.
Through its subsidiary Safety-Kleen, Clean Harbors has been a decades-long partner of NASCAR as the worldwide leader in used oil recycling. The official environmental services supplier and green partner of NASCAR, Safety-Kleen collects all used oil at race tracks then re-refines it into KLEEN+ base oil or its Performance Plus motor oil. Safety-Kleen was founded in Milwaukee in 1963 before moving its headquarters to Elgin, Ill., and later to the Dallas area prior to be acquired by Clean Harbors. Its signature parts washers are still manufactured in New Berlin, Wis.
“This is a historic race for both NASCAR and the Milwaukee area,” said Clean Harbors co-CEO Mike Battles. “Safety-Kleen has a lot of history in the region and we‘re certainly a company that strives to make history with the work we do for the environment. This will be a celebration for us and we hope it‘s celebration for the community that we‘ve been part of for so long, too.”
The list of former winners at the Milwaukee Mile is a historic register of some of the most revered names in automobile racing. William Jones of Chicago won a five-lap speed contest, setting the first track record with a 72 second, 50-mph lap, when auto racing debuted at “America‘s Legendary Oval” in 1903. Barney Oldfield, Rex Mays, Tony Bettenhausen, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Fred Lorenzen, Rick Mears, Dick Trickle and Alan Kulwicki are just some of the past winners at the iconic oval.
“Ron Hornaday, who was sponsored by Safety-Kleen, was the last NASCAR driver to win at the Milwaukee Mile, so that adds even more intrigue for us in coming back,” said Buddy Judy, Safety-Kleen‘s director of motorsports.
Johnny Benson Jr., the 2008 series champion, is the winningest driver in Milwaukee after collecting a hat trick of consecutive CRAFTSMAN Truck Series wins from 2006-2008. Hornaday (1997 and 2009) and Ted Musgrave (2001 and 2004) both have a pair of victories there.
In addition to the Clean Harbors 175, fans will be treated to a double-dose of side-by-side racing action when the ARCA Menards Series opens the day‘s racing card with the Sprecher 150.
“This race was always a battle and this year, in its return, won‘t be any different,” said Milwaukee Mile promoter and Track Enterprises president Bob Sargent. “The relatively flat mile means lots of gear shifting, lots of lead changes and, most importantly, lots of action. The whole Track Enterprises team looks forward to NASCAR‘s return to the historic Milwaukee Mile. We‘re excited to see some great CRAFTSMAN Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series Racing.
“A lot of people missed this race. There‘s nostalgia and there‘s excitement — the best of both worlds. We think this is a win-win for everyone and anticipate the teams, fans, sponsors and local community to enjoy a fantastic weekend of action at this incredible race track.”
For more information or to purchase tickets for the Clean Harbors 175 weekend, please log on to trackenterprises.com.
The Clean Harbors 175 from the Milwaukee Mile will be televised live on FS1 Sunday, August 27 beginning at 4 p.m. EDT. The race will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
— Clean Harbors —