While most races feature a checkered flag at the end, the United States Grand Prix has had a checkered past. It was first ran in Savannah, Georgia in 1908 as the American Grand Prize and was held with few exceptions through 1917 before switching to Milwaukee and then California. The event then disappeared from motor racing from 1917 all the way through 1957 and reappeared at Riverside in '58, switching venues a few more times before landing at Watkins Glen through 1975. Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix held the race from 1984 to 1991 before it disappeared into obscurity (again) and was then revived at a modified Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2000 where it was held until it got cancelled again this year. It's too late to get the U.S. Grand Prix back on the F1 schedule for the 2009 season, but some are pushing for its return in 2010. Surprisingly, however, it isn't race organizers who are most interested. It's the teams.
With an eye towards the American market, which is vital for many of automakers like Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes that power and own the half the teams on the grid, team owners have been encouraging F1 organizer Bernie Ecclestone to broker a deal to bring the Formula One circus back to American shores. Although Indianapolis Motor Speedway executives say their circuit is still an ideal location, Ecclestone is reportedly keen on setting up a race in Las Vegas. The teams and their sponsors, however, favor a race on either the East or West coast of the United States. One thing they can all agree on, however, is that heading back to the U.S. is vital for the sport and for its participants.