MIS revving up with upgrades, Danica Patrick raceWritten by Chris Schmidbauer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in full swing, soon the roar of the engines of the stock-car circuit returns to the Michigan International Speedway (MIS), tucked in the Irish Hills of Southeast Michigan.
The NASCAR schedule has two visits to MIS this summer and the sports best will drive the 2-mile oval during those events.
“We are very excited to have the Sprint Cup back here for two events again this year,” said Roger Curtis, MIS president.
The first of the races is the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dip’s 400, which is scheduled for June 13. The race weekend kicks off June 11 with the Racing for Wildlife 200 ARCA race and is followed by the VFW 200, which will feature the NASCAR Truck Series.
“We will have a weekend packed full of racing for our fans,” Curtis said. “We will still have the fan festival, and there will be free concerts going on as well throughout the weekend.”
The second of the races is the CARFAX 400, which will run Aug. 15. The weekend kicks off with qualifying at the track with the Meijer Pole Day and the Nationwide Series will participate in the CARFAX 250 on Aug. 15.
“That will be a very exciting weekend for us as well,” Curtis said. “Danica Patrick should be racing here that weekend and we also will be one of the four venues to showcase the Nationwide Series future car, too.”
But Curtis wants all folks planning on making the trek to know there is plenty to do at the track besides the two races.
“While the Sprint Cup races are certainly the highlights of our calendar, we have many other things that will be going on throughout the summer months here at MIS,” Curtis said.
The facility will host the inaugural Great Lakes Wine Fest on June 26 and 27 and Curtis said he and the staff at MIS are extremely excited for the two day event.
“We used to have a wine festival when I worked at Watkins Glen International in New York and we had a very successful wine festival that has grown since I came to Michigan,” Curtis said.
Curtis and his staff said that after speaking with the Michigan Wine Association, the organization leapt at the chance to have an event.
“They went wild for this idea and the event has actually grown to where we are going to have local brewers on board as well,” he said. “So we will have beer and wine available.
“We are just very excited to have the event here, too. Sure we have a 2-mile oval and garages, but we also have a significant amount of beautiful scenery that is perfect for this wine festival.”
With the continuing economic problems, Curtis said he and the staff at MIS recognize that no price is ever too low. That is why he said the folks at MIS have worked hard to keep tickets affordable so families do not break the bank spending a weekend at the track.
“That has been extremely important to us. We understand everyone has been impacted by the economic downturn,” he said. “We knew we needed to do something to make sure we helped making coming out to the track an affordable experience.”
MIS has lowered prices on almost all of the seats and Curtis said fans can see any of the Sprint Cup races for $25.
Curtis said despite economic hardship, the facility has invested significant money in improving the track.
“We had a traffic problem a few years ago and we have worked hard to make sure that won’t be as much of an issue anymore. We have also upgraded scoreboards and other amenities too.”
With all of the upgrades, MIS continues to be one of the top racing destinations in the Midwest. Curtis said he and the staff at the track are very proud of the atmosphere they generate every summer.