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Aug 13, 2014 - 07:00 AM
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Pure Michigan 400 Weekend Storylines
Posted by: newsla on Aug 13, 2014 - 06:53 AM
NASCAR News
Pure Michigan 400 Weekend Storylines


Michigan International Speedway Storylines

… Michigan International Speedway has added five additional WiFi hot spots at select locations around the facility in addition to its six previous locations (Budweiser Party Porch at Turn 4, Champion’s Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union, Pit Patio, Skylounge Suites, MISCamping.com APEX and MISCamping.com Turn 2 Retreat). These new areas are located at the New Holland Fan Plaza at the speedway’s “Welcome Center” and at four hotspots in the MISCamping.com Infield.

 

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… The Budweiser Party Porch at Michigan International Speedway is a respite area and hang-out at the track, overlooking Turn Four. The patio includes concession and merchandise stands, campground shuttle bus service, as well as a full bar. Plus, there are umbrella-covered picnic tables for fans to sit and relax during the day. On both Friday and Saturday from 8-11 p.m., rising country music artist Tim Dugger will be performing. In addition, MIS president Roger Curtis and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan will be in a dunk tank around 7 p.m. Friday to raise money for MIS’ charity, MIS Cares.

… A tradition was started at Michigan International Speedway after the Pure Michigan 400 last August. Joey Logano’s Pure Michigan 400 victory gave Ford Racing the inaugural Michigan Heritage trophy, a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. The trophy was passed on to Chevrolet this past June after Jimmie Johnson’s victory in the Quicken Loans 400. As part of the inaugural Michigan Heritage presentation, each contending manufacturer as well as MIS, committed $10,000 to be given to a youth-focused and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related charity in Michigan. Ford Racing elected the Michigan Science Center to receive a $40,000 check to assist in its educational programs.

… Seeking to tap into the minds of young racing fans, MIS created the Youth Fan Advisory Board. The board, composed of eight knowledgeable and passionate MIS fans with ages ranging from 14-18, provides a unique opportunity for youth to communicate directly with the MIS staff through email and conference calls about their experiences, as well as assist in the future planning of the track.

… Stop by the “MIS Welcome Center” for MIS and NASCAR information. Throughout the race weekend, fans can find out what’s going on around the facility or find out more about NASCAR. The speedway’s Fan Advisory Board (FAB) will be there to offer some motorsports insider tips and answer questions about the speedway and the sport of NASCAR.

… Binder Park Zoo has partnered with MIS as the official sponsor of the MIS Kids Club. On race weekend, guests can visit the Welcome Center where they can learn about the MIS Kids Club and the Binder Park Zoo. In addition children will have the opportunity to compare the speed of a NASCAR car with various animals.

… The speedway has worked since 2008 with partners Schupan and Coca-Cola on a recycling program for its race weekends, collecting hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum and plastics from cans and bottles, among other things. MIS has recycled 230,668 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum, glass, cardboard and paper since recycling efforts began in 2008. In 2013 alone, 43,166 pounds of material was recycled. For 2013, MIS recycled 113,560 pounds of construction material. MIS has used recycled asphalt and concrete to create over 10 miles of road in campgrounds, parking lots and tram routes since 2008. As a result, NASCAR recognized MIS as being an industry leader during the sport’s annual Green Summit in Chicago in 2013.

… The Budweiser Acceleration Concert will begin shortly after the Careers for Veterans 200 race on Saturday, August 16. Country music stars Keith Anderson and Tim Dugger are slated to headline the always popular post-race concert in Lot 10. The concert is free to anyone with a Camping World Truck Series race ticket, an infield wristband or an APEX wristband.

… The United States ice dancing team of Meryl Davis and Charlie White will serve as the grand marshals for the Pure Michigan 400 on August 17 at MIS. White and Davis, the 2014 Olympic Champion ice dancing team, will give the command of “start your engines.” Among their proudest accomplishments, they are the 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists, 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists and two-time World Champions. Davis and White are also six-time U.S. Champions and five-time Grand Prix Final Champions.

… The Spirit of America blood drive tradition continues at Michigan International Speedway on Thursday, September 11 for the 13th year. The annual blood drive at the racetrack began as a tribute in 2002 in honor of the victims and heroes of 9-11. Since its inception, the Spirit of America blood drive has collected more than 9,300 pints of blood, positively affecting more than 27,960 lives. Those who donate will have the opportunity to travel by MIS tram around the track, through the tunnel to the pits, and into MIS’s Home of the Brave, a 4,000 square foot multi-media exhibit featuring ‘as it happened videos,’ Presidential letters, magazines and newspapers, and additional tributes. Donors will also be treated to a lunch in the Champions Club overlooking the track.

… Hit them far and straight at the inaugural MIS Cares Golf Scramble on Friday, September 19 at Hantz Golf Club in Tecumseh, Michigan. Enjoy a day on the course with your friends, family and co-workers to benefit a great cause. Golfers can test their swings at Hantz Golf Club, satisfy their appetite with a dinner buffet, bid on one-of-a-kind auction items and spend a relaxing day on the greens. And the best part is all proceeds benefit MIS Cares, the official charity of MIS.

… Fans who received golden tickets in their ticket order can redeem them at the Fan Appreciation Booth during the Pure Michigan 400 weekends. These golden tickets offer many great prizes, including some special opportunities for the Pure Michigan 400 weekend. One of the biggest prizes is a driver Q&A on Friday, Aug. 15 from 6:15-6:45 p.m. It is scheduled to include Denny Hamlin, AJ Allmendinger and Martin Truex Jr. Golden ticket winners will have their own special VIP section right in front of the stage.

… Consumers Energy is working to help MIS reduce its energy usage to save money and to build on the racetrack’s commitment to sustainability. Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

… After the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Michigan Careers for Veterans 200 on Saturday, MIS President Roger Curtis will preside over a wedding in Gatorade Victory Lane. He will marry Barb Hallock and Chad Rowley. This marks the third consecutive year that Curtis has married a couple on race weekend.

NSCS Pure Michigan 400 Facts and Storylines
… The National Anthem will be performed by members of Midnight Blue, an octet a cappella group from the University of Michigan. Since joining the Michigan A Cappella Council in 2010, Midnight Blue has earned a stellar reputation around campus.

… Olympic gold medalist figure skaters, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, will serve as the grand marshals for the Pure Michigan 400. Teaming up in 1997, Davis and White have been skating together longer than any other U.S. ice dance team. Aside from taking home America’s first ever gold medal in ice dancing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, both were born and raised in Michigan and currently attend the University of Michigan.

… Greg Biffle and Joey Logano were the winners of last year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup races at MIS. Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 in June, while Logano recorded his first win for Penske Racing at the Pure Michigan 400 in August.

… Prior to winning the Pocono 400 and Daytona 500 in 2014, Dale Earnhardt’s Jr.’s last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins came at MIS, including the 2012 Quicken Loans 400, where he broke a 143-race winless streak. His previous win came in June of 2008, also at MIS, in the LifeLock 400. He has an average finish of 16.0 and has led 348 laps at Michigan International Speedway. In 30 starts at MIS, Earnhardt Jr. has 11 top-10 finishes. He has won two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2014.

… Kevin Harvick had a track qualifying record of 204.557 mph to garner the pole for the 2014 Quicken Loans 400 this past June.

… A whopping 20 drivers qualified for the June race at MIS in 2014 with speeds at 200 mph or more. Kevin Harvick led the way, qualifying with a speed of 204.557 mph.

… Jimmie Johnson finally attained his first victory in the Irish Hills in 25 Cup races at the Quicken Loans 400 this past June. In fact, MIS was previously just one of five Sprint Cup Series tracks overall that he had not won at in his brilliant career, a list that now includes only Chicagoland, Homestead-Miami, Kentucky, and Watkins Glen. MIS was the only track left on the list that hosts two Sprint Cup races a year. His average finish at MIS is 16.2.

… The Pure Michigan 400 features eight drivers who have won multiple times at MIS. Greg Biffle has four wins while Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman each have two victories.

… Dale Earnhardt Jr. currently leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with 773 points. Jeff Gordon is second with 769. Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

… Jeff Gordon has 990 laps led in 43 starts at Michigan International Speedway, the most laps led by an active driver. Jimmie Johnson is second on the list with 625 laps led.

… Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish at MIS. Edwards ranks first all-time at MIS with an average finishing position of 9.0 among drivers, with at least five Sprint Cup starts since 1969. In 29 career starts at MIS (20 Cup, 7 Nationwide, 2 Truck), Edwards has 21 top-10 finishes (15 in Cup, 4 Nationwide, 2 Truck). Edwards’ first career Sprint Cup Series start came at MIS in August of 2004.

… The Pure Michigan 400 will be the 91th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS. In the 90 previous races, there have been 44 different pole winners. David Pearson leads with 10. Jeff Gordon has five poles, the most among active drivers.

… There have been 90 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969. The first race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 – with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.

… Donnie Allison won the first pole. The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Cale Yarborough.

… The race winner has started from the pole 17 times, the most productive starting position. Joey Logano (August, 2013) was the last driver to win from the pole. 68 of 90 races have been won from a top 10 starting position, including 47 from the first four spots.

… 36 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 20 drivers have more than one victory at Michigan.

… Roush Fenway Racing has 13 wins at MIS, more than any other team. The Wood Brothers are second with 11 wins.

… Four Keselowskis have raced at MIS. Bob, and his sons, Brad and Brian, have challenged the two-mile track. Also, Ron Keselowski, Bob’s brother, has started races in the Irish Hills. They have combined for 14 starts in ARCA, three starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, nine starts in the Nationwide Series and 19 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ron also started three USSC races. They have two Nationwide wins (Brad) and one ARCA victory (Bob).

… Brad Keselowski will be making his 11th career Sprint Cup Series start at MIS in the Pure Michigan 400. His best finish at MIS is second, achieved at the Pure Michigan 400 in August of 2012.

… Cale Yarborough leads all drivers by wheeling four different makes of cars to Gatorade Victory Lane in the backyard of the automotive capital of the world. Yarborough won in a Buick, Chevrolet, Mercury, and Oldsmobile at MIS.

… In 10 races since the Chase for the Sprint Cup’s implementation, nine times the winner of the August race would go on to be a member of the Chase. The only time when that did not occur was the inaugural Chase in 2004, when Greg Biffle took the checkered flag.

…The manufacturer Chevrolet has 730 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins. Jimmie Johnson drove a Chevy to Gatorade Victory Lane in June of 2014 for the Quicken Loans 400.

NCWTS Michigan Careers for Veterans 200 Facts and Storylines

… Jeb Burton set the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying record at MIS of 185.759 mph to garner the pole for the 2013 Michigan National Guard 200.

… Along with Burton, Brendan Gaughan broke the Camping World Truck Series MIS qualifying record of 184.101 mph established by Joey Coulter in August of 2013.

… James Buescher is the defending race champion of the Michigan National Guard 200. He has five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories.

… Greg Biffle and Travis Kvapil have won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at MIS twice. Ten drivers have recorded one win. That list includes Aric Almirola, Johnny Benson, Colin Braun, James Buescher, Erik Darnell, Brendan Gaughan, Kevin Harvick, Nelson Piquet Jr., Robert Pressley and Dennis Setzer.

… Ryan Blaney currently leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings with 408 points. Johnny Sauter is second with 401 and Matt Crafton, Roy Hornaday Jr. and Darrell Wallace Jr. round out the top five.

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