DETROIT — Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was in town to promote the upcoming Pure Michigan 400 on August 13 at Michigan International Speedway. He and 100 of his closest friends enjoyed a 5.34-mile bike ride around Corktown, Downtown and the Detroit Riverfront.
“To be on a bike, that’s one thing I love about it, it’s social at an event like this where I don’t have race pressure and I can sit and talk to people about whatever,” the 41-year-old NASCAR driver said. “It’s nice to have a calm environment to hang out in.”
Johnson called Detroit America’s comeback city following his Slow Roll bike tour.
“You can see the effort that the city’s making,” he explained. “To hear different stories about the areas we rode through and how they undesirable areas not long ago and to see them transformed. It’s very safe and comfortable now. It’s fantastic. I’ve seen a lot of cities and it’s great to see it happening here in Detroit.
The NASCAR driver said he is excited for the Pure Michigan 400 at MIS.
“The area around MIS is beautiful,” Johnson said. “I’ve done everything from rent a pontoon boat and go out and barbecue and fish with my family to going out and riding miles on the bicycle. It’s a beautiful area to sightsee, experience. There’s also a good ice cream stand or two in the area that I’ve found. I’ll burn a few calories and then go put in a bunch of calories.”
He finished in 10th place in the June FireKeepers Casino 400 race at MIS. What are his goals for the rest of the season?
“We’ve got a lot of great tracks coming up. We want to keep winning. Obviously, the focus point now is those bonus points for the playoffs. There’s going to be at least one, some will argue three positions, that are going to go to Homestead having a shot in the championship. Right now, I think we’re third based on those points accumulated mainly due to our three race wins. We need to win more stages and try to get that number up.”
The track is offering a special ticket package featuring a Q&A session with Johnson starting at $48. Meanwhile, general admission tickets are starting as low as $35.
“I think fans can expect something a little extra every time,” said MIS President Rick Brenner. “We’re going to continue to add little twists and turns as we go. I’m really excited to try to create a week’s worth of entertainment throughout the whole time. The pinnacle will be the LTi Printing 200 on Saturday and the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday. This time, it’s country with LOCASH and Thompson Square–two great acts on Saturday. It’s free with your Sunday ticket.”
Preparations are already underway for next weekend’s Faster Horses Music Festival at MIS.
“The work has begun a while ago and continues for Faster Horses. The final touches are going on soon. We’re ready for a great event there. Our partners with Live Nation did a fabulous job with the line-up and all of the stuff that they do to make this a unique event for the state. I’m really looking for that event as well.”
For tickets or more information about the Pure Michigan 400 race weekend, visit www.MISpeedway.com.