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Local Sports News

Thursday, 13 May, 2010 1:41 AM

Kyle Busch goes racing with fans at Craig's Cruisers in Wyoming, Mich.

PHOTO BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com

NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver Kyle Busch sits in a go-kart at Craig's Cruisers in Wyoming, Mich. on May 11, 2010.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

WYOMING, Mich. -- Go-kart racing that is. The NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver came to Craig's Cruisers in Wyoming, Mich. on Tuesday afternoon to go racing with fans, sponsors and members of the media. He won five out of the six go-kart races at the event. Busch was also in town to promote the upcoming Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 13. He recently won the Heath Calhoun 400 race in Richmond on May 1. Busch is currently in third place on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series points standings.

"As far as the Cup stuff goes, winning at Richmond was cool, especially being able to do it two years in a row," the NASCAR driver said. "Last year, it was on my birthday. This year, it was the day before. It seems like I'm developing something there that will stay around for a long time. Keep my birthday there on that weekend would be good."

Kyle Busch is a very busy guy. He drives the #18 Mars Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series, the #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series and the #18 Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Series. He also makes appearances with sponsors and the media.

Each year, Michigan International Speedway hosts a go-kart event with a NASCAR driver to promote its upcoming June race. In previous years, the event was held at the Victory Lane Speedway on Brooklyn Road, just down the street from MIS. This year, it took place at Craig's Cruisers, an indoor fun center in Wyoming, Mich. For the first time ever, the event was open to the media and the fans. Fans were not allowed to attend the event in the past.

"It's neat because fans, they're drawn in all different ways," Busch explained. "I bet there are a few fans here today that are wearing other drivers apparel. But yet, they want to have a chance at me. It's exciting to see what their perspective is. It seems like when I leave things, 'he's a lot different than what I expected.' That's always good anyway."

Busch ran the first go-kart race with MIS President Roger Curtis and other sponsors. His second race was with members of the media. The other our go-kart races were with racing fans. Fans were asked to qualify on the track during the day. The top qualifiers were given the opportunity to race with the NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver.

Racing runs in the family. He is the brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver Kurt Busch. Kyle started driving at the young age of six in a go-kart at his family's Las Vegas home. He earned more than 65 victories in legends cars and 10 wins in late model competitions. By 16, Busch was already competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series. In 2003, he signed a driver development contract with Hendrick Motorsports. Now, Busch is racing in all three NASCAR divisions.

Busch has many goals for the remainder of the season. "Our first goal is just to run as we need to run to make the chase," he said. "The second goal is ramp it up as much as we need to ramp it up to make the chase. If we sneak into the chase in 12th place, that's not how we want to do it. We're going to take it if we get it. We really got to run hard for the final 10 races to try to win the championship. If we make it into the chase in a breeze, lead in the points and have seven wins and hopefully, we don't do what we did in 2008, fall apart. You just got to keep things going. You've got to keep everything in perspective and not try to make things too big of a challenge than what they really are."

The ARCA Racing for Wildlife 200 will take place on Friday, June 11 at MIS. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 is scheduled for Saturday, June 12. Finally, the NASCAR Sprint Cuper Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 will take place on Sunday, June 13.

MIS to host Formula SAE competition and Great Lakes Wine Fest

Michigan International Speedway is becoming more than just a race track. It hosts race weekends twice a year, two driving schools including the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Mach 1 Racing School. In addition, the track is offering seasonal camping on its Graves Farm Campground from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

New this year is the Formula SAE competition, which will take place this weekend. About 2,000 students representing over 100 teams from around the world will participate in the SAE Collegiate Design Series competition. Only two other similar competitions of this size are held in the United States -- in California and Virginia.

"They build their own cars and go through a series of competitions with the Society of Automotive Engineers," said MIS President Roger Curtis. "It's a great competition. It's a lot of fun. It's not Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon, but it could be the future Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon. It could be future car builders because these kids are really amazing."

MIS is also hosting the inaugural Great Lakes Wine Fest from June 26 to 27. Almost 20 Michigan wineries will be on hand showcasting and selling more than 100 different types of wine including Riesling, Chardonnary, Merlot, Cabernet and others.

"A lot of people said, 'wine festival at a race track?'" Curtis said. "At the same token, we're a 1,400-acre facility in the Irish Hills. It's beautiful. Michigan has a lot of great wineries. We're trying to get them some recognition. They've done a great job with their wines the last few years. There is a lot of synergy there. We can transform the garage with pipe and drape and all kinds of special effects. We're going to make it look like a winery and no one will know the difference."

For race tickets, visit www.mispeedway.com or call 1 (800) 354-1010. General admission tickets start at $25. Kids age 12 and under are free in the general admission section.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

MIS President Roger Curtis chats with NASCAR driver Kyle Busch.

 

PHOTO BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com

Kyle Busch chats with a crew member prior to the start of the go-kart race.

 

PHOTO BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com

Kyle Busch sits in a m&m's go-kart at Craig's Cruisers in Wyoming, Mich.

 

PHOTO BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com

Busch waits for the go-kart race to begin.

 

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