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Sunday, August 21, 2011 on ESPN


Did You Know? Pure Michigan 400 and VFW 200 Facts



NSCS Pure Michigan 400 Facts

Current ESPN college football analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Michigan, Desmond Howard, will serve as the grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400. Howard also played 11 NFL seasons most notably with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers (where he won the Super Bowl MVP award). The recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee will say the command to start engines for the Pure Michigan 400.

Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally will serve as the Pure Michigan 400 honorary starter. Ford has the most Sprint Cup Series wins at MIS with 31. Chevrolet is second with 19.

It is believed to be the first time a state brand like Pure Michigan is featured as the title of NASCAR’s premier stock car series.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will be making their first appearance at MIS in 15 years. The iconic Clydesdales will have a public viewing on Wednesday in Lot 3 off of Brooklyn Highway with gates opening at 5 p.m. They will also participate in other activities throughout the weekend.

MIS is continuing a tradition of giving a fan the opportunity to present a trophy on behalf of the race fans to the Pure Michigan 400 winner. The presentation is awarded to fans through the speedway’s Fan Appreciation Program. The Fan Appreciation Program also hands out other memorable race weekend experiences to various fans including access to pre- and post-race ceremonies, pace car rides, pit passes and more.

Proving once again MIS and NASCAR are the leaders in recognizing its fans, speedway officials announced a new element to the track’s popular and ever-growing Fan Appreciation Program. “MIS ALL ACCESS” on Friday, Aug. 19 ensures fans get unprecedented access to the sport of NASCAR – and its stars. Some of the superstars of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series will participate in an autograph session starting at 5 p.m. Participating drivers include Dale Earnhardt Jr., five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Michigan’s own Brad Keselowski, former series champion Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, David Reutimann, Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland and former MIS winner Brian Vickers will participate in the autograph session.

The speedway’s charitable arm, MIS Cares, will be hosting its second Fish Your Bass Off Tournament on Thursday at Jerry’s Pub on scenic Wampler’s Lake, just minutes from the track. Festivities during the fund-raising event will include bass weigh-in, question and answer sessions with Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray, dinner and drinks from a cash bar. The National Bass Anglers Association will conduct the ever-popular weigh-in of bass announced by popular commentator Mark Zona and professional bass angler Kevin VanDam, both Michigan natives. The event will be held from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

With only four races remaining in the "Race To The Chase" the focus is intensifying in and around the 10th through 12th place positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. After the season's 26th race in Richmond on Sept. 10, the top 10 drivers in points qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's 10-race "playoffs" that determine the series champion, with two wild card positions rounding out the top-12 that will make the Chase. Heading into MIS, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are tied for the points lead with Denny Hamlin (1 win, 12th in points) and Brad Keselowski (2 wins, 14th in points) holding the two wild card spots thus far.

Michigan International Speedway has hosted a NASCAR race every year since 1969. The Pure Michigan 400 will be the 85th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS.

Jack Roush needs one more victory to become the all-time winningest car owner at Michigan. He is currently tied with the Wood Brothers with 11 all-time Sprint Cup wins as an owner. Roush is trying to get back into Gatorade Victory Lane at MIS since his last win here in August of 2008. Prior to that, Roush had posted a victory in the Irish Hills for seven consecutive years.

Dale Earnhardt Jr’s last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win came at MIS in the June 2008 race. Although he has not won a Cup race since, Earnhardt Jr. is one of the favorites to win at MIS with six top-10 finishes in his last 11 Cup races in the Irish Hills.

Despite his recent strong showings, Jimmie Johnson has yet to win a race in the Irish Hills in 19 Cup race appearances. In fact, MIS is just one of four Sprint Cup Series tracks overall that he has not won at in his brilliant career, a list which also includes Chicagoland, Homestead-Miami and Watkins Glen. MIS is the only track left on the list that hosts two Sprint Cup race a year.

Rochester Hills, Mich. native Brad Keselowski will be making his fifth career Sprint Cup Series start at MIS in the Pure Michigan 400. Keselowski has momentum heading into Michigan with a victory at Pocono two weeks ago and a second-place finish at Watkins Glen on Monday.

NCWTS VFW 200 Facts and Story Ideas

Rock band Rev Theory will perform the Budweiser Acceleration post-race concert after the Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 on Saturday. The popular Saturday night concert in Lot 10 has always been a crowd staple and fan favorite at MIS for nearly a decade. Rev Theory follows a long list of spectacular concerts that have been held at MIS including Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, 3 Doors Down, Saving Abel and Sick Puppies.

Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will be racing in the VFW 200. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Mark Martin will all pilot trucks in the race.

Kyle Busch will pilot the No. 18 with 7-year-old Brady Reuter’s name on it. Reuter, from Hudson, Mich., was selected as the winner of the “Riding Shotgun with Kyle Busch Motorsports” essay contest in early August. Reuter’s name and picture will adorn the area above the passenger side window of Kyle Busch’s truck for the VFW 200 and he has the opportunity to attend the race with three guests compliments of MIS.

In the second closest finish in MIS history (all series), Johnny Benson finished second to Erik Darnell in the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The .005 margin of victory is also the second closest finish under electronic timing (.005) and the second closest in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history.

Two former winners of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at MIS are on the VFW 200 entry list. Colin Braun (2009) and Brendan Gaughan (2003) have won truck races in the Irish Hills. Braun’s victory came from the 12th starting position, which is the farthest back a Camping World Truck Series driver has started and won an MIS race from.

David Starr, who is entered in the VFW 200, is the only driver to start every single Truck Series race at MIS. Starr will be making his 12th career truck start at MIS, which is a track record. He also holds the track record with 2,132 miles completed on the 2-mile oval.

Two former MIS winners are also in the VFW 200 field this weekend. It’s just not in trucks. Parker Kligerman and Justin Lofton are former winners of ARCA Racing Series races at MIS. Lofton won an ARCA race in 2008 and Kligerman followed with a victory in 2009.

Travis Kvapil is the only driver in Camping World Truck Series history to win a race from the pole at MIS (2007).

Ricky Carmichael will be making his second Camping World Truck Series start at MIS. The former motocross racer finished 15th in his MIS debut in 2010.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

Keep up with Michigan International Speedway via Twitter @MISpeedway or on Facebook at Join our Mobile Fan Club by texting MISCLUB on a Sprint Handheld or other mobile device to 69050 on a Sprint Smartphone or other mobile device. Standard text message rates may apply.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 21 are as low as $30 while supplies last. Visit or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 today to take advantage of great pricing for 2011 events at MIS. The ticket office is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

As always, parking is free at MIS – and the track allows coolers through the gates. Check the speedway’s website for details.

Source: Michigan International Speedway


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