Short tracks benefiting from MIS


When Michigan International Speedway has a capital improvement project in the works, other speedways benefit.

With MIS replacing old grandstands in Turn 1 with new and improved seating, the opportunity arose for a short track to purchase the steel and aluminum from one of the old grandstands. Spartan Speedway, about 45 minutes from MIS in Mason, Mich., took advantage of the opportunity and purchased the grandstand for future use at their facility.

“We embraced the opportunity to purchase an old Turn 1 grandstand from Michigan International Speedway to reuse at our facility,” Spartan Speedway promoter Jim Leasure said. “The grandstand will be a nice addition to Spartan Speedway. We appreciate MIS and the efforts they have made to help local short tracks in Michigan like ours. This will ensure our ability to stay in business long into the future.”

It is the second time in 2008 a short track has benefited from MIS capital improvement projects. Last March, Varney Motor Speedway, an hour outside of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, purchased old scoreboards after MIS installed a new state-of-the-art LED scoreboard in its place. Varney used the boards during the 2008 season with great success.

“I can’t say enough about how grateful we are to have these scoreboards,” Varney Motor Speedway supporter John McDonnell said. “MIS has been so helpful with the whole process and we were happy to purchase them for our 2008 race season. MIS truly cares about their race fans in the United States and Canada. It is a special place who really appreciates the sport of auto racing and what it means to the local short track communities.”

The roots of auto racing begin at the short track level and many fans of area tracks around the state attend races at MIS each summer. MIS welcomes opportunities to help short tracks improve their facilities to cultivate and foster motorsports in the area.

“We want short tracks like Spartan Speedway and Varney Motor Speedway to succeed because they are the foundation of our sport,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “It’s only fitting that we help them out when we can. In this case by reusing our old grandstands and selling them to Spartan Speedway for a minimal fee. Hopefully they’ll benefit greatly from it.”

These ventures also fit with Michigan International Speedway’s promise to reuse and recycle.

MIS’ new grandstands in Turn 1 are seats from the former Pikes Peak International Raceway, which was purchased by the track’s parent company, International Speedway Corporation, in 2005.

Other Turn 1 grandstands replaced in previous seasons at MIS were from Nazareth Speedway.

MIS is in the final phase of replacing old, “silver” grandstands in Turn 1 with new seating, which will feature seatbacks, wider seats and more leg room. The project began in 2006 with two grandstands replaced. Continued installation of new directional signage around the property and a new sound system are also scheduled to be completed before the 2009 season.

MIS has restructured some of its pricing for 2009 so fans who feel the economic pinch can keep MIS in their 2009 vacation plans. New in 2009 are general admission seats for NASCAR Sprint Cup races that start at just $40 in two grandstands. Children 12 and under may come to the races for free with their families in those seats.   

Tickets and camping go on sale to the general public beginning on Sunday, Feb. 15 during the season-opening Daytona 500.

For additional information or to place a $50 deposit for 2009, call the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800-354-1010.

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