Residents take advantage of 99-cent gas

CARFAX Pump Tour

People in Michigan haven’t seen gas prices at 99 cents per gallon since the early 1990’s. However, with the help of CARFAX and Michigan International Speedway, a gallon of gas was less than a buck Thursday morning in Livonia, Mich.

For three hours (6 to 9 a.m.) thousands of area residents took advantage of the promotion, which was held in support of the “Show Me the CARFAX Race Weekend,” which takes place at MIS with the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARFAX 250 on Saturday, August 15 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 on Sunday, August 16.

With about 6,800 gallons pumped in a three-hour period, many residents and race fans drove away happy filling up their gas tanks for $20 or less.

“I was the second person in line and have been waiting at this station since 1:35 a.m. this morning,” Tony Penev of Farmington Hills, Mich. said. “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever filled up for 99 cents per gallon. I figured that if I got here early enough I would have a good chance to get the cheap price. It was worth the wait.”

When CARFAX and MIS representatives arrived at the gas station at 5:30 a.m. hundreds of cars were already lined up awaiting the great deal, which saved folks approximately $1.50 per gallon (gas was $2.49 per gallon at most surrounding stations). The promotion was not scheduled to start until 7 a.m., but racetrack and Carfax representatives decided to get started early because of the traffic backups along 8 Mile and Middlebelt Roads – two major arteries in Livonia, a suburb of Detroit.

Several participants ran out of gas throughout the morning, requiring speedway and Carfax staff to push cars to the pumps. Maurice Simpson’s Buick Regency was bone dry by the time he showed up at the station.

“I guess I ran it a little too low. It’s been on ‘E’ for a while now,” Simpson said, pointing to his gas gauge. “I really need to save a few dollars right now.”

The 2009 gas promotion is the third year Carfax and MIS have partnered to support Detroit-area drivers in advance of the NASCAR events at the Brooklyn racetrack.

“This year’s pump tour seems a little more significant than in year’s past,” MIS Director of Communications Sammie Lukaskiewicz said. “Not only is Carfax sponsoring the entire NASCAR weekend at MIS, which is exciting for us, but it just seems Michiganders — Detroiters especially — need a break and a little extra something to brighten their day.”  

Tickets are still available for the Nationwide Series CARFAX 250 and Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 for as low as $40. For additional information, call the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800-354-1010 or visit

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.

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