MIS race fan Andrea Wieland with MIS President Roger Curtis

Needle in a haystack: MIS guest reunited with wedding ring

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Finding a lost wedding ring at a NASCAR race is like finding a needle in a haystack. At least that’s what Andrea Wieland from Bay City, Mich., thought when she lost hers at Michigan International Speedway.

But a tenacious staff, social media and an anonymous crew member helped reunite the race fan with her precious ring, ensuring another guest had a positive lasting memory from MIS.

Wieland attended the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 21. She had the opportunity to walk through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage as part of a fan promotion.

While putting on sunscreen that morning, she put her wedding ring in her camera bag. A little while later she went to look for ring and it was gone.

After searching throughout the garage area with her friend and fellow NASCAR fan Cheryl Ruse, Wieland accepted the ring was gone.

Imagine nearly 100,000 fans on a 1,400-acre property. Where do you event begin to look?
Wieland, who has been married to her husband Doug for 16 years, never thought she would lose her ring.

“I thought I had lost it in the garage area somewhere and I looked everywhere and just figured it was gone,” she said. “I was frantic. I’ve been attending races at MIS for the past five or six years and have always had a great time. This time, because of my own doing, I was upset because I had lost a ring I’ve cherished for 16 years of marriage.”

So to have been reunited with the ring was downright unfathomable. But the use of social networking and the promise of the MIS Vision – to create lasting memories for every person, every time – is a game-changer.

This powerful combination, plus an MIS staffer who scours Facebook and a generous crew member for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, can make a needle in a haystack seem easy to overcome.

While Wieland went on with her day and watched the Pure Michigan 400, a crew member for Red Bull Racing who wished to remain anonymous stumbled upon the ring in the garage and kept it with the idea that he would try to reunite the ring back with its owner if he could.

On the Sunday evening drive back to Bay City, Wieland posted a message on MIS’ Facebook page via her cell phone: “Anyone who may have been in the garage area at MIS and may have found a wedding ring with 13 diamonds in it that includes the big center diamond PLEASE message me through Facebook!”

Amanda Day was hoping she could help Wieland find her ring. As the track’s digital media coordinator, Day saw Wieland’s Facebook message and jumped in to help.

“I felt really bad for her,” Day, married just one year, said. “On one other occasion a couple of years ago we were able to reunite someone with their wedding ring. It is a story we retell before every race to inspire us to do our best and look for ways to go above and beyond. And I was hoping this would be the same outcome.”

Low and behold, a few days after the Pure Michigan 400, Day received a call from North Carolina. It was the Red Bull crew member.

“He told me he had found a ring in the garage and wanted to return it to its owner,” Day said. “I was certain it was the same one. So, I made sure they got in touch with one another as soon as possible so we could have another great story to tell.”

Just three days later, the wedding ring was back in its owner’s hands, having made the long trek from North Carolina to Bay City, Mich.

“I was so excited! I thanked him so much for finding it and sending it back to me,” Wieland said. “It tells you a lot about everyone involved in the sport of NASCAR. Whether you are a fan, NASCAR team crew member or MIS staffer, everyone just cares about one another like a big family. I don’t think the same thing would have happened at another major sporting event. That’s what separates MIS and NASCAR racing from the rest!”

It’s a story of people helping other people that makes all the difference at a NASCAR event in the Irish Hills of Michigan. Memories are made at MIS, even more so than that of details of a wedding ring.

“I was talking with the Red Bull crew member via e-mail and he asked me to describe the ring. I told him it had 13 diamonds with one in the center, which is what I posted on Facebook,” Wieland said. “Little did I remember that it actually had 31 diamonds in it! Sorry to my husband Doug for forgetting that.

“The Red Bull crew member gave me the benefit of the doubt and still sent it. Lucky for me!”

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 www.facebook.com/MISpeedway. 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.

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