The Michigan Heritage presented to Ford Racing

Michigan Heritage check and trophy presented

A new tradition was started at Michigan International Speedway after the Pure Michigan 400 in August. Ford Racing won the inaugural Michigan Heritage trophy, a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR.

Joey Logano won the Pure Michigan 400 after starting on the pole with a track qualifying mark of 203.949 miles per hour. The victory by Logano gave Ford Racing the Michigan Heritage.

“Obviously, we are very honored to receive the first Michigan Heritage,” Ford Racing’s Jamie Allison said after the Pure Michigan 400. “It is special. Every win is special, but to win here in front of our employees and fans with our team just makes it even more important.”

MIS presented The Michigan Heritage to Ford Racing on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the Michigan Science Center (MiSci). The manufacturer will retain the trophy until the Quicken Loans 400 on June 15, 2014.

As part of the inaugural Michigan Heritage presentation, each contending manufacturer as well as MIS, committed $10,000 to be given to a youth-focused and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related charity in Michigan. Ford Racing elected the Michigan Science Center as the recipient. The science center received the $40,000 check to assist in its educational programs on Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to accept this generous donation from Michigan International Speedway, Ford Motor Company, Chevrolet and Toyota,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO, Michigan Science Center.  “These are the kinds of partnerships that allow MiSci to expose and inspire young people with STEM throughout greater Detroit and Michigan. We are dedicated to driving the next generation of STEM professionals to their future. Support like this – from the makers and racers of fantastically engineered fast cars – helps us get them there faster!”

The Michigan Science Center features more than 200 hands-on exhibits that explore space, health, physical science, engineering and more. In addition, the science center has special exhibits in its Traveling Exhibits hall, a Kids Town gallery fun for children ages five and under, science demonstrations and programs, outreach science programs, day camps, scout workshops and home school programs. The donation will allow the science center to enhance its STEM-related programs and exhibits for guests, especially school children, to experience.

The Michigan Heritage, inspired by the iconic Stanley Cup, will recognize the winning manufacturer – Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet – after each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at MIS.

“Both our great State of Michigan and our sport of NASCAR are synonymous with the automobile and have a rich history with cars,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “With the debut of the Gen 6 car in NASCAR in 2013, we thought of no better time than to celebrate that tradition, fuel the present manufacturer competitive rivalry and also look to the future by leaving a lasting legacy for in our community. We are proud of the manufacturers and their involvement in NASCAR and presence in Michigan and The Michigan Heritage is a great way to honor and celebrate them.”

The trophy was designed by Fortress Studios artists Steven Kuypers and Steven McShane, both graduates of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. The Michigan Heritage trophy is three feet tall, weighs about 30 pounds and features an original sculpture similar to Greek goddess of victory Nike, also inspiration for classic cars hood ornaments from Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Packard.

The original bronze artwork sits atop a wooden base similar to the architecture of Detroit landmarks such as the Fisher Building and Guardian Building.

Manufacturers are important to MIS. The track annually recognizes NASCAR’s manufacturers, asking fans in the grandstands to cheer on their favorite during a fun poll conducted over the PA system during pre-race ceremonies.

© 2014 Michigan International Speedway

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