Two first-time winners celebrate in Gatorade Victory Lane at MIS

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The Pure Michigan 400 weekend just ended, but it was not without some late race drama in the Careers for Veterans 200 on Saturday and the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday. In the end, two first-time winners took home the trophies from the track.

Now the attention turns to the 2017 season as the track is already in planning stages to make it two big weekends of excitement and fun. And track officials just can’t wait to welcome all the fans back.

“What an unbelievable weekend,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “We saw exciting racing in both series and we even got to make some cool memories with our guests late into the night at Keloorah. It is hard for me to pick one favorite memory. Now, we turn our attention to 2017 and we cannot wait to welcome everybody back to the Irish Hills.”

With 10 laps to go in the Pure Michigan 400, Kyle Larson found himself side-by-side with race leader Chase Elliott on a restart. Both drivers spun their tires as they tried to gain position only adding to the drama. Elliott fell back to third behind Larson and Brad Keselowski, but quickly passed Keselowski to put the pressure on Larson.

Larson held off Elliott during the final laps in order to secure his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in 99 starts.

Hometown favorite Brad Keselowski finished third.

The victory also meant Chevrolet won the coveted Michigan Heritage for the fourth time since its inception in 2013. The Michigan Heritage rewards the winning manufacturer after every race. Interestingly, a different driver has won the trophy each time for Chevy.

The Pure Michigan 400 featured 20 lead changes among 13 drivers, with the result decided over the final 10 laps. A racing package featuring lower downforce and less sideforce was used at the two-mile track for the second time. Drivers and fans were entertained by the new package, especially restarts.

Brett Moffitt led just one lap in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 on Saturday. But it was the most important lap – the last lap.

Moffitt went three wide with Timothy Peters and William Byron into Turn 1 on the last lap in order to capture the top spot and his first ever win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Moffitt had only competed in six career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races before earning his first win.

But the activities were not limited to the on-track action. Guests also enjoyed Keloorah music festival behind Turn Three on Friday and Saturday. It went country in August. Fans danced to music by Chase Rice, Kip Moore, A Thousand Horses, Drake White and The Big Fire, Kip Moore, Chase Bryant and Tim Dugger all take the stage.

Keloorah also featured paint ball, go karts, a mobile arcade and plenty of Michigan craft beers.

With everything from camping to tailgating, hospitality options, expanded NASCAR, track and driver merchandise options at the Fanatics superstore and a cool Kids Zone for the little NASCAR fans, there were plenty of activities for everyone at MIS.

In addition MIS Cares raised over $125,000 with a 50/50 raffle. It was the most ever raised at the track. The winning ticket took home $62,791.

The track and NASCAR combined to elevate once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children, taking them to a whole new level this weekend with #KidsDriveNASCAR. Kids at the track participated in autograph sessions with drivers and open garage session in each of the series garage. Children attending the Pure Michigan 400 and Careers for Veterans 200 were featured guests at driver and crew chief meetings and receive behind-the-scenes garage tours and photos with drivers. Curtis even selected two youth to present a miniature replica version of the trophy to the winning driver in Gatorade Victory Lane.

Jake Short, the star of Disney XD’s Lab Rats: Elite Force, served as Honorary Kids Drive NASCAR Ambassador for the weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

NASCAR’s fastest track will once again host two action-filled weekends of NASCAR racing in 2017: June 16-18 and Aug. 11-13.

The first of the track’s two traditional NASCAR weekends is June 16-18 with the Corrigan Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series on June 16; NASCAR XFINITY Series Menards 250 presented by Valvoline on June 17; and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 is on Father’s Day on June 18.

The Sprint Cup Series will wind up its summertime stint at MIS, and be back again on August 13 with the Pure Michigan 400. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 is on August 12.

Michigan International Speedway will continue to have special youth pricing in 2017 for the 10th consecutive year. Kids 12 and under will be free on Fridays and Saturdays in 2017. In addition, all youth 17 and under will be half priced for the FireKeepers Casino 400 and the Pure Michigan 400.

© 2017 Michigan International Speedway

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