MIS NASCAR fans are family

Race to Vegas winner Vic Loomis in Las Vegas

As seen on NASCAR.com

I’ve been attending auto racing events at Michigan International Speedway for 23 years. It’s my hometrack and I’ve spent many years bringing friends and family to MIS, sharing my passion and passing my love of NASCAR to the next generation.

As an obvious fan of the sport, I was excited and honored to win an opportunity to attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet in Las Vegas this week as a guest of track President Roger Curtis. The invitation was made possible through the track’s Fan Appreciation Program. I have always marveled at the speed, competition and excitement of attending a race live. There’s nothing like a NASCAR race. So I wondered if that excitement would carry over to the championship celebration.

Boy, did it ever.

In a celebratory week of autographs, photos and fan forums, words such as “dynasty,” “empire,” and “domination” were used to illustrate Jimmie Johnson’s five consecutive titles.

Another word, however, that could describe my weekend with NASCAR and MIS is “family.”

I’ve seen many changes at NASCAR in my day – drivers have changes, cars and technology have evolved, points have been tweaked, and sponsors have come and gone.

But one thing is consistent: NASCAR is a family – and the fans are at its core.

Having had the chance to spend time with many of the sports superstars, owners, sponsors and track operators during Champion’s Week, I’ve realized just how important the fans are to NASCAR and to Michigan International Speedway.

As fans, we’re their family. We’re their core; the reason they’re in business. And that spirit of family is demonstrated not just in their words, but in their deeds.

How many other sports allow fans to attend the championship celebration? Or organize an entire week of fan events to celebrate its champion? And how many sporting venues invite a pair of lucky ticketholders to attend?

Michigan International Speedway and NASCAR have demonstrated time again how important the fans are. Whether they’re slashing ticket prices to make the sport more affordable, improving their facilities or traffic; or even modifying the cars and the points to increase competition and excitement, I truly see that everything they do is with the fans in mind. Though we may not agree with every change, I see that NASCAR and MIS are committed to improving the sport for its fans; improving the sport for its family.

If I was a fan heading into the weekend – I realize I’m much more ... I’m family.

Vic Loomis is the mayor of East Lansing, Mich., and a 23-year ticket holder of Michigan International Speedway. He was randomly chosen to attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony as an MIS Fan Appreciation guest under the Race to Vegas promotion.

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