Fan Trophy

Canadian family presents race winner Kyle Busch with fan trophy


Kyle Busch may have driven 406 miles to win the Pure Michigan 400, but the Smiths drove 1,200 miles to see it.

Ron and Paulette Smith, their son Colby, and Annette Legresley, who is Paulette’s sister, attended their first-ever NASCAR race on Sunday – and it was at Michigan International Speedway.

The family from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, was chosen by track President Roger Curtis to award the racetrack’s annual Fan Trophy to Busch.

“I met them on a tram,” Curtis, who frequently rides trams before and after races, sits in grandstands and buys concessions and merchandise on race day so he can see what the fans go through and spend some time with them, said. “We were sitting there, and they told me how far they drove to be here. I had to pick them.”

Curtis chooses one guest to award the Fan Trophy to the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track. A guest was also chosen in June. This is the fourth time a fan has awarded the trophy.

Roger always chooses the guest – someone he randomly meets at the racetrack that weekend. The stories are always compelling; the fans are unique.

“I’ve chosen long-time fans, and I’ve chosen fans with great stories,” he said. “But there was something about that family’s travel and the wonderful smile Colby had on his face throughout our tram ride. He smiled the entire time; you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.”

The two-year-old Fan Trophy is part of the track’s Fan Appreciation program. The program provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for MIS account holders via randomly distributed Golden Tickets. These Golden Tickets are redeemed for garage passes, seat upgrades, grab bag gifts, even promotional outings with NASCAR drivers.

The winning Sprint Cup race driver receives a trophy. Members of the winning driver’s team receive smaller versions.

“It’s incredible that we were able to do this,” Ron Smith said after the race. “I can’t believe I’m in Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway.”

And Colby? He just couldn’t stop smiling.

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