Free practice session added to June weekend


The speeds at Michigan International Speedway are fast, and now race fans can witness them first-hand during a special test session added to the June schedule.

NASCAR and ARCA have added a daylong practice session at Michigan International Speedway on Thursday, June 14.

The Turn 3 grandstand will be open free of charge that day for guests to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup and ARCA Racing Series drivers practice on the newly paved, ultra-fast racetrack.

Gate 33 will be open for guests from 1 to 5 p.m., perfect for campers on site that weekend. This will push the infield load-in back a little. We'll start load-in shortly after testing concludes.

Parking for guests not already at the track will be in Lot 14 at MIS Graves Family Campground, across US 12. A courtesy tram will bring fans to and from the Turn 3 stand.

“You’ve heard about the speeds during NASCAR’s test a few weeks ago. Now fans can see for themselves how fast these NASCAR drivers will go during the weekend. We expect to break some records and be NASCAR’s fastest racetrack,” track President Roger Curtis said.

A Goodyear Tire test at MIS in early April saw speeds around 216 mph. Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth tested the racetrack.

“I would say the speeds are fast to too fast,” said Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 winner. “The race is going to be exciting as it always has been, but I think you’re going to see a little bit different of a race for a year or two until it gets a little wore out and the pace comes back. We’re running at least three seconds faster than what we would run in race runs the last time we were here.”

An ARCA test a few days later saw 212 mph as the top speed.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup top qualifying speed at MIS is 194.232 mph, set back in 2005 by Ryan Newman. ARCA’s is 186.623 mph, set by Cale Gale in 2011.

“I’m confident we’ll see most of the field qualify well above the records. And we’re ready to break records on this new, fast surface,” Curtis said.

Track paving began in August 2011 and was completed in November, giving the asphalt time to settle and cure during the winter.

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