Monday, June 11, 2012

Why I Love NASCAR: Michigan International Speedway by Chief 187™

Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images for NASCAR
When I think cars I think Detroit. That was emblazoned in my memory at the earliest age. Before I knew the county seat or my state capital, I knew that Detroit was where the cars were built.

Michigan is home to the Motor City, Motown music, WowShaneRadio, and Michigan International Speedway (MIS).

The latter was constructed in Brooklyn, Michigan in 1967 and opened in 1968. The first NASCAR race was run at MIS on June 15, 1969. Cale Yarborough won that event.

MIS is a D-shaped two-mile superspeedway that is one of the faster tracks on NASCAR’s Sprint Cup circuit.

Providing breathtaking action and fantastic racing, MIS has also been the scene of some of the most horrific accidents in NASCAR’s history.

Clifford Allison, son of Bobby and brother of Davey, was practicing for the Busch race he was entered in August 1992 when an accident led to his untimely death.

Ernie Irvan experienced near death in August 1994 as a result of an accident at MIS but miraculously recovered and was able to race again. He actually secured a win, his last, at MIS in 1997. Two years later another accident at MIS landed him back in the hospital with severe injuries that led to Irvan retiring from the sport.

Safety measures continue to improve and accidents are not the most noteworthy thing about MIS.

All of the “Big Three” car manufacturers are located in Detroit. Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler are also referred to as the “Detroit Three”.

As such, the drivers seem to want to dominate at MIS so they can strut for their manufacturer.

With Ford being one of the iconic manufacturers in Detroit, the teams running Fords typically excel at MIS. The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway teams both have 11 wins, more than any other.

In fact, Ford is the manufacturer with the most wins at MIS boasting 31.

But in recent years Chevrolet and Toyota have taken the wins with names like Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch skating to Victory Lane.

Carl Edwards was the last to win in a Ford in August 2008 so it’s anybody’s guess which manufacturer driven by which racer is going to be celebrating come Sunday afternoon.

Father’s Day is this Sunday as well. The June race at MIS is typically held on Father’s Day, a tradition since 2001 with 2009 being an exception as the race was held a week earlier.

Whether it is the speed, manufacturer’s win, a Father’s Day tradition or summer racing, having the race at Michigan International Speedway is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.

Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™ Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit


Post a Comment