And the Michigan Pace Car Winner Is…

It’s been an exciting day at the Pure Michigan 400! U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient David Balestrino Jr. was named honorary starter of the race, HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse served as grand marshal and NASCAR driver Joey Logano came out on top as the race day champ!

But Joey wasn’t the only one walking a winner. Today was also the day we gave away the official Pure Michigan 400 pace car – a 2013 Ford Fusion Energi – as part of our partnership with Michigan International Speedway, Ford Racing and Quicken Loans. Of the five finalists selected, Danielle Neufer was randomly given the set of keys that would start the car. Danielle was the last finalist selected for the giveaway – in fact, she just entered to win the morning of the race! See her reaction in the video below.

Please join us in congratulating Danielle on her new ride!

Were you at the Pure Michigan 400 today? If you missed any of the race action, see our coverage here

You Can Be The Honorary Starter at the 2013 Pure Michigan 400!

UPDATE: U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient David Balestrino Jr. has been named honorary starter for the Pure Michigan 400. Read more about David on michigan.org. Thanks to everyone who entered and voted in this contest! See you on Sunday, August 18 at Michigan International Speedway.

Can you picture yourself as the Honorary Starter at the Pure Michigan 400? As part of a contest we’re hosting with Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on the Pure Michigan Facebook page, fans have the chance to win the honor of waving the green flag at the August 18th race.

MIS just announced that TV star Carter Oosterhouse will serve as the Grand Marshal of the race, and the Honorary Starter will be a part of the action right alongside him!

Contest details are as follows:

TO ENTER

Go to the contest tab on the Pure Michigan Facebook page and simply tell us in 50 words or less why you should be selected as the Honorary Starter at the Pure Michigan 400. The entry period is from July 25 – August 8. Please note that submissions may take up to 24 hours to post.

TO VOTE

Fans of the Pure Michigan Facebook page can vote on their favorite submissions up to once a day throughout the duration of the contest. Pure Michigan will choose the winner from the top 10 most-voted entries.

THE PRIZE

The winner will serve as the Honorary Starter at the Pure Michigan 400 on August 18! He or she will also receive four tickets to the race for friends and family. Please note that all other expenses including travel to Michigan International Speedway are at the winner’s own expense.

Interested in becoming the Honorary Starter? Head over to the Pure Michigan Facebook page today to submit your entry! The winner will be notified and announced by August 13.

Will you be at the Pure Michigan 400? Share with us below and get in on the discussion by following the #PureMichigan400 hashtag on Twitter!

Giveaway: Celebrate National Fudge Day with Pure Michigan

Mackinac Island is world-famous for its fudge, and with National Fudge Day coming up on Sunday, June 16th, we thought it seemed fitting to celebrate.

The sweet and creamy treat has been a staple on the island for more than a century – ever since Harry Murdick opened the first fudge shop in Michigan on Mackinac Island in the late 1880s. Today, Mackinac Island is home to seven different fudge confectioners with several locations of each on the island.

Here are just a few other reasons why Mackinac Island fudge is Pure Michigan:

  • Mackinac Island is home to more than 15 fudge shops within a 3.8 square mile radius.
  • Each summer, visitors flock to the historic Northern Michigan destination and bring back a sweet souvenir – more than 10,000 pounds of fudge leave the island each day during travel season. 
  • Many fudge shops on Mackinac Island have a special ventilation system to waft the smell of freshly made fudge out onto the Main Street sidewalk. Ryba’s was the first to have this system in 1960.
  • Mackinac Island fudge makers ship in about 10-tons of sugar per week and 10 tons of butter per year to make fudge. About 80 percent of the sugar used comes from Michigan.
  • President Gerald Ford visited Mackinac Island in July 1975, and made a personal stop at May’s Candy Shop for fudge.

To get our fans involved with the Fudge Day fun, we’ve teamed up with four shops from around the island – Joann’s Fudge, May’s Candy Shops, Murdick’s Fudge and Ryba’s Fudge – to offer fans on Twitter the chance to win a prize package of fudge every hour between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. this Friday, June 14th. To be eligible to win, fans can simply tweet their favorite flavor of fudge to @PureMichigan on Friday.

Pure Michigan will then choose one winner at random each hour to win a package from one of the shops in the following order:

  • 10:00 a.m. – Joann’s Fudge
  • 11:00 a.m. – May’s Candy Shops
  • 12:00 p.m. – Murdick’s Fudge
  • 1:00 p.m. – Ryba’s Fudge

Winners will be contacted through Twitter with details on obtaining their prize. Tweets must include the hashtag #puremichiganfudge and entrants must follow Pure Michigan on Twitter.*

Additionally, we encourage fans that are on Mackinac Island on Sunday, June 16 to celebrate National Fudge Day by taking a tasty tour around the island to find your favorite shops and flavors. Fudge shops can now also be found in other vacation spots across the state of Michigan, such as Traverse City, Petoskey and Frankenmuth, and fudge fanatics can order their favorite flavor online from shops across the state.

And, don’t forget to return to Mackinac Island in August to celebrate the sweet sensation that is fudge during the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival, August 23-24, 2013. 

Are you looking forward to National Fudge Day? Be sure to follow @PureMichigan on Twitter this Friday for your chance to win authentic Mackinac Island fudge!

*Disclaimer: Users can only enter the Twitter contest once and those who make multiple accounts in order to enter more than once will be ineligible to win. Those who post the same tweet repeatedly or violate any of the other Twitter Rules will also be ineligible.