Pure Michigan 400 - Start Your Engines For The 2011 Race!

MI Speedway Race Track

MI Speedway Race Track

In just a few weeks, the Michigan International Speedway will open its gates for their August Weekend, which includes the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race! We asked a few experienced NASCAR fans what you can expect and why you should go to the Pure Michigan 400.

The grandstand capacity at MIS is 106,000, so it makes sense that the fans we asked suggested arriving early and staying late. Luckily, there are lots of activities on-site to keep you entertained! David J. Roberts recommends tailgating to enhance the racing experience, and when we asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter, they felt the same way. Eric Jensen said, “Get there early so they can see all the car displays and tons of other fun stuff,” and Ron Schuch suggested arriving early and staying late, “…it is a blast arriving Wednesday or Thursday towing a camper and leaving Monday or Tuesday.”

When considering where to stay, many fans suggested camping infield. Melanie Herndon says that it may have “…the reputation of a ‘party campground,’ and it can be crazy in the evenings, but I’ve been taking my boys since my youngest was 7 and they love it. The nice part about camping infield is we can relax and watch the action from atop the bus, which is comfortable and convenient.” Other fans suggested staying in hotels and motels in Brooklyn, or one of the campgrounds nearby.

MI Speedway Fans

MI Speedway Fans

“A must is getting out to the New Holland Fan Plaza at least once during the weekend, there are always cool things to do and see,” says Melanie. She suggests “going out Friday or Saturday morning when there is less foot traffic, and you can experience it all in a little more relaxed setting.” This is a good opportunity to check out the merchandise trailer of your favorite driver to see if they will be signing autographs over the weekend.

Since MIS is one of the few tracks that allow fans in the pit area during practice and qualifying, Melanie suggests buying a pit pass if you are staying for the whole weekend. “You get a very up close and personal experience and a chance to get driver autographs.”

MI Speedway Pit and Stands

David also recommends buying a pit pass. They “are an excellent value to see the pit stalls, crew members, and occasionally the drivers and cars go through the pre-race technical inspection.” He also suggests that you “Bring or rent a scanner to listen to the teams during the race in order to hear the strategy beyond watching the cars.”

When considering the best place to watch the Pure Michigan 400 from the stands, the fans had a couple of suggestions. Betsy Grubb’s “favorite seat is in The Champions Club. It is the best experience at any track in the country. It is beautiful, you can see the whole track, and the service is awesome.” David has “sat in Turns 3 and 4, and believes that for the price, Turn 4 is an excellent place to sit and watch the race. The higher up in the stands you are, the better, in order to see all the way around the track. Turn 4 seating offers an excellent view of the racing off of Turn 4 and onto the front stretch, as well as the cars slowing down and entering pit road.”

For Melanie, “The best part is the friends we’ve all met and the great relationships we now have with these people. We all share our passion for NASCAR, but beyond that, we are friends and talk year-round.”

We hope that this gives you an idea of what to expect while at the Pure Michigan 400, as well as allow you to relax and enjoy the race. And if this wasn’t enough, find out what keeps bringing NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski back to Michigan.


Are you an MIS expert fan? Do you have any tips to add to this list?


[Note: Special thanks to MIS Fan Advisory Board members Melanie Herndon, Betsy Grubb, David J. Roberts, and our fans on Facebook and Twitter for sharing their experiences with us.]