The MI Pace Car Sweepstakes kicked off last month, when we teamed up with Michigan International Speedway (MIS), Ford Racing and Quicken Loans to give someone the chance to win a Ford Fusion Energi. As part of the sweepstakes, one lucky fan’s name is being randomly drawn each month (from April through July) and entered as a finalist to win the Grand Prize at the Pure Michigan 400.
The first finalist – Mike Beecher of Kissimmee, Florida – was selected earlier this month and is looking forward to making the trip to MIS this August with his son Mikey. We had the chance to ask him a few questions about the upcoming trip and his passion for racing. Read his answers below, and don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the MI Pace Car Sweepstakes at www.mipacecar.com if you haven’t already!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: Happily married to my wife Beatriz. We have two children, son Michael (Mikey), 12 and daughter Amber, 5. We currently live in Kissimmee, Florida, and lived in Durand, Michigan from 1999-2004. I work as a carpenter and enjoy fishing, BBQ, going to theme parks and NASCAR.
Q: What role does racing play in your life?
A: I’m a huge NASCAR fan!!! Been a fan since watching races with my father as a child. He was a huge Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan, as was I! I try hard to watch every race on TV and go to Daytona for all races. I’ve also been to Kansas Speedway. You can find out more about how much I like NASCAR if you follow me on Twitter @NASCARGatorMike.
Q: Do you have a favorite driver that you’ll be cheering for at MIS?
A: I really don’t have a favorite driver anymore since Daytona 500 2001; I’m more just a fan of NASCAR. I do pull for some drivers more so than others though!
Q: Have you ever been to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) before?
A: Yes, I have been to Michigan International Speedway. Funny story too!! In 2001, I entered a contest from a Flint radio station (B-95) where I drag raced (men in dresses and 4″ heels) all which was filmed by the local TV station. I had to make a pit stop (so my wife could put makeup on me), then coming to the checkered flag I bumped one guy (which he was wearing pumps, me true 4″ heels)… he fell, I won two tickets to the Spring MIS race! My wife was 9 months pregnant with Mikey at the time of race! So I guess you can say Mikey has been to MIS as well! We really enjoyed everything about our weekend at MIS.
Q: Who will be coming to the race in August with you?
A: I’m taking my son Mikey in August with me to Michigan. Two reasons… First, my sister-in-law is coming to visit my wife that week. Second, Mikey and I enjoy NASCAR together! I’ve been taking him to races since he was 5.
Q: Outside of the racing itself, what are you looking forward to doing while in Michigan?
A: We are looking forward to staying at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids and sightseeing around the area. We are planning a road trip to Durand, where Mikey was born. We’ll also stop by Flint and visit old friends.
A: If I win the pace car I’ll have to cancel return flight do to road trip back to Florida!
In addition to the chance to drive away in the car, Mike and the other three monthly winners will receive the following:
- One month’s mortgage payment, courtesy of Quicken Loans
- A Pure Michigan vacation with a four-night stay at one of the following hotels in Michigan: Holiday Inn and Suites in Ann Arbor, JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Shanty Creek Resort in Traverse City and Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island
- A MIS VIP Package – two passes to the Champions Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union, one MISCamping.com Graves Farm campsite, one MIScamping.com RV Rental, two cold garage passes and two pace car rides on August 17
A fifth finalist will be selected in prerace during the Pure Michigan 400.