10 Fun Facts About Michigan International Speedway

Photo courtesy of Craig Gardiner Photography

Photo courtesy of Craig Gardiner Photography

Pure Michigan 400 race week is here! More than 100,000 fans will be at Michigan International Speedway to cheer on their favorite drivers as they race around NASCAR’s fastest track on August 28th.

Think you know NASCAR? Test your knowledge with these lesser known facts about Michigan International Speedway

1. The 40 trams used at MIS that bring fans from the parking lots to the track were the same trams used at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

2. Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson is the honorary president of the MIS Kids Club! He even holds special events at the track.

3. There are 9,000 campsites at MIS – making it the largest registered campground in the State of Michigan.

4. Jeff Gordon currently holds the track qualifying record at MIS, being recorded at 206.558 mph in 2014.

5. Cale Yarborough is the driver who has led the most laps at MIS in the track’s history. In his career, Yarborough led for an astounding 1308 laps when racing at MIS.

6. Parking is always free! Guests can also bring in their own food and beverages, and parking lots open two hours before the grandstand so there is plenty of time for tailgating.

7. MIS is NASCAR’s fastest racetrack! MIS is superfast due to the repave in 2012 and long straightaways on the track that let drivers reach their highest speeds.

8. People have gotten married at the track before, but did you know that Roger Curtis presided over the wedding? It’s true! Roger Curtis, the president of MIS is an ordained minister and married a happy couple in Gatorade Victory Lane on June 17, 2012.

9. David Pearson has won the most Cup poles at MIS with 10. Who will take the pole this year?

10. MIS is the only racetrack where a fan awards a special trophy to the winning driver and team. It’s part of MIS’s Fan Appreciation Program.

Plan a visit to MIS and other Michigan automotive attractions at michigan.org. Follow the race on Twitter at #PureMichigan400. 

Things to Do and See Around the Pure Michigan 400 Weekend

Michigan International Speedway (MIS), home to the Pure Michigan 400 and located in the scenic Irish Hills, is a perfect destination for NASCAR enthusiasts who love the outdoors. The two-mile track is located on more than 1,400 acres near Brooklyn, a small-town community with unique attractions and destinations nearby.

Whether you are a lifelong fan, or this is your first race, there’s so much to experience during race weekend when visiting the Irish Hills. So rev up your engines and read more on how to plan your ultimate weekend at MIS.

MIS is one of NASCAR's fastest tracks

Photo Courtesy of Craig Gardiner Photography

Things to Do

If you’re arriving to the area early, or staying a few days after the checkered flag drops, there plenty of activities that will make your visit complete.

Camping continues to be a huge part of the Pure Michigan 400 experience, and for good reason. MIS is a destination within itself, with ten campgrounds and nearly 9,000 campsites, it is the largest registered campground in Michigan. If you don’t have a camper or tent, take advantage of one of the RV rentals offered by the speedway.

The Cherry Creek Winery in Brooklyn makes homemade wine in a 100-year-old school house, as well as fresh butter fudge and Michigan cherry preserves. Staying on a historic note, the Walker Tavern Historic Site and Cambridge Junction Historic State Park is an iconic spot in the area, and offers one of the largest Farmers Markets in Southeast Michigan. Here, at crossroads where Sylvester Walker fed weary travelers in the mid-1800s, you’ll now find more than 50 venders offering fresh produce, baked goods, and locally produced crafts.

Cambridge-Junction

From 1836 to 1855, when a stagecoach ride from Detroit to Chicago was a long and arduous five-day trip, a favorite stopping place to relax and enjoy a meal was Walker’s farmhouse and tavern.

Just beyond the grounds of MIS, you can explore the US-12 Heritage Trail which bridges southern Michigan’s east and west shores. The US-12 Heritage Trail encourages travelers to journey its winding roads, meet its people, explore its places, and uncover its hidden treasure. Feed your travels at Randy’s Barbeque Shack, home of award winning smoked beef brisket, chicken and more.

Play some games on the grass at one of 32 golf courses within a half hour drive from MIS. Located in Brooklyn is Hills’ Heart of Lakes, one of the finest golf courses in the Jackson area- which also happens to be owned and operated by Senior PGA Tour Pro Mike Hill and his family! After the champion has been crowned and the crowds have cleared out, stick around to enjoy 18 holes at  Clark Lake Golf Club with great weekday special rates as well as a full service restaurant and bar.

Hills' Heart of the Lakes is one of the most popular courses in the area

Photo Courtesy of Hills’ Heart of the Lakes

Explore the Area

The Irish Hills Area has more than 50 lakes, many of which have public access swimming and boat, canoe, and kayak rental options that allow you to explore Michigan’s inland lakes while unwinding from an exciting weekend at MIS.

You might fall in love with the small town feel that encompasses southeast Michigan as you explore the area. In addition to Brooklyn, Onsted, Tecumseh and Manchester are all welcoming communities with unique attractions and local charm.

About a half hour drive North West of Brooklyn is the historic city of Jackson which has much to offer in way of history and culture, and a lively arts district. Check out a historic prison tour at Michigan’s First State Prison. Adjacent to the prison is a must see in Jackson’s art district, ART 634, a true “Center for the Creative Spirit” with displays of music, dance, photography, painting and more.

The historic prison tour is a can't-miss when visiting Jackson

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Bowman, Permissions given by the Michigan Department of Corrections

Traveling east on I-94, you’ll find Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti has a great outdoors scene for golfing, mountain biking, canoeing and hiking as well as beautifully preserved historic areas and hotspots of arts, music, and shopping. Home of the University of Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor has a thriving art community, one of America’s Best Main Streets, nature trails, and restaurants that will satisfy any foodie. (We recommend a corned beef sandwich at Zingerman’s).

The Big Race!

The big event is undoubtedly the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 28. NASCAR’s biggest stars bring the drama and excitement to the fastest track in NASCAR as they make their final push to make the final Chase for the Sprint Cup.

A NASCAR race is fun for the whole family and definitely should be on everyone’s Pure Michigan bucket list. Purchase your tickets now and don’t forget to tag your photos with #PureMichigan and #PureMichigan400 while you’re there!

The Pure Michigan 400 provides thrills from the start to the drop of the checkered flag

The Pure Michigan 400 provides thrills from start to finish

Have you ever attended the Pure Michigan 400? Share your experiences with us below!

Six Pure Michigan Activities to Experience in Lenawee County

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

If you’re looking for a picturesque countryside, hometown charm and more than 50 lakes for recreation and enjoyment, look no further than Lenawee County this summer. The Michigan International Speedway located in Lenawee is known for its NASCAR races, Faster Horses Festival and other exciting events for the whole family. If you’ll be in the Lenawee and Irish Hills area this summer, here are six fun-filled places to visit.

Taking a trip down US-12 or M-50 will lead you to a few local wineries and breweries.

Cherry Creek Winery (15750 US-12, Cement City)

Located in a Historic 1870 Schoolhouse, enjoy a wine tasting at the knotty pine bar. Sample Cherry Creek’s freshly made butter fudge, or Michigan Cherry Preserves. Sample gourmet items like fresh pressed Artisan Olive Oil or 18 year old Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Italy, all bottled on site. Special events, including live entertainment by the vineyard, most weekends.

Pentamere Winery (131 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh)

This Downtown Tecumseh winery offers around a dozen wines to choose from, try a few in the tasting room and take a peak at the cellar where all of the wine is stored and bottled. The winery also offers it’s own wine jellies and gift items.

J. Trees Winery (703 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh)

Located in the Historic Hayden-Ford Mill, this winery’s tasting room also includes small plates and panini sandwiches. Their wines and ciders are crafted from estate grown fruit, as well as other high quality Michigan fruit. Enjoy a drink on the outdoor patio, overlooking the water!

Tecumseh Brewing Company (128 W. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh)

The brewery offers an extensive selection of craft beer, 12 to 16 beers on tap, ranging from American Ales to German lagers and from hearty stouts to Belgian ales.

Need a place to unwind? The area around Michigan International Speedway includes many parks and lakes, perfect for camping and boating!

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

Photo courtesy of Mike Dickie

Hidden Lake Gardens (6214 M-50, Tipton)

Hidden Lake Gardens is open 362 days of the year with an admission fee of $3 per person. Guided tours, requested at least two weeks in advance, are available for $3 per person. Year-round educational programs for all ages are offered at the Visitor Center, which also houses a library, exhibits, auditorium, meeting rooms and a gift shop. The Conservatory includes tropical plants, arid plants, and a variety of flowering houseplants. A picnic area with shelter is available without reservations. In addition to more than 6 miles of one-way paved drives, there are nearly 10 miles of hiking trails to allow the visitor a closer look at the beauty the Gardens provides.

Enjoy a day on the lake! Great for fishing, boating, or just relaxing, the Irish Hills area offers many lakes. Devil’s Lake and Wamplers Lake are both located near Michigan International Speedway and offer something for everyone!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Dan Cherry

Devil’s Lake located less than 10 miles south of the track off of US-223, with a public boat access located on Southwest shore off Devils Lake Hwy (Across the street from 9555 Devils Lake Hwy, Manitou Beach). Manitou Beach is a great place for a bike ride, with stops at Jenni’s Coffee and Cream for an iced coffee or ice cream cone. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Manitou Bar and Grill and shopping at Devils Lake View Living, and The Buoy at The Lake which both offer jewelry, purses, home décor and more.

Wamplers Lake located in W.J. Hayes State Park (1220 Wamplers Lake Rd, Onsted)

W.J. Hayes State Park, in the heart of the Irish Hills, is bordered by a group of inland lakes frequented by anglers and boaters. It is home to Wamplers Lake, a 780 acre all sports lake great for fishing and all water sports. There are numerous geocaching hides in the park, metal detecting is allowed in designated areas and dogs are welcome visitors, too. The park offers modern campsites, a large swimming area, two boat launches, fishing pier, foot paths, a picnic shelter, activity areas and free children’s programs.

This summer, enjoy Lenawee, the Michigan International Speedway and the communities surrounding it. For more information and deals in the Irish Hills area, visit the Lenawee County Conference and Visitors Bureau’s on Michigan.org.