MIS season-opener features close finishes, great concert, big crowd. Kenseth wins a thriller, fans enjoy three-act concert. BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Matt Kenseth and Dale Jarrett provided an exciting finish to the start of Michigan International ...
MIS season-opener features close finishes, great concert, big crowd.
Kenseth wins a thriller, fans enjoy three-act concert.
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Matt Kenseth and Dale Jarrett provided an exciting finish to the start of Michigan International Speedway's 35th race season Sunday by battling door-to-door to the finish line in the main event.
Kenseth picked up the victory in a memorable finish to a memorable race weekend that featured the first-ever three-act concert at MIS, a first-time race winner in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and another close finish in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race.
"What a great way to start our 35th season at MIS," said MIS President Brett Shelton. "Both races were exciting from the green flag to the checkered, and our fans were treated to an awesome concert on Saturday."
The Sirius Satellite Radio 400 on Sunday was a sell-out, continuing a string of sold-out NASCAR Winston Cup Series races that began in 1992. A media-estimated 170,000 witnessed a back-and-forth race that wasn't decided until the final turn. The race featured 15 lead changes, with Jarrett out front for much of the beginning and Kenseth making a run late.
After a restart with three laps to go, Kenseth seemed in control as Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson tapped fenders behind him. But Jarrett, who took on four fresh tires during the last caution, moved quickly from ninth to Kenseth's bumper on the final lap and nearly caught the 30-year-old driver for Roush Racing at the start/finish line.
"All I needed was one more corner," said Jarrett, who finished runner-up by .131 second.
"I'm glad it was over when it was over," said Kenseth, whose victory for Jack Roush was the owner's first at his "home" track since June 1998. "To win in his backyard gets all the guys pumped up."
RE/MAX Series rookie Chad Blount was pretty pumped up after winning the pole for the Flagstar 200, but that was nothing compared to his elation after bringing home the trophy during the race on Saturday. Blount, driving an unsponsored car with his father as his crew chief, charged from sixth to first over the final five laps after a restart to claim his first victory.
"This was really special," Blount said. "When it happens, you go numb. Michigan is its own track; there's nothing you can compare it to."
For guests at MIS on Saturday, the Flagstar 200 was just the beginning. Sirius Satellite Radio brought in the Blues Brothers, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and Soluna for a concert that attracted more than 10,000 fans to the Water Tower Lot on U.S. Highway 12.
Next up for MIS is the inaugural Michigan Indy 400 Indy Racing League event weekend, which promises speeds of over 225 mph and plenty of action. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series joins the IRL and the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series for a tripleheader July 26-28. Tickets are just $40 for Sunday, $30 for Saturday or a $50 combo ticket for both days. Children 12 and under are free for the weekend.
The July event also will feature 2002 Jackson RaceWeek Festival, which includes a downtown street party in Jackson, soap box derby and pit stop challenge events. For more information on the festival, call the Jackson Chamber of Commerce at (517) 782-8221 or visit www.jacksonraceweek.com.
In August, NASCAR takes center stage again with the Pepsi 400 presented by Farmer Jack and the Cabela's 250 August 16-18. Fan hospitality packages -- which include great seating, catering, and entertainment -- are available for all of MIS' remaining events.
Call (800) 354-1010 -- CenturyTel users can dial *MIS -- or visit www.MISpeedway.com for ticket and fan hospitality information.
MIS REMAINING SCHEDULE
* Fri., July 26 Practice & Qualifying
* Sat., July 27 Michigan 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck
* Sun., July 28 Michigan Indy Pro Series 100 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series
* Sun., July 28 Michigan Indy 400 Indy Racing League ACDelco Corvettes at MIS on July 27-28 (free with admission ticket)
* Fri., August 16 AAA Pole Day
* Sat., August 17 Cabela's 250 NASCAR Busch Series
* Sun., August 18 Pepsi 400 presented by Farmer Jack NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Children 12 and under free
TICKETS: (800) 354-1010 or www.MISpeedway.com