Compton returns to MIS where he got his start

Chance meeting with Melling helped launch career. BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Stacy Compton had just qualified for the pole for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in July 1999 at Michigan International Speedway and was on his way to the media center...

Chance meeting with Melling helped launch career.

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Stacy Compton had just qualified for the pole for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in July 1999 at Michigan International Speedway and was on his way to the media center when a young gentleman approached him.

The man gave Compton his business card, said a few words and walked away inconspicuously.

"He said to me, 'If you're interested, call me,'" Compton said. "So I called him that Monday, and we talked."

The man was NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner Mark Melling of Jackson, Mich., and he was so impressed with Compton -- specifically his qualifying effort at MIS -- that he wanted him to take over the full-time driving duties of his one-car Winston Cup team the following season. Compton's Winston Cup career was born.

"This is a special place for me and a special place for Mark," Compton said of MIS. "This place helped jump-start my career. There are a lot of tracks that you go to the track, race and leave. But with here, it's more of an enjoyable time. I like the track. It's been good to me."

Compton returns to MIS this weekend for the Sirius Satellite Radio 400, but instead of driving for the youngest owner in NASCAR's elite series, he's racing for one of the most legendary names in auto racing: A.J. Foyt.'s No. 14 Conseco Pontiac.

"A.J.'s given us what we need, and we've ran well with it," Compton said. "Everything has been put in place, and we're getting closer and closer to making this a competitive race team. We just need to finish races."

Qualifying had been Compton's biggest obstacle during his tenure with Melling. Compton made just two of four races at MIS the last two years, finishing 42nd in June 2000 and 21st in August 2001. His best finish at MIS was the truck race in July 1999 when he finished sixth.

General admission infield tickets go on sale for the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at 8 a.m. Sunday. For tickets to qualifying for the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 and Flagstar 200 on Friday and the Flagstar 200 on Saturday -- which will grant admission to the Blues Brothers concert after the race -- please call (800) 354-1010 or visit www.MISpeedway.com.

SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO 400 FAN INFORMATION
Throughout the weekend, race fans will have an opportunity to see great racing on the track and hear some great tracks at the races. The Sirius Satellite Radio 400 activities include:

Listen to the Sirius Sound
* Friday, Rhythm of the Road Tour, Fan Midway Area, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,

* Saturday, Rhythm of the Road Tour, Fan Midway Area, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,

* Sunday, Rhythm of the Road Tour, Fan Midway Area, 8 a.m. to TBD

The weekend kicks off with all-star entertainment at Michigan International Speedway featuring the sounds of Sirius Satellite Radio at the "Rhythm of the Road Tour". The mobile tour, located in the midway area, features 36 listening stations and three vehicles installed with the Sirius system to give fans a chance to enjoy 100 channels of digital entertainment. During the race weekend, Sirius will be broadcasting live from its Rhythm of the Road Tour. The Sirius Satellite Radio sound also will be broadcast over the track public address system throughout the weekend. In addition, Sirius Satellite Radio will have 20 vehicles with Sirius systems located in the infield and around the track.

Meet the Star Driving the Sirius Car
* Saturday, Rhythm of the Road Tour, Fan Midway Area, 12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Stop by to hear Casey Atwood spin some tunes at the Rhythm of the Road Tour and share his experiences as a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver with some Sirius fans. Atwood will sign autographs for fans following the final Winston Cup practice before the Sirius Satellite Radio 400.

Get Down with the Blues Brothers, Mitch Ryder and Soluna
* Saturday, Water Tower Lot, 5 p.m. (following Flagstar 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race)

The Sirius Satellite Radio 400 concert takes place Saturday, June 15, following the ARCA race. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels -- who have kept the Detroit sound alive for the past 40 years with hits such as "Sock It To Me Baby," "Devil With A Blue Dress On" and "Good Golly Miss Molly" -- will open the show.

Then, Soluna, the new sound sensation, will perform tracks from their new release "For All Time". The Blues Brothers, starring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, will bring down the house with their hits "Soul Man" and "Rawhide" from the famous movie "The Blues Brothers".

The concert will be held on the Michigan International Speedway property at the corner of Brooklyn Road and U.S. 12, following the Flagstar 200. All fans with a weekend ticket will be admitted to the concert, as well as fans with weekend infield access wristbands. Fans are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs, as well as their own refreshments, to enjoy the concert. Parking is available throughout the Michigan International Speedway grounds.

Salute the Stars and Stripes with Soluna
* Sunday, on track, Noon

DreamWorks Records recording stars, Soluna, are scheduled to perform the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems prior to the start of the Sirius Satellite Radio 400. The female foursome recently released its debut album, For All Time, which includes the hit single title track, "For All Time." Soluna also will be featured on the hood of Casey Atwood's No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T during the race, in what Sirius hopes will be a regular program featuring celebrities on the hood of its race car at each event.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
* Sunday, on track, Noon

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, president and CEO, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, will serve as Grand Marshall for the Sirius Satellite Radio. Jim Schroer, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, DaimlerChrysler Corporation, will deliver the most famous words in racing to start the Sirius Satellite Radio 400, while Joe Richter, president, Kenwood USA Corporation will wave the green flag.

Sirius Savings for Race Fans
* May 15 through June 30, Circuit City retailers throughout the United States

Race fans attending the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 can still get the Sirius sound once they return home. Sirius and its retail partner Circuit City are offering free installation of a Sirius Satellite Radio system and three months free service to anyone holding a Sirius Satellite Radio 400 ticket. Race fans who activate their service before race day on June 16 also will receive an authentic No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge crew cap.

-mis-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Atwood , Stacy Compton