Stewart tours MIS renovations

TONY STEWART TOURS MIS RENOVATIONS; LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURNING ON JUNE 19 FOR BATMAN BEGINS 400 "Driver of ...

TONY STEWART TOURS MIS RENOVATIONS; LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURNING ON JUNE 19 FOR BATMAN BEGINS 400

"Driver of #20 Home Depot Chevrolet Makes Appearance at Discovery Middle School in Canton"

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Michigan International Speedway received a visit from the 2002 NASCAR Cup Champion Tony Stewart on Tuesday. Stewart took time out to tour the largest renovation project in track history with MIS President Brett Shelton and discuss his "Racing to Play" initiative.

He also talked about his success at MIS over the years. Stewart won the June Cup event in 2000 and also won the last IROC race held at MIS in 2001.

"I'm excited to be here. MIS has always been one of my favorite tracks because I'm from Indiana and it was always close to where I grew up," said Stewart. "I was fortunate to win here back in 2000 on the Cup circuit and have enjoyed racing here for a long time. Michigan is great because you don't have to run the same line. You can move around the track and pass other drivers, which makes for better racing."

Stewart also commented on the ongoing renovation project at MIS.

"The changes that are occurring at MIS are unbelievable and the fans will enjoy everything that is happening here. This will make the track an even better racing facility and I can't wait to race here in the Batman Begins 400 on Father's Day weekend, which is just around the corner."

Stewart, along with his sponsor The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization, have teamed up to start the "Racing to Play" program, which has a goal of building 10 playgrounds around the country at various schools, beginning with the Jackson Arts & Technology Academy in Jackson, Mich. on June 16.

The partnership will involve volunteers from the #20 Home Depot Racing Team, the Joe Gibbs Racing Team, and local Home Depot stores in building a NASCAR-themed playground in a single day just prior to a scheduled weekend NASCAR race. The events will also include The Home Depot Kids Workshops activities and an appearance by the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet show car.

Stewart, alongside Jackson Arts & Technology Academy Principal Lezlie Bowles, addressed the media about the "Racing to Play" initiative.

"I am happy to be a part of the Racing to Play program, which will benefit many children who have never had the chance to play on a playground before," said Stewart. "I can't say enough about Joe Gibbs Racing, the Home Depot and KaBOOM! for teaming up to make this possible."

"We appreciate the generosity of Tony and everyone involved with this project," said Bowles. "This is a wonderful thing for our academy and I just can't thank everyone enough for this playground."

Prior to the MIS visit, Stewart spent time talking with students at Discovery Middle School in Canton, Mich. Stewart conducted a question and answer session with approximately 35 kids, grades 6-8, and also had a show-and-tell with his #20 Home Depot Chevrolet. Stewart visited Discovery Middle School because of sixth-grader Ryan Krieg, who wrote an essay on why Stewart should visit his school. Detroit Newspapers sponsored the contest and Krieg's essay was considered the top entry.

Stewart answered questions about stock cars and how they work. He also fielded questions about his favorite music and video games, what subjects he enjoyed in school, and what he thought of Danica Patrick's run in the Indianapolis 500.

Tickets are still available for all June 17-19 activities at MIS, with children 12 and under admitted free to Friday's ARCA RE/MAX HantzGroup 200 and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck's Paramount Health Insurance 200 on Saturday. In addition, tickets are still available for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Batman Begins 400 on Sunday, June 19. All tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danica Patrick
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing