Michigan International Speedway is partnering with Henry Ford Health System to bring kids even closer to the drivers and all the action leading up to the start of the race with a FREE Pit and Driver Introduction Pass. Fans will also have the opportunity to utilize the new state-of-the-art Henry Ford Health System Infield Care Center.
With the new free Pit and Driver Introduction Pass, any guest who purchases a kids 12 and under ticket to the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 9 or the Consumers Energy 400 on Aug. 11 will automatically receive a Pit and Driver Introduction Pass added to their order courtesy of our branding sponsor Henry Ford Health System.
Henry Ford Health System will also be providing urgent care in the new infield care center. The care center, located in turn 4, will be open 24 hours a day on race weekend. Any fan can use the care center for a medical condition during their stay at the track on race week.
The 2018 ARCA Menards Series season started with Salt Lake City, Utah native Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) celebrating in victory lane. Self, driving for Venturini Motorsports, cemented his reputation as one of the series best superspeedway racers with a dominant performance on Daytona’s legendary high banks and he only furthered that reputation with a second win later in the year at Chicagoland Speedway.
Self ran a partial schedule last year, and thanks to an increased commitment from his sponsor he’s running the full schedule for the first time in his career. With the championship now in play, Self has to maximize his bad days while still chasing wins.
He took the momentum of the sponsorship announcement into the 2019 season opener at Daytona looking to repeat last season’s success. His day was cut short on lap three, however, when contact with another competitor send him sliding – and literally flying – out of control down the backstretch. While the Venturini team affected repairs and Self returned to the track he finished a disappointing 31st. Not the start he wanted for his first run at the ARCA championship.
Let’s flash back to 2008, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined Hendrick Motorsports as Kyle Busch exited.
Dale Jr. was coming in on a hot streak from DEI; all indications were he would contend for titles at Hendrick, NASCAR’s hottest team at the time.
Kyle Busch was a couple years into his time at Hendrick, and was young, brash, had promise, but was a handful to deal with.
Hendrick Motorsports chose Dale Jr. They let Kyle go off and sign with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Let me get this out of the way early: Kyle Busch is one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers, both now and in the overall history of the sport. As the King himself said, Kyle could have competed for wins in any era of the sport. He’s a wheelman to the core, with great natural instincts on how to handle a racecar. He’s a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame once he retires and becomes eligible.
His 200 wins are an impressive accomplishment and show he is a true talent, regardless of how you view him personally or what you think of his off-track antics.
But that’s where I stop. The endless adoration parade that’s likely to come this week is something I’ll sit out. And here’s why. Numbers do not lie.
Remember the name Hailie Deegan.
Just 17 years old, she earned her second career victory in the K&N Pro Series this week at the Las Vegas Dirt Track, and the win came via a thrilling last-lap pass. She now leads the points standings in the K&N Pro Series, the first female racer to do so.
She also made news this week by announcing she’ll run six races in the ARCA series this year for Venturini Motorsports, yet another opportunity for her to show she has the goods to make the leap to the big 3 NASCAR series.
What’s refreshing about Deegan is she’s not looking to move up just to move up. She wants to win and be strong at every level before she makes the next step, and at age 17 she has the time to do that.
With the talent she’s shown thus far, I foresee her doing well in ARCA, and being in the Truck series within a couple years. A good performance there, and the proper sponsorship, and moving up to Xfinity is likely.
Cup is a whole different ballgame, but if it takes Deegan until she’s 23 or 24 to make it that far (and I think she will eventually get to Cup), there’s still plenty of time for a lengthy career, and it will likely be in strong equipment if she continues to show the type of talent she’s shown so far in her young career.
BMW driver and brand ambassador Alessandro Zanardi’s start in the BMW M8 GTE at the 24 Hours of Daytona (January 26-27) is not only possible thanks to technical adjustments that BMW M Motorsport engineers made to the car, but also thanks to innovative and creative solutions for procedures during the race. Primarily, the driver changes between Zanardi and his team-mates in the #24 BMW M8 GTE require a sophisticated choreography so that they don’t waste any valuable time during the race. Driver changes between Zanardi and his team-mates John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Chaz Mostert have been choreographed and practiced down to the last detail. “It is a dance in which the important thing is getting all the steps in exactly the right order and in the limited time that you have available,” explained Zanardi.
“So we can’t give away a single second.” To guarantee this, Zanardi, the other drivers and the entire BMW Team RLL are continually collaborating on the perfect procedure for the pit stops. The team has used the previous test drives intensively for this purpose, and the practice will continue at the race weekend. Success is already becoming apparent. “Naturally, we had to align some procedures with my special requirements, and the other drivers have to do a bit of extra work for me, but it is going very well and is a great deal of fun,” said Zanardi, emphasising: “We are already better than I would ever have thought possible.”
Here is a video illustrating the driver change procedure: