Michigan International Speedway: Pure Michigan 400 Preview with Rick Brenner


The Pure Michigan 400 is scheduled for a 3:00 pm start this Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. But fans are already flooding into the Irish Hills to camp during race week. The Speedway offers week-long camping in the infield. As well as in lots on the rolling hills that make up the track grounds.

Track President Rick Brenner made himself available to media outlets to talk about the events planned at the track this week. The Lasco Press was fortunate enough to be invited to speak with Rick. We share his excitement with the return of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to our home track in Michigan.

Speaking with Rick you quickly realize the pride he takes in striving to provide the ultimate fan entertainment experience at the track. He emphasizes that he and his staff are focused on the entire week-long fan visit. While Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTI Printing 200 and Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Cup Series are the showcase events of the week. All of the attractions offered daily at the track make Michigan International Speedway a family vacation destination.

Camping in the beautiful Irish Hills is a treat Mid-Westerners have enjoyed for generations. The scenery, the lakes, the fishing, the relaxed atmosphere all draw families to South-Central Michigan. By combining a family vacation experience, the thrill of stock car racing, recreational opportunities, and a varied schedule of entertainment around the venue, Michigan International Speedway has hit on a winning combination.

Check out some of the family activities campers have to choose from.
  • Bus Trips to the Jackson County Fair or Shopping in Downtown Jackson
  • Campground Fitness Programs in Strength Training, Zumba, and Yoga
  • Kids Activities: Face Painting, Crafts, and the Kid Zone Experience
  • Magicians and Hypnotist Shows, Dueling Pianos, and Movie Nights
  • A Race Car Hauler Parade into the Garage, Driver Autograph Sessions
  • Bingo, a 50/50 Raffle, Free Concerts and a Fireworks Show
  • Plus all the Racing Action

For a complete schedule of events visit the MIS Website for the August Activities Guide.

The Lasco Press will be live on-site with pictures and stories from the infield as well as the action on the track. If you see us walking through the grounds, say hello, tell us your story, share your MIS experience with our readers. Our Michigan International Speedway fan photo gallery of the infield party is always one of our most popular features of race week coverage.

From Baseball to Stock Cars

We could not let the opportunity of speaking with Rick pass without taking a few moments to ask about his first year working for International Speedway Corporation. In September of 2016, Rick was introduced as the new track president at MIS. We read the press release and were fascinated with the fact that Rick had no prior motorsports experience. He came to ISC from the world of minor league baseball.

Prior to coming to Michigan International Speedway. Rick Brenner served as President of DSF Sports and Entertainment for over 10 years. The company owns the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The Fisher Cats are a Double A minor league baseball team in the Eastern League. The 2016 season was Brenner’s 23rd in Minor League Baseball.

We enjoy the benefit of having several top notch minor league teams in our region. The Lansing Lugnuts, The West Michigan Whitecaps, and the Toledo Mud Hens all know how to market to a fan base.

We wanted to tell our readers what it was like to make the adjustment from running a baseball team to managing a NASCAR Speedway. So we asked. According to Rick the biggest adjustment was not having to prepare for a 71 game home schedule over the spring and summer. But both jobs still come down to “meeting new people and building relationships.”

With fewer “home games” Rick and his staff can concentrate on making race weeks the best entertainment value for the families coming to visit Michigan International Speedway.

Ticket and Camping Opportunities Still Available

Back to his current job, Rick was quick to point out tickets are still available for the weekend’s races. Kids 12 and under are free Friday and Saturday. Camping spaces remain open to book for the week or weekend. And Special Ticket Packages offer a variety of options to enhance the fan experience. Purchase online or by calling 1-800-354-1010 and speaking directly to one of the customer assistance associates to get questions answered.

One more question for Rick. How do winters in Michigan compare to winters in New Hampshire? ” New Hampshire gets more snow, but with the winds in Michigan it seems the temperatures are colder.”

Temperatures this weekend will be “Pure Michigan” delight with forecast highs in the 70’s. It will be a great time to see all that MIS has to offer. “See you at the Track.”