The speedway’s internal road course is also on the docket for its first repave in track history.
MIS recognizes the importance of having a newly paved internal road course, however not for professional racing activities, but for its continued effort to be a test-bed for automotive manufacturers and other various R&D opportunities. The road course could also potentially be used for karting and car club activities.
“Paving the internal road course is important to us because we need the infrastructure, in this case better paved roads, to assist auto manufacturers and other groups in their various testing activities," MIS President Roger Curtis said. “We want MIS to continue to be a test-bed for connected vehicle and other technologies because we are in the backyard of the automotive capital of the world, so it only makes sense to improve our facilities to assist groups with their R&D opportunities."
MIS has hosted a variety of testing activities at its Irish Hills track over the past few years, including a recent connected vehicle test by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in August.
With a state-of-the-art Pit Road Suites and Media Center building, which opened in 2010, and a repaved road course and oval coming for 2012, MIS will have the necessary infrastructure for more R&D testing to continue into the future.
“Once the repave project is complete, we will have an improved testing facility that will be even more attractive for groups wanting to test their respective technologies," Curtis said.
MIS once featured two road courses on its property dating back to the track’s opening in 1968. The original layout included infield and exterior roads, which could be combined to form a single 3.1-mile interior/exterior road course, or divided into separate 1.9-mile interior/exterior road courses. The road courses were designed by Formula One great Stirling Moss. The last interior road course race was held in 1984, and the last time the exterior road course was used was in 1973, but the infrastructure has still remained on the MIS property since that time.
“You can still drive the road courses that wind throughout the speedway property, but the asphalt has obviously been deteriorating over the past few decades," Curtis said. “This repave of the internal road course will be nice and give us the ability to host test and training sessions in our non-event times, which will benefit the groups who choose to utilize it."
Additionally, fans now have the opportunity to view the repave project live on MISpeedway.com. Simply visit www.MISpeedway.com/repavecam or click on the repave webcam link on the homepage to see the project as its happening. The camera is provided by EarthCam.
Over the past two weeks, crews have paved the backstretch skid pad and performed various maintenance projects to the track in preparation for the repave of the MIS oval and road course. The repaving of both is scheduled to begin in the next week (weather permitting).
“This is a new feature we are going to have on our website so fans can see how the project is going firsthand," Curtis said. “The camera is mounted in our Champions Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union and offers nice views of the MIS track. We are excited that the repaving of the MIS oval and road course will begin very soon and that fans will have the opportunity to watch as it’s happening over the next few weeks."
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.
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Michigan International Speedway – 2012 Schedule
Friday, June 15 ARCA Racing Series RainEater Wiper Blades 200
Saturday, June 16 NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250
Sunday, June 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Friday, Aug. 17 Gatorade Pole Day
Saturday, Aug. 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sunday, Aug. 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series