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(DETROIT) -- The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix returns to the Motor City May 31-June 2. The event will feature the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, and the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. A total of five races will be held over the weekend. Since the Grand Prix returned to Belle Isle in 2007, event organizers have made over $7 million in lasting improvements to Belle Isle. Improvements include the installation of over 100,000 square feet of new concrete and asphalt for road improvements and enhancements on the track, repairing damaged lighting and drainage systems, renovation of the Scott Fountain and the Belle Isle Casino and the installation of new pedestrian bridges and playscapes. The Media Luncheon was held on Thursday, May 30 at Rattlesnake Club in Detroit. Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America, and Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix spoke to those in attendance.  PICTURED: Mark Reuss and Bud Denker, submitted by Robert Benko



IZOD IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, and AJ Allmendinger

DETROIT -- A leader from one of downtown Detroit's most vibrant and growing businesses has been named Grand Marshal for all Saturday, June 1 activities at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Quicken Loans' President and Chief Marketing Officer Jay Farner will participate in several activities as Saturday's Grand Prix Grand Marshal.

Farner will give the famous command, "Drivers start your engines," prior to the first-ever IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader in Saturday's Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. He will also be featured in numerous pre-race ceremonies and activities during the Grand Prix's busiest on-track day.

There will be a total of three races run on the 2.36-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit on Saturday including the first of two races for the Pirelli World Challenge Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race and the first of the two IZOD IndyCar Series races in the first Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. In addition, Poison lead singer Bret Michaels will rock the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage at 6:00 p.m. to close out the full day of action.

Not only is Quicken Loans the presenting sponsor of the Dual in Detroit races, the company established itself as a leader of Detroit's renaissance since it moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in August of 2010. With more than 8,000 team members working in Detroit, including many young professionals who also live in the city, Quicken Loans is the nation's largest online home lender and the country's third largest retail home mortgage lender.

"The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is committed to Detroit and Michigan and we are honored to have Jay Farner represent our event as its Grand Marshal on Saturday," said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "Quicken Loans and Jay Farner are helping to lead the revival of Detroit and we applaud their efforts. With all they have done and continue to do for the city, we know that Jay is a perfect person to serve as Grand Marshal and help us celebrate the opportunity to showcase Detroit on a truly global stage at the Grand Prix."

Farner joined Rock Financial in 1996 and he quickly established himself as a natural leader in the company. He was later promoted to Vice President of Web Mortgage Banking in May 1998 and helped to establish Quicken Loans as the largest online lender in the country.

DETROIT, Mich. -- While the action on the track will be fast and furious at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 31-June 2, there will be plenty of activities for fans of all ages to enjoy throughout the weekend off the track at the Meijer Family Fun Zone.

Located inside the Raceway at Belle Isle Park venue over the Chevrolet Bridge, the Meijer Family Fun Zone will once again feature music, entertainment, games, interactive displays and activities for children and adults alike.

The Meijer area within the Family Fun Zone will feature a Radio Disney interactive display including slot car racing, face painting and caricature drawing.

New to the Fun Zone this year is the Quicken Loans Go-Kart track. Fans ages 14 and older will get an opportunity to do a little racing of their own while their favorite drivers test the new Belle Isle street circuit during the "Fastest Weekend of the Summer" in the Motor City.

Several Detroit sports teams will be featured in the Meijer Family Fun Zone, including the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons, as they will include inflatables and interactive games in their displays. A Pistons legend will appear in the Meijer Family Fun Zone on Friday while a Red Wings legend will be in the zone on Sunday.

Car enthusiasts will enjoy all the vehicles on display in the Chevrolet area, located near the entrance to the Family Fun Zone. Team Chevy will feature a performance transporter, a military display and an IZOD IndyCar Series and "Turbo" car transporter. Interviews with Team Chevy drivers will also be hosted on stage throughout race weekend.

The MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage will be rocking through all three days of the Grand Prix in the Fun Zone. Detroit's own R&B sensation Dwele will headline the acts on Friday, May 31 when he performs at 5:30 p.m, while Poison lead singer Bret Michaels will rock the stage on Saturday, June 1 at 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, June 2, the modern-rock band Plain White T's will play a matinee show at 2:00 p.m. before the second of the two Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit races presented by Quicken Loans.

The INDYCAR Fan village will also be located within the Meijer Family Fun Zone and will include unique displays and interactive games highlighting the stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

IndyCar drivers will sign autographs in the Fan Village display on Sunday, June 2 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. GRAND-AM Rolex Series drivers will also host an autograph session in the Fun Zone on Saturday, June 1 from 10:00 am-10:45 a.m., before they take to the track for their race. The Pirelli World Challenge drivers will sign for fans near the Optimum Battery Trailer on Sunday, June 2 from 10:00 a.m-11:00 a.m. Located near the Optimum Batter Trailer is the Cars.com charging station which will allow fans a chance to charge their electronics and mobile devices during race weekend.

The Pirelli Tire display area will include four racing simulators for fans to compete on as well as an actual Formula One race car on display.

Fans can also learn more about the new animated movie "Turbo," featuring a snail that chases his dream of racing in the Indianapolis 500 when they visit the Turbo display area.

There will also be plenty of food and beverages to enjoy in the Meijer Family Fun Zone including the Andiamo Food Court, Tim Horton's food truck and Chicken Shack. Adding beauty to the area will be the Pirelli Girls and the FOX Sports Detroit Girls.

"The Meijer Family Fun Zone will give fans of all ages an opportunity to enjoy so many great activities at the Grand Prix," said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "We have always said this event is much more than just great racing, and in Meijer Family Fun Zone, fans can experience terrific entertainment, games, food and fun all weekend long."

All fans can access the Meijer Family Fun Zone which will be open from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. each day during the Grand Prix.

BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 14, 2013) - The Michigan National Guard is proud to announce the continuation of its partnership with Michigan International Speedway to include the sponsorship of the August 2013 truck race, the Michigan National Guard 200.

"We are excited to announce the Michigan National Guard as sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at MIS in August," track President Roger Curtis said. "It provides a great opportunity for the Michigan National Guard to spread its message and communicate with its target audience. We look forward to continuing our long-term support of the military."

While the Michigan National Guard has always had a presence at the races, this marks the first time the organization has sponsored a race.

As the title sponsor, it allows the Michigan National Guard the opportunity to market its brand to its target audience through television, radio and print mediums on a state and nationwide basis. It also gives the organization access to a tremendous social media network already built by MIS and NASCAR.

"Our partnership with Michigan International Speedway connects many of our troops to a sport they really enjoy while also providing us a venue to show the public what the Michigan National Guard is all about," said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, Michigan adjutant general. "Michigan is the automotive capital of the world and it only makes sense that our Guard members are at the forefront of such a spectacular event."

The partnership will allow the Michigan National Guard to connect with the citizens of Michigan and potential recruits through NASCAR. The two share the same values of teamwork and competing to be the best, making for a natural partnership.

The Michigan National Guard will also continue to partner with Michigan International Speedway for race activities at all of the events held at MIS in 2013.

MIS continues its long-time support of military initiatives through various ticket programs and support throughout the year.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO

PICTURED: L to R: NASCAR World Truck Series driver Joey Coulter, Major General of the National Guard Gregory Vadnais, and Roger Curtiss MIS President.

(GROSSE POINTE PARK) -- John Moloney, V.P. of the Americas, presented a check to Bob Grosscup for $7,600 during the Automotive Press Associations luncheon May 9 at the Detroit Athletic Club. The check was made out to the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology for the 2013 EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition. The 26th annual car show will be held at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan on Father's Day, June 16. EyesOn Design is a major source of revenue for the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology's research, education and support group programs for the visually impaired. The DIO is a division of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Henry Ford Health System.

PICTRED: Bob Grosscup receiving a $7,600 check from John Moloney of Michelin.

ROBERT BENKO, V.P. WMIC/WTGV

(DETROIT) -- The 10th annual Michelin Design Panel returned to the Auto Press Association on Thursday, May 9th during a luncheon hosted at the Detroit Athletic Club. Inspired by the 2014 Michelin Challenge Design theme "Driven/Undriven: The Duality of Tomorrow's Automobile", the panel discussed what's driving our interest in taking the driver out of the equation, the progress toward autonomous vehicles, and when this may begin to impact the design of passenger gars. The panel included Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics and Chris Borroni-Bird, co-author of "Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility of the 21st Century" and VP of Strategic Development at Qualcomm, and Stewart Reed, Chairman of Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design. Jason Stein from Automotive News moderated the panel discussion.

PICTURED: The panel members are Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics, Chris Borroni-Bird, co-author of "Reinventing The Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility of the 21st. Century" and VP of Strategic Development at Qualcomm, and Steward Reed, Chairman of Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design.

 

ROBERT BENKO

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- The McDonald's Rock and Race Concert to feature Finger Eleven at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 15. Burlington, Ontario, Canada's own Finger Eleven will headline the free and always popular post-race concert in Lot 10. The show will begin shortly after the Alliance Truck Parts 250 Nationwide Series race. The concert is free to anyone with an Alliance Truck Parts 250 race ticket, an infield wristband or an APEX wristband. Tony Lucca from the popular television show "The Voice" will open the concert and hand it off to Finger Eleven.

"We are excited to bring Finger Eleven to MIS in June," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "The McDonald's Rock and Race Concert will be a great way to conclude the Alliance Truck Parts 250 Nationwide Series race on Saturday. We try to feature different kinds of music for our fans and we are excited to bring back rock music this year with Finger Eleven."

Rock music's Finger Eleven earned their confidence album by album, tour by tour and song by song. The band has worked the road non-stop since 1998 and has released successful albums such as their debut Tip and follow-up, The Greyest of Blue Skies. By the time the band released its third album, self-titled album, Finger Eleven had built a successful career. The band has produced such songs as "Them vs. You vs. Me," "Paralyzer" and "One Thing."

Lucca captured America's hearts this year as the Team Adam finalist on NBC's hit TV show "The Voice." Lucca's cover of Hugo's version of Jay-Z's "99 Problems" reacted strongly, propelling Lucca to the No. 3 spot on iTunes Overall Singles sales chart and No. 1 on iTunes Rock Singles chart. Additionally, Lucca's duet of "Yesterday" by The Beatles with coach Adam Levine (Maroon 5) landed Top 5 on iTunes Overall and Pop Singles sales charts.

In 2011, Lucca appeared as himself on NBC's "Parenthood" performing his song "Like Love." His songs have been featured on TV's "Friday Night Lights," "Brothers & Sisters," "Shark," and "Felicity" and in Kevin Costner's feature "Open Range."

The Alliance Truck Parts 250 is at 2:15 p.m. The concert will begin shortly after the checkered flag that afternoon.

2013 Michigan International Speedway Schedule:

Saturday, May 18 Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson

Friday, June 14 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and Sprint Cup Qualifying

Saturday, June 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250

Sunday, June 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400

Friday, Aug. 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice and Qualifying

Saturday, Aug. 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Sunday, Aug. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400