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(DETROIT) -- The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association hosted a media luncheon Tuesday, April 29 with special guest Tony Kanaan, the defending Indianapolis 500 Champion. Kanaan drives the Number 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series and he will compete in the upcoming Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 30-June 1. The event took place at the Tiger Club at Comerica Park. Other speakers and guests included Charles Burns, General Manager of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, Linda Forte, Senior VP of Business Affairs for Comerica Bank, Jim Campbell, VP of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports for Chevrolet/GM, and several Detroit Public Schools students. The students of broadcasting and journalism were Comerica Bank's guests of honor.

"The Sports Broadcasters Lunch provided a great opportunity for students preparing for a career in the industry to take part in an actual media event," said Linda Forte, Senior VP and Chief Diversity Officer of Comerica Bank. "We hope the students gained new insights into their future careers by networking with professionals in their prospective field and seeing how reporters cover events. I'd also like to extend a big thank you to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association for helping provide these students with this very unique experience."

STORY & PHOTOS ROBERT BENKO

Pictured above-Tony Kanaan, driver of No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar. Behind him are students from the Detroit Free Press High School Journalism Program (FreepHigh) and the Detroit School of Arts television and radio attending the press conference and networked with media professionals.


Jim Campbell, VP of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports for Chevrolet/GM, Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar, and Charles Burns, General Manager of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix


Linda Forte, Senior VP of Business Affairs for Comerica Bank

BROOKLYN, Mich. (April 28, 2014) — Michigan International Speedway continues to enhance its fan experience and looks to make memories for everybody. Now, NASCAR’s fastest track has a special ticket offer just for military service members and college students who want to spend the summer at the speedway.

As a thank you to service members and their families for their service to our country, Michigan International Speedway is offering special pricing. An active or retired service member can purchase a ticket to the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 15 or the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August, 17 for just $20, a savings of $27.

And college students can spend summer break at the biggest party in Michigan by taking advantage of special discounted camping and NASCAR ticket prices.

And the process is easy. All eligible race fans in the military or in college have to do is visit www.mispeedway.com/military or www.mispeedway.com/college to purchase tickets.

“It is exciting to offer special offers to these two groups,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “We have continued to thank our service members in a number of ways from flyovers to waving the green flag to celebrating the Army’s birthday with a cake. NASCAR is about spending time with your family and friends. What a better opportunity for college students to see their friends during the summer than at NASCAR’s fastest track?”

NASCAR fans and the military go hand in hand. Michigan International Speedway honors military members who have served their country or are currently on active duty. The track has hosted special welcome home ceremonies for service members and regularly recognizes honor guards to present the Unites States flag prior to the races.

And a weekend at NASCAR’s fastest track provides the perfect opportunity for college students to show school spirit at the state’s largest party. The speedway is perfectly situated among several colleges including University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Adrian College, Spring Arbor University, Jackson College and University of Toledo.   

Students can share their experience with all friends on social media at Michigan International Speedway. The track offers free Wi-Fi for its fans through 11 hot spots throughout the facility.

MIS will host a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this summer. The top series comes to the Irish Hills for the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 15 and returns just two months later for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 17.

Last year, Joey Logano posted a track qualifying mark of 203.949 mph for the Pure Michigan 400. The speed was ninth-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and the fastest pole-winning speed other than Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. Greg Biffle pulled into victory lane for the Quicken Loans 400 while Logano took the checkered flag for the Pure Michigan 400 in 2013.

Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:16

GM 1Q profit dragged down by recalls

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors says first-quarter profit fell 86 percent as a series of recalls dragged down its earnings. GM had a net profit of $125 million, the company's worst quarterly performance since it posted a net loss after leaving bankruptcy protection in 2009. The Detroit automaker says it took a $1.3 billion charge for recalling about 7 million vehicles worldwide. The company also incurred $300 million in restructuring costs, mostly in Europe.  And it took a $419 million charge due to a change in the way it values Venezuela's currency. GM made 6 cents per share, down from 58 cents per share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, GM made 29 cents per share, far above Wall Street estimates of 3 cents per share.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:49

MIS celebrates Earth Day every day

(BROOKLYN) -- When it comes to being green, Michigan International Speedway leads the way. The track is annually recognized for its ongoing environmental sustainability efforts throughout the year. The speedway has worked since 2008 with partners Schupan and Coca-Cola on a recycling program for its race weekends, collecting hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum and plastics from cans and bottles, among other things. MIS annually recycles cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, construction waste, electronic waste, batteries and motor oil after its events.

Fans have embraced their role in the speedway’s recycling efforts. As avid outdoorsman, fishermen, campers and hikers, the guests at MIS understand the importance of recycling and its impact on the environment.

MIS has recycled 230,668 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum, glass, cardboard and paper since recycling efforts began in 2008. In 2013 alone, 43,166 pounds of material was recycled.

For 2013, MIS recycled 113,560 pounds of construction material. MIS has used recycled asphalt and concrete to create over 10 miles of road in campgrounds, parking lots and tram routes since 2008. As a result, NASCAR recognized MIS as being an industry leader during the sport’s annual Green Summit in Chicago in 2013. The NASCAR Green track operator award recognizes motorsports facilities for their ongoing contributions to developing effective and sustainable green policies and practices.

It’s no surprise. MIS is looked at as one of the founders of moving the sport in a positive direction with its various green initiatives that have made a tremendous impact not only in Michigan, but around the country. MIS annually introduces programs that have made an immediate impact on the environment.

“MIS takes great pride in knowing that our green initiatives have made a significant, positive impact to the environment and sport of auto racing, and we continue to do different things to move forward with those initiatives,” track boss Roger Curtis said. “It’s the right thing to do to protect our environment. Our brand at MIS is very much an environmentally friendly one. Our fans are extreme outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists; in fact they refer to MIS as NASCAR in a national park and they do their part packing up their recyclables.”

All of the efforts have proved vastly important to maintaining a clean, safe and environmentally friendly facility to fans who visit MIS twice a year for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. But more, the speedway’s surrounding communities also benefit.

Most recently, the speedway entered a thriving partnership with Adrian College to observe and analyze its vast acres of wetlands around the track property. Adrian College students have inventoried all plant, animal and insect species in designated areas, as well as regularly conduct water studies and identify invasive plant species.

Adrian College students have developed a field guide and self-guided tour book for visitors, many of whom are small children. “Track and Explore” sees hundreds of kids visit MIS to look at animals, plants and test water samples from the wetlands – all as part of fun, interactive school field trips. In addition, the partnership with Adrian College helps teach local students the importance of stewardship.

Additionally, MIS formed a partnership with NASCAR to plant trees on property and in communities around the speedway. Adrian, Mich., benefitted from 45 trees donated to the city’s parks through NASCAR’s Race to Green program presented by UPS a year ago. The combined 90 trees will be housed and cared for by students of Lenawee Intermediate School District Center for Sustainability for the Future, who will nurture the trees until they’re ready to be planted.

Additionally, the track’s Pit Road Suites and Media Center, which opened in June 2010, has a 20 kW photovoltaic (solar panels) system, which offsets energy costs for the building used year-round.

MIS earned its Green Venues Michigan Leader Certification by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) for its ongoing conservation efforts.

(BROOKLYN) -- The Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson is a must visit to sample wines from around the state of the Michigan. More than 40 award-winning wineries from across the state of Michigan will be on hand showcasing more than 100 varieties of wine including, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and others. The 2014 event will feature more than 10 new wineries. And the impressive list of wineries continues to grow every day. More wineries have already committed to participate in the fifth annual wine fest than last year!

The Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson is a celebration of Michigan wine, beer and food – all at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR’s fastest racetrack. With about a month until the fifth annual event on May 10, the list of participating wineries and wine vendors will continue growing.

“We are really excited about the responses we’ve gotten from the wineries,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “Michigan wine is a celebration of this state, and word is spreading about how enjoyable the previous festivals have been. In recent years, Michigan has seen a growth of microbrews and we have breweries added daily to enhance the event. Being able to taste fantastic wines from all over the state, getting personal service from the vintners and then having the option to purchase those wines in our retail store truly makes this a must-attend event.”

Michigan breweries and food vendors will also be featured, making the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson a Pure Michigan event. Curtis notes the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson kicks off summer at MIS and is conveniently situated in the southeast corner of the state, a growing area for wine enthusiasts. Guests may sample wines, beer and food from Michigan vendors, and buy favorite wines by the bottle or case. The festival’s on-site retail store will have select wines and beer available for purchase at the event. In addition to wine and beer sampling, seminars covering wine, food and other topics of interest will be held throughout the venue. Live entertainment throughout the day will also be featured.

This event will once again feature the tastes and toasts of Michigan wineries, Michigan breweries and Michigan eateries in a unique setting — the state’s only NASCAR Sprint Cup racetrack and the fastest track on the circuit. Beer will also return to the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson in 2014. About 25 popular brands of locally-brewed beers were featured at last year’s event and are expected to return.

In addition to wine and beer sampling and seminars, the festival will include an on-site retail store with select wines available for purchase. Only a handful of festivals allow guests to walk away with having purchased the wines and beers they tasted and liked, and MIS is one of them!

Advance tickets for the Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson are $30. Each ticket includes $10 worth of tasting tokens.

This event is for guests 21 and older.

Tickets and details are available at www.MiWineandBeerFest.com or by calling 800-354-1010. Also, please visit our Twitter feed @MIWineBeerFest for information about the wine festival.

DETROIT (AP) - Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts. The recall covers SUVs from the 2001 through 2004 model years. Mazda says in documents filed with U.S. safety regulators that the frame can rust and a wheel control arm can separate from it. That could result in a loss of steering control. The SUVs were originally sold or registered in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear snow and ice from roads. Dealers will install a reinforcement brace to fix the problem.  Mazda says it will notify owners by letter when parts are available. The same problem caused a recall of nearly 386,000 older Ford Escapes earlier this month. The Escape and Tribute are nearly identical vehicles.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:50

Ford to offer 50th anniversary Mustang

NEW YORK (AP) - Ford is building a limited-edition Mustang GT to honor the pony car's 50th anniversary. The company will only build 1,964 special cars, honoring the year the Mustang first went on sale. The 50 Year Limited Edition will come in one of the two colors of Ford's logo: white or blue. Buyers can choose a manual or automatic transmission. There are special chrome highlights around the grille, windows and tail lights. The Limited Edition will also be the only 2015 Mustang with a faux gas cap badge on the rear, where the original cap sat. Limited Edition cars will be among the first built when 2015 Mustang production begins later this year. Ford is showing the Limited Edition at the New York auto show, which begins this week. Pricing wasn't announced.

BROOKLYN, Mich. (April 9, 2014) – Blazing fast speeds continued at Michigan International Speedway on Wednesday during the second of a two-day tire test.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer said he went 217 mph during the morning session.

“That’s white-of-your-eyes-fast,” he added.

Bowyer, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Trevor Bayne are taking part in the second of a two-day Goodyear Tire test at the two-mile racetrack.

Earnhardt Jr. said he was hitting speeds between 212 to 215 mph in the straightaways and about 180 in the turns.

And while speed was the topic of the day, the drivers were at the track to test tires for Goodyear.

“This is one of our better tracks, and our fans will probably say the same,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Having the success here over the last four or five years has given us a lot of confidence when we come here, and I think that’s why Goodyear brings us to test.

“I enjoy racing here. It’s a fun track. The asphalt is really aging well and it’s just going to keep getting better and better over the next couple of years.”

Newman and Biffle agreed, adding the winter has aged the track, making the super-smooth surface less oily, and creating additional grooves.

“I think (Michigan) will be a good race; I really do,” Biffle said.

Though speeds on a racetrack are sexy, speedway President Roger Curtis said passing and fierce competition is what makes great racing.

“The drivers are posting 200 mph. That’s awesome. The fans get very, very excited about that. But at the end of the day, on Sunday when the green flag drops, the numbers ‘two zero zero’ they’re not anywhere in the fans’ minds. It’s lead changes, it’s the competition.”

The track was repaved in 2012, making for blazing fast speeds. Since then, the asphalt has aged but NASCAR has made significant changes to the cars, thus keeping speeds very fast.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway this summer for two weekends: Quicken Loans 400 weekend, June 13-15 and Pure Michigan 400 weekend, Aug. 15-17. For tickets and camping, visit www.MISpeedway.com or call 800-354-1010.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROBERT BENKO


Dale Earnhardt Jr. going over 200 MPH during the Goodyear Tire Test


Ryan Newman



Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman

(DETROIT) -- The Dedicated-EGR vehicle is a prime example of the innovative technology solutions for industry advanced by engineers and scientists at Southwest Research Institute. The patented D-EGR technology combines the benefits of exhaust gas recirculation and reformate by dedicating one cylinder to EGR production. The cylinder is then run rich to reform the excess gasoline into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The combination of EGR and reformate increases the knock resistance of the engine allowing high specific power at high compression ratios, enabling downsizing while increasing engine thermal efficiency.

Robert Benko

DETROIT (AP) - U.S. safety regulators have decided against seeking a recall of Ford F-150 pickup trucks after investigating complaints about EcoBoost engines losing power. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it closed a probe started in May. It covered nearly 360,000 trucks with 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged engines from the 2011 through 2013 model years. The agency began investigating after getting complaints that the trucks could lose power during hard acceleration. Tests by Ford and the government traced the problem to condensation in an air cooler. Water could be pulled into the engine, causing cylinders to misfire. But the tests showed that trucks with the condition would maintain speed and accelerate. The agency determined that a Ford Motor Co. service bulletin to dealers took care of the problem, so it's not pursuing a recall.

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