Fans Get Pure Michigan Experience at Race

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Kid Rock and cars: it's hard to get more "Michigan" than that. Then, someone won a new Mustang at Michigan International Speedway, and that's Pure Michigan.

The Michigan native served as grand marshal at the Pure Michigan 400 Race at MIS on Sunday when Mary Jane Rickett had a dream come true.

"I won't have to show it off, I'll just have to rev the engine a little bit, and they'll all come out to me," Rickett said. "It's my new baby for sure."

It's just one way Pure Michigan is promoting tourism to this state for the second year as the end of the summer race sponsor. There are local food products around the track, and it's hard to miss the signage.

"You'll see somebody doing a pit change and putting fuel in the car, gassing it, putting tires on the car, and there'll be a Pure Michigan sign right next to them while they're doing it," said Vice President for Travel Michigan George Zimmermann. "It's about what's happening on ESPN right now."

For Pure Michigan, it's not just about bring Michiganders to race weekend, it's about bringing lots of different people to Michigan.

"We're thrilled to help encourage people to come to race weekends like this weekend itself, but our message is much broader than that," Zimmermann said. "We're trying to get people to do everything in Michigan."

The sponsor thinks NASCAR's 75,000,000 fans across the country will help bring people to this state.

"Many of the things Nascar fans also like to do besides auto racing and going to NASCAR races are also things Michigan is really good at," Zimmermann said. "Golf is a big thing for NASCAR fans, hunting and fishing, camping and outdoor recreation are big for NASCAR fans, well those are all things that Michigan is great at. So, we think it's a great fit."

That's how Rickett feels about her new Pure Michigan car.

"They asked me if I wanted to take the logo off, and definitely not," Rickett said. "I definitely want to drive around, at least for a while, with the logo on."

Pure Michigan plans to sponsor this race for at least three more years.

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