Madison International Speedway
Monday, March 28, 2011
It’s a New Year at MIS
by John Wells
OREGON, Wis. -- It’s been another long winter in the upper Midwest and Madison International Speedway is ready to leave the cold and snow behind and get focused on the 2011 racing season.
To say there are going to be some changes at MIS this season would be an understatement. Here’s just a sampling of the changes in store for drivers, teams, and fans.
A new logo, new colors, new merchandise, and a new website will all be in place prior to opening day.
“We are rebranding MIS for the future,” said MIS Business Manager Tim Wilson. Wilson joined the speedway in January after a career in major league baseball marketing and promotions throughout the Midwest.
Wilson added, “We are looking at combining what has worked in the past with what needs to be done now and in the future. We will have a new logo and colors that are a nice blend of the past with the future. With the new logo will come some exciting new merchandise in the forms of hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and more.”
The track’s website located at madisoninternationalspeedway.com will be completely revised. “We are looking at making it more user-friendly with enhanced graphics and video,” said administrative assistant Ryan Thomas who will be coordinating the new website.
The weekly racing program will also see some changes in 2011.
Four weekly racing divisions will highlight Friday night action featuring the Late Models, Area Sportsman, Bandits, and Legends. The Late Models and Area Sportsman will race on Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile while the Bandits and Legends take on the challenging “Ring of Fire” quarter mile.
Track champions in 2011 were Jeremy Miller (Late Models), Bobby Wilberg (Area Sportsman), Chester Ace (Bandits), and Max McNamara (Legends).
The weekly racing program begins on Sunday, May 23rd with the Friday night opener set for June 3rd. The Friday night schedule will once again feature hot laps at 4:45, qualifying at 6:15 and racing at 7:30.
“We’ve battled a lot of weather issues in the spring over the past several years so we’re going to start the regular season a little later,” said MIS General Manager Dave Grueneberg.
“We’ve also made a change in how we handle rainouts this year. The last Friday night in June and July have been set aside as a raindate for any nights that may have been lost during that particular month or the previous one. If we, by chance, don’t have any rainouts these would be off nights for our teams.”
The weekly racing program will continue until Friday, August 19th with the season championships.
Fans can expect a variety of new family friendly promotions every Friday night. “We want people to come out to the track and enjoy themselves and want to come back each and every week. We are going to have games, contests, giveaways, and much more,” said Wilson.
The 2011 racing season at MIS actually begins on Sunday, May 1st with the ASA Midwest Tour and the running of the third annual Joe Shear Classic 136 for Super Late Models. The ASA Midwest Sportsman and ASA Midwest Trucks will also join the racing program.
“This has been one of our biggest events of the season and this year will be no different. It is definitely a great way to start the racing season at MIS,” noted Grueneberg.
MIS is adding a major racing event to the schedule in 2011 when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards comes to Madison for the Madison ARCA 200 on Friday, August 26th.
“It’s a great honor to have ARCA come to MIS,” said Grueneberg. “To have a group come to race here that also races at places like Daytona, Talladega, Pocono, and Michigan is quite a big deal. This is really going to be a great event for fans throughout the Midwest.”
Other special events are also coming to MIS including the fourth annual MIS Fall Classic scheduled for September 23rd and 24th and two “Destruction” events.
Plans are also being finalized on some other special events with more information to be released shortly.
“It’s going to be a big year and we want to encourage everyone who has supported us in the past to come out and have a great time in 2011. And to those who haven’t been here in the past give us a try. I know you’ll like what you see,” added Grueneberg.
Madison International Speedway is located just south of Highway 138 on Sunrise Road two miles east of Oregon, Wisconsin.