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Michigan Speedway President not worried about losing a race date

Michigan International Speedway president Rick Brenner can be excused if he feels like he has a target on his back.

NASCAR has made it clear that it wants to shake things up with future racing schedules. In 2020, the sanctioning body is shaking things up with the order of its races on the schedule – even moving the series’ championship weekend from Miami-Homestead Speedway to ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

In 2021, NASCAR can really change the menu — the five-year agreements it signed with current tracks in 2015 expire following the 2020 campaign. After 2020, NASCAR is no longer bound to awarding Michigan, Dover, Bristol, Kansas, Las Vegas, Martinsville, Pocono, Richmond, Talladega, Phoenix or Texas two NASCAR Cup races.

“I have no idea,” Brenner said. All I’m doing right now is focusing on the races we have in front of us for the next two years.”

Michigan is one of several tracks that have eliminated thousands of grandstands from its facility in recent years, conceding that the good-old days of NASCAR aren’t coming back. Michigan had a high of 137,243 seats in 2005. Currently, the speedway has just 56,000 seats – a number that hasn’t been that low at the Brooklyn, Michigan, facility since 1991 when seating capacity was listed in the media guide at 54,159.

For now, Brenner and the staff at MIS plan to keep grinding. They’ve lowered prices, increased fan access to the pits, allowed fans to bring in their own food and drink. For years, the facility has offered fan-friendly free parking on site.

Autoweek