What City Is The Michigan Motor Speedway? [Answered!]

The year is 2021 and quite naturally, motorsport fans are wondering “where will the next race be?” Well, if you’re looking for an answer, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to tell you all about the greatest race track to exist, The Michigan Motor Speedway. Located in Michigan, USA, this speedway has quite the storied history behind it. In fact, it was originally known as the “Red Mile” in reference to the bloody battles that used to take place there during the early 1900s. The name “Red Mile” stuck, and today it’s better known as The Michigan Motor Speedway.

This track is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking to pass the time while you’re in transit, this is the place to be. The combination of fast cars and hard pavement make for some spectacular sights and sounds. Let’s take a look at some of the things you need to know about this legendary track.

Location Is Key

The most recognizable feature of The Michigan Motor Speedway is its location. This track is actually inside of the city limits of Mount Pleasant, Michigan. If you’ve ever driven on I-96, you’ll know exactly where it is. Traveling north on I-96, you’ll hit the Toll Road. Continue on the Toll Road and you’ll eventually get to the entrance of the speedway. If you want to find it on a map, it’s located just east of Grand Rapid, Michigan. Traveling on I-196, you’ll hit the Toll Road, and from there it’s only a couple of miles to the speedway.

While the location is unarguably the most important part of this track, it’s also one of the reasons why you should visit it. The Michigan Motor Speedway is a testament to American ingenuity and automotive excellence. The buildings and structures surrounding the track were built by the local community, and it’s easy to see that they put their heart and souls into this one-of-a-kind track. If you’ve never driven on a street that looks like a track, you’re in for a treat. The combination of lines, turns, and bridges add to the aesthetic beauty of this track. If you’re a car enthusiast, this is definitely a must-see location.

Grand Tours Are Back, And They’re Big

One of the most recognizable parts of The Michigan Motor Speedway is its annual Grand Tour. This is a chance for teams and individuals to get together and celebrate their love for cars and racing. For decades, the Grand Tour was held at an illegal track. As times changed and rules were relaxed, the tour came to The Michigan Motor Speedway. The Grand Tour is now an officially sanctioned event, and it’s arguably one of the most important races of the year. Held in mid-July, the event usually consists of two days and two nights of racing. The winner of the Grand Tour is decided by the overall point system. The last 10 years have seen Toyota, Porsche, and others take the top honours. This year will be no different, as teams are already lining up for what will be the 68th running of the Grand Tour.

A Bit Of A Ghost Town

Although The Michigan Motor Speedway is one of the most important race tracks in America, it doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. Sure, it gets a lot of publicity during the Grand Tour in mid-July, but other than that, it’s pretty much a deserted town throughout the year. It’s not uncommon to see this town go up for sale or for properties surrounding the track to become available for lease. Sadly, many of the buildings and structures within the town were built in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and for this reason alone, the town could be in danger of being demolished. If you ever get the chance to visit this place, take it; you’ll have a great time.

History And Controversy

The first races took place at The Michigan Motor Speedway in 1906. The first official iteration of the Grand Tour event was held in 1918. Since then, the event has seen numerous rule changes and title races. Racers from all over the world come to this unique track to take part in one of the great motorsport events in the United States. Many important personalities have attended the races over the years, including Al Capone. It was Capone who, upon meeting the owner of the track, Billy Hulse, said “You’ve got yourself a business, kid.” This quote accurately sums up the attitude of the early mobsters who ran the Detroit underworld during the early 20th century. In more recent years, the track has been the site of many legal disputes and financial difficulties. Most notably, the speedway was the location of the 2004 Grand Prix of Oakland, which subsequently led to the track losing its license. This put a question mark on the future of the event. The 2018 Grand Tour was the first Grand Tour since the Oakland Grand Prix that was not held at the track. The following is a short list of the most notable controversies and legal battles that have taken place at The Michigan Motor Speedway.

Organized Crime Influenced Early Rivalries

Although much of the early gangster rivalry at the track was influenced by the Italian mafia, it wasn’t just about that. There was also a large amount of Irish and Jewish involvement in the early horse racing industry. The track was well known for having the fastest all-time rail crossing in America, and the rivalry between the various groups was more about who had the fastest car than who had the most mafia members. Organized crime at the track was a major factor in the early 20th century, and it still has a significant influence over who competes there today. Some of the earliest rivalries at the track were between Al Capone and members of the Sicilian and German mafia. Capone eventually won those early races. It was then that the American underworld progenitor and first king of Detroit became “The Untouchable Al Capone.”

Billy Hulse & The Creation Of The Red Mile

There was a time when Billy Hulse, owner of the track, had a perfect life. Hulse was an excellent athlete and was offered a scholarship to play football for the University of Michigan. He turned it down in order to pursue his passion for racing. In 1914, Hulse bought the track, which was then called the Shelby Speedway, for $5,000. At that time, the track was still referred to as the “Shelby Speedway,” but Hulse decided to change the name to the “Red Mile” after hearing that the famous Red Triangle Fire Company of Detroit had its headquarters across the street from the track. The company’s three warehouses were on fire during the early morning hours of September 13, 1915, and Hulse was intrigued by this street fire. It was then that he decided to rename the track in honor of these brave men.

Death And Taxes

One of the most tragic events in the history of the track was the Hindenburg Disaster of May 6, 1937. The dirigible “Hindenburg” crashed into the newly built Municipal Stadium during a thunderstorm. Of the 36 people on board, only four survived; George Mantz, Robert Peterson, Charles Bretherick, and William Speck. During this time, William Peterson had a contract to purchase the track from Hulse, but he died in a hunting accident. Another major controversy surrounding this track is its steep tax burden. Residents of Mount Pleasant and its surrounding areas have to deal with one of the highest tax rates in the state, and this is despite the fact that the track’s income is derived almost entirely from ticket sales and corporate sponsorship. This puts a huge financial strain on the area. The speedway‘s property tax rate is over 11.5%.

Future Of The Track Is In Jeopardy

The Michigan Motor Speedway has always been a bit of a mess. Since the beginning, it has been plagued with financial problems and scandals. All of this has put a question mark on the future of this track. The last ten years have not been kind to the track, as races have been canceled and rules have changed. As long as Billy Hulse is the owner of the track, it will never be truly stable. If the track wants to continue, it will need to figure out a way to attract new fans and sponsors. The last thing any racing team wants is to come back from an offseason break and find out that their job has been threatened. This is especially problematic considering the high cost of living in the area. If and when the day comes that this track is no longer viable, it will be very sad to see it go.

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