Michigan International Speedway
Take Highway 12 out of Detroit, heading west towards Chicago, and after about an hour you will reach Michigan International Speedway on a 816-acre site in the Irish Hills. The track was built in 1967 by a Detroit property developer called Lawrence LoPatin, who was the first president of American Raceways, Inc. which operated a number of tracks at the time. LoPatin hired Charles Moneypenny - the man who designed the Daytona International Speedway - to create a two-mile D-shaped speedway - with 18-degree banking in the turns - and got Stirling Moss to lay out a road course on the infield and outside the main bowl. The track opened the following year and the first big event was a 250-mile USAC race won by Ronnie Bucknum. NASCAR was also an early visitor and has remained a regular event on the MIS calendar while CanAm and TransAm races were also held. American Raceways went into receivership in 1972 and in mid-1973 Roger Penske acquired the facility and began a renovation program. The road circuits were no longer used and action was concentrated on the oval - which is one of the fastest in use in CART racing. The first 500-mile race was held in 1981 and was won by Pancho Carter.