NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Felix Sabates had some harsh words for Michigan in a recent interview with www.thatsracin.com (part of the Charlotte Observer’s empire).
Sabates apparently thinks NASCAR got too big for its britches, in terms of track capacity, television exposure and number of races. He advocates trimming the Sprint Cup schedule from 36 to 30 races. Two of the six he’d cut? The annual stops at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
“I mean, there’s nobody left in Detroit other than the police and the unemployed,” Sabates told the site. ‘I’d cut Michigan off the schedule altogether. Michigan — I’m talking about the state — is never coming back to what it used to be, so why go there and throw good money after bad money?”
Charged with responding to that pile of thoughts was MIS president Roger Curtis.
“It’s a shame Felix Sabates doesn’t see Michigan race fans are some of the most loyal, hardworking people in the world,” Curtis told thatsracin.com. “He clearly doesn’t appreciate the natural beauty of our state or understand the challenges that Michigan, its residents and the city of Detroit will overcome.
“Perhaps his car sponsor Chevrolet, Jack Roush, Roger Penske, all fine examples of Michigan’s resilience, can explain it to him. If not, I’m sure the hundreds of thousands of loyal race fans that annually attend MIS events twice a year can.
“In fact, I will give him and his family tickets in our grandstand so he can experience why MIS fans are so loyal to our racetrack and this sport. Maybe that will help him remember it’s the hardworking and loyal race fans — even those he dismisses as ‘unemployed’ — that make NASCAR what it is.”
Couldn’t have said it better.