In 1972, Roger Penske purchased the speedway for an estimated $2 million….when during Penske’s ownership the track was upgraded several times from the original capacity to 125,000 seating capacity. and from 1996 to 2000….the track was referred to as Michigan Speedway. This was to keep consistency with other tracks owned by Roger Penske’s Motorsports International before its merger with International Speedway Corporation. The track is used primarily for NASCAR events….which is sometimes known as a “sister track” to Texas World Speedway….and was used as the basis of Auto Club Speedway.
Michigan International Speedway is recognized as one of motorsports’ premier facilities because of its wide racing surface and high banking (by open-wheel standards; the 18-degree banking is modest by stock car standards). Michigan is the fastest track in NASCAR due to its wide, sweeping corners, long straightaways, and lack of a restrictor plate requirement; typical qualifying speeds are in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) and corner entry speeds are anywhere from 215 to 220 mph (346 to 354 km/h) after the 2012 repaving of the track.
Obviously, as seen in this video herewith, during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s…..Michigan International Speedway was also used by Indy cars at the running of the Michigan 125….obviously due to Penske’s influence….and in this 1979 running of the race, the leader Al Unser Sr. coasts to the pits…..as Gordon Johncock takes over the lead.