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August Cup race at Michigan will have new sponsor with departure of Pure Michigan

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A year after paying $725,000 for the naming rights, Pure Michigan will no longer sponsor the August Cup race at Michigan International Speedway, according to MLive.com

A Travel Michigan campaign and part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Pure Michigan began sponsoring the 400-mile race in 2011.

“We have enjoyed our partnership with the MEDC and the Pure Michigan Brand,” track president Rick Brenner said in a statement to NBC Sports. “We look forward to continuing to work together to promote NASCAR and the other events at MIS to promote tourism in the state.”

Sources close to the track anticipate an announcement about sponsorship for the August race in the next few weeks.

“We launched our sponsorship of the August race at a time when we were still primarily focused on growing awareness of the Pure Michigan brand,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, told MLive.com. “Today, opportunities to take a more targeted approach to marketing mean we can deliver interest-specific information to audiences that overlap with those attending the race at MIS through our digital campaign efforts.”

Lorenz said Pure Michigan will “continue to stay engaged” with MIS, including promoting racing and the Faster Horses Festival.

With the MEDC being a government body, MLive.com filed a Freedom of Information Act Request to find out how much the campaign paid in each year of its relationship.

Here are the totals:

2017: $725,000
2016: $700,000
2015: $675,000
2014: $675,000
2013: $625,000
2012: $575,000
2011: $335,000

FireKeepers Casino, the sponsor of the June race at the 2-mile track, recently extended its multiyear deal.

LTi Printing also increased its involvement with the speedway and NASCAR to become the entitlement sponsor of the Xfinity Series LTi Printing 250 after sponsoring the Camping World Truck Series race last year.

Corrigan Oil expanded its relationship with the speedway as the entitlement sponsorship of the Truck Series race in August with the Corrigan Oil 200.

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NASCAR America: Fans pick Cup’s most memorable restarts of 2017 (video)

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Kyle Larson‘s restart in overtime of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 500 has had fans talking for the last three days — and will likely keep them talking for a long time to come.

To find out how fans judged Larson’s restart vs. other great restarts thus far in 2017, we asked them to vote on the NASCAR America Twitter page.

The results are interesting, to say the least — with at least one big surprise — but you’ll have to view the video above to find out how your fellow fans voted. 

Scan All: Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway (video)

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On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America and in our weekly Scan All feature, we relived the sights and sounds from Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 that saw Kyle Larson take the checkered flag there for the third consecutive race.

In an interesting irony, Larson got probably the best restart of his life to win the race.

But to start the race, it was a whole different story.

“I dropped anchor at the start and got probably the worst start of my life,” Larson said. Catch more of his comments and those of other drivers and teams in this week’s edition of Scan All.

Steve Letarte: Kyle Larson laid foundation for Michigan win earlier in race (video)

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We all know how Kyle Larson made the race-winning move on the final restart of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

But on Tuesday’s NASCAR America, NASCAR on NBC analyst Steve Letarte said Larson laid the foundation for the win even earlier in the race.

“While that last restart was very impressive, and without a doubt was the moment that the 42 actually won the race, I think it started way earlier in the race,” Letarte said. “About the 75 percent mark, we had a lot of leaders running on the race track under green and it was pretty stretched out.

“The 78 of Martin Truex Jr., who at this point looked like he had the race under control, came to pit road for four tires. He drew the 2 of Brad Keselowski with him, but not the 42 (Larson). The (42 crew) decided to leave the 42 on the racetrack, stuck with their guns and strategy, and it ended up paying off.

“When the 22 came to pit road and debris from his car created the next-to-last yellow, that was an important point because that’s what the 42 needed. The decision to pit was pretty easy for fuel, but I think the tough decision was how many tires. (Crew chief) Chad Johnston made a very gutsy move, he put four tires and I think that made a big difference.”

 

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones continue Rookie of the Year battle (video)

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The battle for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Cup Series has become a tight race between Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones.

Jones closed the gap between Suarez and himself with Sunday’s third-place finish in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Suarez, meanwhile, was involved in a hard wreck with Kasey Kahne that knocked both of them out of the race.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, our analysts discussed not only the battle between Suarez and Jones, but also their chances of making the upcoming NASCAR Cup playoffs.