GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When Kevin Harvick won last year's Firekeepers Casino 400, the roar of the crowd was missing but that won't be the case this year.
"All of a sudden, we got a summer here," says track president Rick Brenner.
With last year's NASCAR weekend closed off to spectators due to the pandemic, Brenner had been waiting a long time to announce the return of fans. Now that it's official, he says August 20, the night the three day event kicks off, can't get here soon enough.
"We are excited," he smiles. "We are ready. We've done everything we can to prepare."
That includes ways to keep fans healthy. While masks wouldn't be required, Brenner says his staff is taking extra precaution to make those in attendance feel comfortable.
"People can expect what they've always expected here and that's a safe environment and a great opportunity to come out and entertain themselves."
A number of non-racing activities are planned for the weekend as well as the unveiling of two new campgrounds. While those are typical crowd pleasures in any year, Brenner stopped short of predicting the attendance for the first post pandemic race at Michigan International Speedway.
"If I could tell fortunes that well, I'd buy a lottery ticket," he jokes. "We're just going to wait and see."
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.
Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.