35 One of the track’s 2017 highlights was NASCAR’s return to the Mid- South region with the NASCAR K&N Series race on June 3. NASCAR and MIR enjoy a storied history dating back to September 1998 when the facility hosted its first NASCAR race. Harrison Burton, son of former NASCAR driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd as he took the checkered flag. “The fans here were awesome,” Burton said. “They were rowdy and had a good time. That was awesome to win in front of these people who have been waiting for NASCAR to be back for so long. To see them rejuvenated by us being back, hats off to the fans in Memphis. It’s one of the coolest atmospheres we’ve been to.” Red Bull Global Rallycross, another 2017 highlight utilizing a new 1.8-mile course layout at MIR in April, was a perfect example of the diversity of Memphis International Raceway. The course featured one of the longest and fastest courses in Red Bull GRC history. The layout was built into MIR’s .75-mile oval starting at the end of the backstretch. Drivers charged around the banked corners and came up to speed on the front stretch, hitting top speed in front of the main grandstand. Continuing around the oval, drivers took a hard left off the backstretch into the dirt section, which included multiple turns and the series’ signature 70- foot jump. Returning to pavement, drivers charged up the pit lane towards a complex paved section that included multiple left-right combinations. MIR’s flexibility can be seen innovating its programming or assisting the community – both are significant strengths. “MIR is one of the top-10 tourist attractions in the state of Tennessee,” Kendrick said. “Our relationship with country and state government as well as local city officials has proven to be a strong support system both ways. We have hosted many events with The Memphis CVB (Convention & Visitor’s Bureau) as well as the City of Millington. The neighboring cities and communities work closely with us as we stimulate economic development in many areas such as hotels and restaurants, but the list goes on. MIR works to promote other attractions in the County to offer alternate experiences while many out of town guests are here for events.” When it comes to Motorsports, diverse events and community involvement, Memphis International Raceway and its dedicated staff can pretty much do it all.