Wednesday December 28, 2011
Next Tuesday's Sugar Bowl will pit two legendary programs against one another - Martinsville Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.
The top dogs for the two NASCAR racetracks will square off head-to-head, each backing his state's marquee football team. MIS boss Roger Curtis will cheer for the legendary University of Michigan, while Martinsville boss Clay Campbell has picked Virginia Tech to win.
Here's the bet: If the No. 11 Hokies win, Curtis will travel to Martinsville, Va., in April for that track's NASCAR event and serve the half-mile track's Famous Martinsville Speedway Hotdog® to media. Curtis will wear something in Chicago maroon and burnt orange, likely emblazoned with the Hokie Bird or the famous "VT."
If the No. 13 Wolverines win, Campbell will visit MIS in June during MIS' NASCAR event and serve MIS' signature Coney Dogs to the press. Coney dogs were invented in Jackson., Mich., just 15 miles north of MIS.
Oh, and Campbell will also be outfitted in something special should the University of Michigan win.
"Clay Campbell will look good wearing maize and blue at MIS," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "Michigan is the winningest program in the history of college football, and Michigan International Speedway has a winning tradition of great NASCAR racing. The lifeblood for us in Michigan, no doubt, is winning, which the University of Michigan will do."
Michigan International Speedway has strong ties to University of Michigan. In August, Heisman Trophy winner from the school and ESPN College Football analyst Desmond Howard served as grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and legendary former coach Lloyd Carr performed the duties in June.
"Martinsville Speedway and Virginia Tech are more than neighbors ... we're like family. Coach Beamer grew up not far from here and he comes to many of our races," said Campbell. "So the Sugar Bowl is more than just a bowl game for us. It's like family on the field and that makes it way more important than just a football game."
This is the first time the two track presidents - and the schools - will face off.
Virginia Tech, 11-2 on the season, is the only team in the country to win 10 games for eight straight seasons. The Hokies have also been to 19 consecutive bowl games.
This will be Michigan's 41st trip to a bowl game. The school has an 18-3 all-time record against ACC schools.
The Sugar Bowl is one of the most successful college football bowl games of its kind, played annually in New Orleans since 1935. The Sugar Bowl will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Founded in 1947 by the late H.Clay Earles, Martinsville Speedway is the only track remaining on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit that hosted an event in the series' inaugural year, 1949. While the facility has grown with the times to include modern, state-of-the-art amenities, the racing hasn't changed. It is "racing the way you want it to be."
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, 30 miles from Ann Arbor, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It's the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.