In Play! Blogs

Bookmark and Share

Detroit Red Wings - thumbnail image



November 19, 2013 @ 12:18PM

Free T-Shirt with first 250 Orders; Fans To Experience Grand Prix-View at GM Renaissance Center

DETROIT, Mich. (November 19, 2013) – Tickets for the 2014 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix go on sale Wednesday and the event is offering two great opportunities for fans to get ready to start their summer a little bit early. 

Beginning Wednesday morning, fans can purchase their tickets for the 2014 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, which will be held May 30-June 1, by visiting or by calling the ticket hotline at 866-464-PRIX (7749). The first 250 ticket orders will receive a free Grand Prix t-shirt produced by Made In Detroit.

Fans are also invited to come and meet Grand Prix drivers Helio Castroneves and Ed Carpenter of the IndyCar Series as well as Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim of the Pirelli World Challenge Series at 11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday at the GM Renaissance Center Wintergarden as they will sign autographs and sell tickets at the Chevrolet/Cadillac Grand Prix-View. The public is welcome to attend and free Coney Dogs and soft drinks will be provided courtesy of the Grand Prix and Chevrolet.

Great ticket packages are available for a fun-filled weekend on Belle Isle next summer highlighted by the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans doubleheader IndyCar Series races and some new and exciting off-track entertainment options.

New for 2014, all tickets will include free round-trip shuttle transportation to and from Belle Isle from two downtown Detroit locations.

Race officials are proud to announce that Free Prix Day, a Grand Prix tradition in Detroit, will return in 2014 as everyone will be admitted to the Raceway at Belle Isle Park venue free of charge on Friday, May 30. Premium single-day and multi-day ticket plans are available for all of the Saturday and Sunday Grand Prix activities. Single-day tickets can be purchased for as little as $35 for a general admission seat and two-day general admission tickets are available for just $65. Children 12 and under are admitted free to GA seating with a ticket-holding adult.

Two-day reserved grandstand ticket pricing starts at just $110 and premium seating options are also available. Fans can buy the Three-day Super Ticket plan which includes premiere seating and paddock passes for all three days of the Grand Prix for $175. Passes for the unique Trackside Club – located just a few feet away from the race cars competing on track – are also available, which includes paddock passes, access to the exclusive Club that features food and beverages all weekend long, souvenirs and much more. Passes to the Fifth Third Bank Paddock, the “locker room” of motorsports that includes up-close access to the teams, drivers and race cars, are now also available for purchase.

Tickets to the event not only include a chance to witness world-class racing featuring the IndyCar Series, the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Pirelli World Challenge Series, they also provide access to all the activities in the Meijer Fan Zone. With extreme sports demonstrations, Monster Truck rides, displays from Detroit’s sports teams family-friendly activities, the Meijer Fan Zone will be the place to be at the Grand Prix. Fans can also watch national and local acts perform throughout the weekend on the MotorCity Casino Hotel entertainment stage (entertainment to be announced soon).

Tickets are available for the 2014 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix online at through the ticket hotline at 866-464-PRIX (7749) or fans can purchase in person at the Grand Prix box office located in the GM Renaissance Center, 300 Renaissance Center Drive in downtown Detroit.  

LIKE the In Play! Magazine Facebook Page


November 18, 2013 @ 7:16PM

DETROIT, Mich. (November 18, 2013) – The 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix generated $46.3 million in total spending for the Metropolitan Detroit region, according to information released today.

The total represents an increase of $1 million in spending from the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, according to a report conducted by sports consulting firm Sportsimpacts, which also provided an analysis report of the 2012 Grand Prix.

Of the 2013 total spending number affecting Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, $17 million represents new spending to the region as a result of non-local sources that will be retained long term as new income for Detroit-area households, businesses and government. This represents a total economic impact increase of $1.3 million over the 2012 Grand Prix according to Sportsimpacts, which has conducted over 75 studies since 2000, including numerous sporting events in Metro Detroit such as Super Bowl XL, the Ryder Cup and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

“The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix continues to be a very positive force for Detroit and Southeast Michigan,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “We know that the event shines the light on Detroit and Belle Isle on an international level with race broadcasts seen around the world and it’s also great to see how much of an impact the Grand Prix has on the local economy. We’re very excited to report economic growth from the 2012 event and to generate $46.3 million in spending for the region this year.”

The direct spending impact, which refers to all spending by local and non-local spectators, participants, and other expenditures towards event operations and infrastructure for the Grand Prix in 2013 was estimated at $28.8 million. Accounting for regional spending multipliers produced, Sportsimpacts projected the total spending impact of this year’s Grand Prix to be $17 million.

LIKE the In Play! Magazine Facebook Page


September 22, 2013 @ 10:44AM

LIKE the In Play! Magazine Facebook Page
 DETROIT, Mich. (September 20, 2013) – The Motor City will host North America’s new unified and revitalized sports car racing series next year following today’s announcement that the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will race at the 2014 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Last spring, the two top sports car series in North America – the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the GRAND-AM Sports Car Series – announced that they would join forces to create the United SportsCar Racing series. Sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and featuring many of the world’s top sports car teams and drivers, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (series logo attached) was unveiled and the series will visit Detroit next summer.

As it announced its 12-race schedule on Friday, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship proudly revealed that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, to be held May 30-June 1, 2014, will be a key event on the circuit. Three classes of sports cars will battle wheel-to-wheel on the 2.3-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit on Saturday, May 31.

“We are excited to host the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in Detroit at next year’s Grand Prix,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “With both series coming together in 2014 this represents a rebirth of sports car racing in North America and we are thrilled to be a part of it here as we host their race on Saturday, May 31st in the automotive capital of the world.”

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix hosted both sports car series in past years. The ALMS cars competed on Belle Isle in 2007 and 2008 while the GRAND-AM Series raced on the island in 2012 and 2013.

“This is, without a doubt, the best sports car schedule in the history of North America,” said Scott Atherton, IMSA President. “When we announced the merger plans last year, we immediately envisioned a dream schedule, one that our industry and, most importantly, our fans would embrace. Although it wasn’t easy, we feel like we have arrived at just that. There were so many options to consider and we could have added more events, but we had to ensure that we didn’t over-tax our industry. So, we stuck to our plan of going with the ‘best of the best’ and capped the lineup at 12 events. Overall, a dream schedule, indeed.”

The Prototype (P), Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) race classes will all compete next summer on Belle Isle in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers. The 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will begin January 25-26 with the popular Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race.


April 23, 2013 @ 7:13PM

DETROIT, Mich. (April, 23, 2013) – Opening its arms to all of the great Canadian race fans located across the Detroit River from Belle Isle, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is proud to announce a renewed partnership with the City of Windsor. Through the relationship, fans across the border will have the opportunity enjoy a weekend full of world class auto racing, family fun and on-stage entertainment, May 31-June 2 at the Grand Prix.

As part of this unique partnership Canadian fans will enjoy a special ticket and transportation package through the City of Windsor. In addition, the Belle Isle Casino building, which hosts members of the working press throughout race weekend at the official event Media Center, will be sponsored by the City of Windsor, as it was during the 2008 Grand Prix.

The special ticket package includes a seat in the “Canadian Grandstand.” This features a reserved seat ticket in Grandstand 2, located at the start/finish line, which gives fans one of the best views of the on-track action. Also included in the package is a round-trip Transit Windsor ticket to and from Belle Isle, access to the Meijer Family Fun Zone and concerts on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage. Single-day tickets start at $55 per person (HST included) and two-day tickets start at $105.

“We welcomed fans to the Canadian Grandstand at our event back in 2008 and we enjoyed tremendous support with a strong turnout,” said Bud Denker, Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Event Chairman. “We appreciate the partnership with the City of Windsor and Mayor Francis. We are excited to offer this special package once again to all of the great Canadian fans and we look forward to providing an exciting weekend at the Grand Prix.”

Fans can visit for more information or call 311 in the City of Windsor to purchase tickets. Fans can also visit the Windsor International Transit Terminal and Customer Care Centres throughout Windsor starting Friday, April 26 to purchase the Canadian Grandstand ticket packages. Cash, debit, Visa and MasterCard are all accepted for the Canadian Grandstand package.

“The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is one of the many exciting events going on this summer and the City of Windsor is proud to lend its support,” said City of Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis. “We want to make sure that the Canadian Grandstand is packed with fans all weekend long so we urge everyone to get their tickets and enjoy a great weekend on Belle Isle.”

LIKE the In Play! Magazine Facebook Page

Last lap wreck at Daytona injures fans, mars Tony Stewart's Nationwide victory

February 23, 2013 @ 6:09PM

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Tony Stewart won Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, but the elation of his victory disappeared in the wake of a heart-stopping wreck that saw Kyle Larson's car demolished after flying into the crossover gate that provides access from the asphalt to the main grandstand. 

As Stewart dodged the crash and crossed the finish line, the front clip of Larson's car sheared off , ripping the engine out of its compartment. The front suspension and engine ended up on the walkway at the bottom of the stands.

A tire from Larson's car also flew into the grandstands.

Regan Smith led as the cars approached the checkered flag, but Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski, who was running second, and turned across the nose of Keselowski's car.

There were no immediate reports as to the extent of injuries, but emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene with stretchers and removed one spectator who was tightly strapped to the gurney. Other fans appeared to be receiving treatment at the scene.

The emergency in the grandstand tempered Stewart's fifth victory in his last six February races at Daytona and the 11th Nationwide Series win of his career.

"Fortunately, with the way the event's equipped up, there were plenty of emergency workers ready to go, and they jumped in on it pretty quickly," NASCAR president Mike Helton told ESPN. "And right now, it's just a function of trying to determine what all damage is done.

"They're moving folks, as we've seen, to care centers and taking some folks over to Halifax Medical (Center), so we'll be able to update later on, but right now, all we know is everybody's working real hard on determining what all happened."

Larson climbed from his car almost immediately and was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

Drivers, Larson included, were more concerned with the safety of the fans than the outcome of the race.

"The important thing is what's going on on the frontstretch right now," Stewart said after climbing from his car. "We've always known since racing was started this is a dangerous sport. But it's hard. We assume that risk. It's hard when the fans get caught up in it.

 "As much as we want to celebrate right now, as much as this is a big deal to us, I'm more worried about the drivers and fans in the stands right now. I could see it all in the mirror and it didn't look good from where I was either."

Smith said he wasn't about to surrender the victory to Keselowski 200 yards from the finish line.

"We made a move to try and win the race," Keselowski said. "We were in the catbird seat. Regan was in a good spot. He was first and I was second, and we were pushing. I kind of had the run and the move to win the race, and Regan obviously tried to block it, and that's understandable.

Sam Hornish Jr. crossed the stripe in second place, followed by rookie Alex Bowman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Parker Kligerman.

The last-lap wreck wasn't the only serious incident of the event. A 13-car wreck in Turns 1 and 2, triggered by contact between the No. 43 Ford Mustang of Michael Annett and the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro of Austin Dillon -- both championship hopefuls -- stopped the race after 116 laps and set up the finish.

Annett was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center. Richard Petty Motorsports later reported that Annett, whose car slammed the outside wall nose-first, was treated for bruising on his chest and received a CT scan. He remains in the hospital for further observation.
LIKE the In Play! Magazine Facebook Page

Allmendinger is Out Indefinitely!!

July 25, 2012 @ 9:55PM

By Sherri Breaton

Penske Driver A.J. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR
Photo courtesy of

Despite it being an off week in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, there was still lots of news happening around the tracks.

 A. J. Allmendinger has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR following his failure to pass the “B” test sample provided following a positive “A” test a few weeks ago for a banned “stimulant”. Allmendinger maintains that he did not knowingly ingest any banned substance and has even suggested that he may have come from a stimulant. He recently signed on with sponsor “Fuel in a Bottle”. It is unclear if this could have been the cause.

His business manager, Tara Ragan, said that the driver is still waiting for information to determine what caused the positive test. NASCAR has since revealed that the substance was amphetamine:

 “He has no idea why the test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance. A.J. is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over-the-counter product caused his positive test” Ragan stated following the test outcome.

Allmendinger has chosen to enter the “Road to Recovery” path to reinstatement. David Black, NASCAR’s substance abuse program administrator said that the timetable for Allmendinger's potential return is unclear. It can take Allmendinger anywhere from a few months to more than a year to be reinstated.

Black also went on to state that he would be surprised to learn that the positive result came from a supplement. As Black explained to ESPN:

“On every positive test we have, we look to rule out the possibility of a supplement being involved. Of course, we have not identified the drug (this has since changed) but I'm not aware of any commercial products that would have influenced the test outcome."

NASCAR's substance abuse policy bans stimulants including amphetamine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy (MDMA), Eve (MDEA), MDA, PMA, Phentermine and other amphetamine derivatives and related compounds.

Just hours after the revelation became public, Allmendinger took to Twitter to say a few words (all words sic’d):

"I just want to say thank you first and foremost for all if u sticking by me. Please dont think me being means i havent been reading all ur / Support. And man, it means more than u eill ever know. Im sorry we even have to have this going on. But i promise..i will do whatever it / Takes to get to the bottom of this and get back our there no matter what. Thanks guys."

Typically, the grammar police of Twitterland kicked the poor guy when he was down and in no time he was being ridiculed for his poor English skills. He later tweeted:

"Hey..sorry to u guys jumping on my wasnt a "pr" was me typing from my heart...sorry it wasnt perfect".
Sam Hornish Jr., who subbed for Allmendinger at Daytona and New Hampshire, will again drive the No. 22 car this weekend at Indianapolis and in the following race at Pocono.
Kasey Kahne is riding on a post win high after stealing a win away from Denny Hamlin in New Hampshire July 15th, 2012. A major communication screw up between Hamlin and crew chief Darian Grubb in the pits cost Hamelin the win after he had been leading 150 of the 300 one-mile laps.

Kasey Kahne celebrates in victory lane at Louden holding the
traditional "lobsta"
Photo courtesy of

"Darian asked me how much of the tires I felt I'd used up. I felt like I had used up a substantial amount," Hamlin said. "(I said) give me tires and no adjustments. He thought I meant four tires. Nothing's a given. Even though it looked like we had one in the bag if we took two tires, you never know." Apparently Hamlin only wanted two tires.
Kahne took advantage of the foul up and on the restart jumped in to first on lap 240 while Hamlin restarted 13th.   The victory for Kahne made him start looking like an actual Cup contender and helped his chances of qualifying for the Chase (the last 10 races of the season in which the top 10 drivers in the point standings win automatic berths). Two additional spots go to the drivers with the most wins who are ranked 11th to 20th in points.
Kahne went from 16th to 12th, and his two wins are more than anyone in the second group of 10. The win was the fifth of the year for Hendrick Motorsports in 19 races. Seven remain before the Chase begins at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sept. 16.
Just when NASCAR fans can not possibly take any more ridicule directed at them, 72 year old Linda Chase of Michigan gives them more ammo. Last month police discovered that Ms. Chase had been keeping her 67 year old friend Charles Zigler’s mummified dead body in his apartment since approximately 2010. Once a week she would dress him, clean him and sit with him so that they could enjoy the NASCAR race on TV. Oh she was also cashing his social security checks probably to pay for the beer and Doritos. Who say’s we NASCAR fans aren’t “die hard”??
On a more “lively” note, NASCAR Chairman, Brian France made a statement about his commitment to making changes in the sport:

"There aren't a whole lot of people who don't want to see more lead changes, or a photo finish, or slamming and banging coming out of the fourth turn."

"It's a contact sport and if you have a chance to win and are in second place on the last lap, would I expect there to be some contact if you have a faster car? Absolutely...we want to see what everybody else wants to see - excitement."
Bring it!
Sunday we resume racing as we go green at the Brickyard in Indy for the Curtiss Shaver 400. Let’s see who is fast enough to kiss the bricks when the checkered flag flies!
The Lowe's 48 Team of Jimmie Johnson kissing the bricks
at the Brickyard
Photo courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports

Agree? Disagree?
Drop me line at In Play! Magazine on Facebook

Allmendinger Requests "B" Sample Tested

July 10, 2012 @ 12:19PM

By Sherri Breaton

A.J. Allmendinger addresses the media following a failed
random drug test.
Photo courtesy of

In an attempt to clear his name, Penske driver A.J. Allmendinger exercised his rights today in asking that an independent laboratory test the backup sample provided last week. 

"I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the 'B' sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR's 2012 rule book regarding this situation," Allmendinger said in a statement released by the team. "I fully respect NASCAR's drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge.
"I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug."
Due to the uncertainty of Allmendinger's status, Sam Hornish Jr. has been added to the entry list for Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Agree? Disagree?
Drop me line at In Play! Magazine on Facebook

“Smoke” takes Daytona and Allmendinger Takes Drugs??

July 8, 2012 @ 10:18AM

By Sherri Breaton

 Tony Stewart picked up his 47thwin in 482 starts following a wild night at the Coca Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway July 8, 2012. It was his fourth Sprint Cup victory at the track yet the “big prize” – the Daytona 500 has continued to elude him.

Crew chief Steve Addington gets ready to soak Tony Stewart
with champagne in Victory Lane
Photo courtesy of

"I don't know, but I'll trade 'em all in for just one Daytona 500," Stewart said of his four summertime wins. "This is 18 wins at Daytona -- we just haven't got the right one yet. But all of 'em are special, and it's cool to do this."
As per usual in Daytona, just as Tony was crossing the finish line, total mayhem was occurring in his rear view mirror. A previous wreck caused by Denny Hamlin had already taken out quite a few in the field. Two out of three of Michael Waltrip’s cars were out, as was all of Joe Gibbs’ Racing Team. On the restart, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle were side by side by and somehow Tony Stewart side-drafted the two of them and pulled ahead for the victory.
Carnage outside of Turn 4
Photo courtesy of
Jeff Burton came second followed by Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Stewart’s team mate Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Brad Kesolowski, Michael Waltrip and one of my favourite drivers, Bobby Labonte rounded out the top ten.
On a side note, Joey Logano’s Nationwide car failed inspection following the Subway Jalapeno 250 Friday night. Penalties are expected to be levied on Tuesday.
I am not really a fan of watching restrictor plate racing on TV. Having not yet experienced it in person at a track, I can’t speak to what it’s like to watch live. If you are not normally a NASCAR viewer and/or are one of those people with the skewed ideal that “all they do is drive around in a circle”, you should probably not watch restrictor plate tracks. Yes it is exciting to see the cars quite literally stuck to each other’s bumpers at ridiculously high speeds, but unless there is a wreck, that’s all you are going to see.
Can you just scootch over a bit please?
Photo courtesy of
The sideshow of the Allmendinger drama made for some interesting moments off and on track. A.J. Allmendinger, the driver of the #22 car for Penske, had been informed only two and a half hours prior to the green flag start that he failed his random drug test performed last week in Kentucky.
NASCAR announced that he was temporarily suspended for failing to pass his “A” sample which included a banned substance. Allmendinger as the option to ask for his “B” sample to be tested within 24 hours.
If his “B” sample comes back positive, he will be indefinitely suspended and will not be allowed to drive until he completes a recovery program prescribed by NASCAR. He would be evaluated by a substance abuse professional and subsequently be required to enter a rehabilitation program would be tailored specifically for him. He is only the second Sprint Cup driver to be suspended since NASCAR began random testing in 2009.  Jeremy Mayfield shared the honour in 2009.
Sam Hornish Jr., literally turned into a superhero and bolted into action to take over driving duties for Penske. Kenny Wallace was on standby (poor guy was on standby for Kevin Harvick too in case his wife Delana went into labour...sigh..I love Kenny!), just in case Hornish could not get to the track in time. He was literally doing a live, in-studio race interview for Speed in Charlotte, NC when his phone went off in his pocket. He ignored the call but checked soon after the taping and sprung into action.
Penske arranged for him to hop a flight to Daytona and once he landed there was a caravan of police cars waiting to escort him to the track."It's kind of a weird thing when you land in an airplane and you see cop lights that are out there for you," he said.
Sam Hornish Jr. gets a quick pre-race talking to with
fellow Penske driver Brad Kesolowski
Photo courtesy of
He arrived at 7:30 pm just as the invocation had begun. I swear Robin Meade (yes THAT Robin Meade from the CNN Morning Express show! Who knew she could sing??), really milked that national anthem to give them time to get Hornish into the car! He managed a 33rd place finish for Penske.
It should be noted that NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell, who announced the suspension but did not field any questions and did not elaborate on what drug was found in Allmendinger’s system. It could be something as simple as an over the counter medication or something as severe as a narcotic. We will have to wait and see what unfolds.
Next week we head over to Louden in New Hampshire for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
Agree? Disagree?
Drop me line at In Play! Magazine on Facebook

View all posts