Rick Brenner Ushers In New Era for Michigan

For the past nine months, Rick Brenner transitioned into his new role as President of Michigan International Speedway. Presently, his focus has been on creating the best fan experience.

“It’s all about fans and creating layers of reasons for them to come out and enjoy (the experience),” Brenner said. “The focus we’re going to have as a team is (continuing) our outstanding customer service, entertainment options, and values for the customers.

We’ll continue to let NASCAR and race teams do what they do and facilitate that the best we can.  We’re going to put our attention and focus on our fans, what makes it tick for them, and try to create the best possible experience for them when they come.”

By and large, fans will be in for a treat with a unique parade lap for Michigan and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.  Though mum on specifics, Brenner smiled about the genesis and expectations with Michigan’s twist on this pre-race tradition.

“It’s an idea that came from the team here,” Brenner acknowledged.  “It’s been kicked around and been a part of the thought process for a little while.  We were able to pull together as a group and get a hold of NASCAR to work hand and hand to make it a reality and possibility for the fans.  We’re excited to see how it plays out on Sunday.

We’re not going to disclose the route but a portion of it will make it through the infield. The first truck will have a t-shirt gun and stuff thrown out so it’ll have a real big parade feel and fun for the fans.  It’s one of those things where we’ll have to get through the first one and assess what made it great. Then we’ll find ways to improve it like anything else.”

Furthermore, Brenner, a longtime baseball executive, recognized the importance of teamwork needed with enhancing a quality venue such as Michigan International Speedway.

As track president Rick Brennan recognizes, teamwork is vital to long term success.

As track president Rick Brenner recognizes, teamwork is vital to long term success.

“The number one priority is working with your team,” he said.  “Get to know the people, the various stakeholders, community, and State of Michigan.  Fortunately, everybody here on the team here at MIS and in the state have been really welcoming and great and easy to work with.

I have a great team around me who point me in the right direction.   It’s about one thing at a time and one interaction at a time.  I’m a real big believer in the relationships you build serve you well if you build them well.  I’m taking my time trying to get to know as many people as possible.  I’ll say “yes” as many as times as can, as long as it’s reasonable, and go from there.”

Ultimately, Brenner looks forward to building a new chapter for the track while connecting with the race fans.

“It’s just been a pleasure to get to know everybody,” he observed. “It’s been about people.  Now, we’re here and it’s race weekend.  It’s about the fans.  Let’s have fun with them.  Let’s see what they’re thinking and feeling and continue to align our offerings with the things they want.”

Rob Tiongson

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes.

From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat.

Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Communications at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's just as happy to be a Texan.

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