BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 8, 2012) – Two of the state’s biggest sports superstars will be grand marshal and honorary starter for the Father’s Day Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Starting goaltender for the 11-time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings Jimmy Howard will remove his mask and serve as grand marshal for the Quicken Loans 400, giving the command to start engines. Dominic Raiola, the center and team captain for the NFL’s Detroit Lions, will be honorary starter, waving the green flag.
“It is great to have two professional athletes synonymous with Detroit to join us at MIS,” track President Roger Curtis said. “Their records and accomplishments speak for themselves as they each lead their respective teams and are true superstars. Howard and Raiola are each truly two of the greats in their leagues, and we are honored they could join us for the Quicken Loans 400.”
When it comes to his play between the pipes, Howard is regarded as one of the best goalies in the NHL. He has played in 192 regular season games for the Red Wings with 188 starts, posting a 110-54-19 record. He played in his first NHL All-Star Game earlier this year. Since becoming the Red Wings full-time goalie for the 2009-2010 season, Howard has won 35 or more contests in each season. He is the first goaltender in Red Wings history to win 35 or more games in his first three full seasons with the team.
He also led this year’s team to the NHL’s home-game win streak record, 23 games over four months.
“I’m a NASCAR fan, so I’m thrilled to share Father’s Day with my dad at the Quicken Loans 400 at MIS,” Howard said. Howard’s father, James Howard II, will join him for the command, a perfect complement for Father’s Day.
Raiola has played in 172 career, regular season NFL games with 156 starts during his NFL career. A model of consistency, he has missed just four games since entering into the starting lineup in 2002. The seven-year captain is considered the leader of the lockerroom and held in high regard by his peers and the media, including receiving the Detroit chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association’s prestigious Detroit Lions Good Guy or media-friendly award winner in 2009.
Last year he was one of the driving forces in leading the Lions to a 10-6 record and an appearance in the playoffs. The Detroit offense finished the year averaging 29.6 points per game. The former second-round pick for the Lions in 2001, Raiola was a three-year starter on the offensive line at Nebraska.
“Michigan is my home now, so to be a part of a NASCAR race at MIS is a real honor,” Raiola said. “When you think about the history of MIS and all the great drivers and races over the years, that’s pretty impressive. And with a Detroit Company, Quicken Loans, being the sponsor of the race, well, that just makes it all the better and that much more special to be a part of.”
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, 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.
All race tickets are on sale at http://www.MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.
Keep up with Michigan International Speedway via Twitter @MISpeedway or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MISpeedway. You can also follow track president Roger Curtis on Twitter at @MISRoger.
Join our Mobile Fan Club by texting MISCLUB on a Sprint Handheld or other mobile device to 69050. Standard text message rates may apply.
About Quicken Loans Inc:
Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest online home lender and a top five retail lender. The company closed a record $30 billion in retail home loan volume across all 50 states in 2011. Quicken Loans generates loan production from five web centers located in Detroit, Ohio and Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010 and 2011. “QuickenLoans.com” has been named “Best of the Web” by Forbes and Money magazines. The company ranked in the Top 10 of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2012 and has placed among the top-30 companies on FORTUNE’s list for the past nine years. It ranked in the Top-15 of Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work In Technology” for seven years in a row. The Quicken Loans Cleveland Web Center ranked #4 on the 2011 Plain Dealer Top Workplaces List for Mid-size Companies in 2011.
Quicken Loans was named #1 in the Detroit Free Press’ ‘Best Places to Work in Michigan’ List in 2010 and 2011. The company moved its headquarters and 3,700 of its more than 5,000 team members to downtown Detroit. Another 1,000 team members are expected to move to downtown Detroit in mid-2012. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit us on the web at http://www.quickenloans.com, on Twitter at @QLnews, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/QuickenLoans.
Michigan International Speedway 2012 Schedule
Friday, June 15 ARCA Racing Series RainEater Wiper Blades 200
Saturday, June 16 NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 and Gatorade Pole Day
Sunday, June 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400
Friday, Aug. 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice
Saturday, Aug. 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 and Gatorade Pole Day
Sunday, Aug. 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400
Tuesday, Sept. 11 Spirit of America Blood Drive