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Published: Wednesday, 5/7/2008

Adventure-seekers hit the jackpot with area offerings

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Looking for a fast-paced, on-the-edge and, perhaps, high-stakes adventure?

You might be in the right neck of the woods. Opportunity abounds in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan and even in nearby Windsor, Ont. Here s a look at some of the highlights:

• A super oval: The two-mile Michigan International Speedway, in Brooklyn, Mich., near the junction of U.S. 12 and M-50, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a new, state-of-the-art scoreboard, enhanced seating, more campsites, and a continuation of its improved traffic plan.

More than a half a million fans are expected to take in racing at MIS this summer. Racing at MIS commences on Father s Day weekend with the Michigan 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race on June 13, the Craftsman Truck Series Cool City Customs 200 the following day, and the Sprint Cup Series Michigan 400 on June 15. In August, NASCAR returns to MIS with a special day of Sprint Cup qualifying on the 15th, the Nationwide Series Carfax 250 on Aug. 16, and the Sprint Cup Series 3M Performance 400 on Aug. 17. Information: 800-354-1010; MISpeedway.com

• Closer to home: Toledo Speedway, at 5639 Benore Road, will highlight its busy season of regular Friday night events with a pair of ARCA races bracketing the year. On May 18, the half-mile paved facility hosts the Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care and on Oct. 12 will run the Toledo ARCA 200 by Belle Tire. Information: 419-727-1100; toledospeedway.com

• More motoring in Michigan: Flat Rock Speedway, at 14041 Telegraph Road in Flat Rock, Mich., hosts Saturday night racing for Late Models, Figure-8s, and Street Stocks and stages the popular Marco s Pizza School Bus Figure-8 event on June 14. Information: 734-782-2480; flatrockspeedway.com.

The racing season is under way at Michigan s historic Milan Dragway, with its quarter-mile, IHRA-sanctioned strip. Along with weekly events, the drag strip at 10860 Plank Rd. in Milan, Mich., hosts the Suzuki Motor City Nationals May 23-25 and the National Mustang Racing Association s Aeromotive Nationals from June 13-15. Information: 734-439-7368; milandragway.com

• A trio of tracks: The dirt flies on Saturday nights at Oakshade Raceway, at 12985 CR-14-2 near Wauseon, Ohio, and at Fremont Speedway at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds at 901 Rawson Ave. in Fremont. The paved half-mile at Sandusky Speedway, at 614 West Perkins Ave. in Sandusky, also hosts Saturday racing, with the Hy-Miler ISMA Supermodified Nationals on the weekend of July 25-26 highlighting the 2008 schedule.

Oakshade Raceway information: 419-337-6850; oakshaderaceway.com. Fremont Speedway information: 419-307- 4241; fremontohspeedway.com. Sandusky Speedway information: 419-625-4084; sanduskyspeedway.com

• Ascending the summit: Summit Motorsports Park, at 1300 State Rt. 18 near Norwalk, Ohio, is the former Norwalk Raceway Park, which has been hosting drags since 1963 and has a full weekend schedule for 2008. The popular SPEED Channel series Pinks All Out comes here June 6 and 7, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals run at Norwalk on June 26-29. Information: 419- 668-5555; norwalkraceway.com

• And they re off: Racing of a different variety takes place at Toledo s historic Raceway Park, a facility that was built in the 1950s as an auto racing track, then converted to host thoroughbred horse racing before staging its first harness race in 1962. Raceway Park, at 5700 Telegraph Road in Toledo, operates through November.

The track hosts the annual Buckeye-Wolverine Pace, an event that has predicted the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan football game with 78 percent accuracy, as well as multiple legs of the Ohio Sires Stakes. Information: 419-476-7751; racewayparktoledo.com

• A Motor City experience: The Motor City Casino, at 2901 Grand River Ave. in Detroit, has the top view around from its rooftop Iridescence restaurant, which offers a stunning panorama of Detroit s downtown, Tiger Stadium, the Detroit River, and the Windsor skyline. There is a 75,000-square-foot casino and a 400-room luxury hotel. Information: 877-777-0711; motorcitycasino.com

• Gambling on Greektown: Greektown Casino, which features more than 2,300 slots and more than 50 gaming tables in its downtown Detroit location at 555 East Lafayette Ave., is in the midst of a $475 million expansion, which will culminate with the planned fall opening of its 30-story, 400-room hotel.

For now, the nearby People Mover connects the casino with more than 1,500 downtown hotel rooms and drops patrons off right inside the casino, where guests can play no-limit Texas Hold em around the clock in the 21-table poker room. Information: 888-771-4FUN (4386); greektowncasino.com

• Going for a grand: The MGM Grand Detroit, at 1777 Third St., features more than 90 table games and more than 4,000 of the latest options in slots and video poker. Inside the plush poker room, games of seven-card stud and limit and no-limit Texas Hold em go on around the clock. The MGM s hotel offers floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the city from its ultra modern corner suties. Information: 877-888-2121. mgmgranddetroit.com

• Crossing the border: Casino Windsor sits on the riverfront on the Canadian side and is a nonsmoking facility. The Windsor complex, at 377 Riverside Drive East, offers 758 guest rooms, a 10,000-square-foot natural atrium fitness center, and a 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art convention center. It will soon be renamed Caesars Windsor.

At this time, no passport is required to cross the border, but you will need two forms of identification. Information: 800-991-7777; harrahs.com (click on the link to Casino Windsor).

This report includes information from The Blade s news services.

Contact Matt Markey at: mmarkey@theblade.com or 419-724-6510.



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