BROOKLYN, Mich. – Watch out infield campers at the fastest track in NASCAR. Nancy Lantz of Delta, Ohio, is bringing a newly painted bus to Michigan International Speedway in 2013 after winning the Extreme Bus Makeover online auction to benefit MIS Cares.
In the fall of 2010, the Lantzes were in the market for a bus to replace their aging motorhome they had been bringing to MIS for the last 20 years. They did not have to look far. The MISCamping.com Infield is truly a city within the track on the race weekend.
A fellow camper was selling his bus and the Lantzes were quick to snatch it up. The inside of the bus had been completely redone, but the outside was still the familiar school bus yellow.
"We are extremely happy to make over the exterior of the Lantz's bus this off-season and present them with a new paint scheme for the 2013 racing season," MIS President Roger Curtis said. "Our Maintenance Department enjoys painting the bus during the winter months and it is fun to see the excitement on the fan's face when the bus is returned. But the best part is all money benefits MIS Cares and the charities it supports."
The Lantzes knew they wanted the bus repainted and had seen what the track had done for the previous three editions of the bus makeover. There was never any doubt they would be heavily involved in the bidding process.
"I have seen some of the buses the track has repainted and I have talked to some of the guys who had the buses done," Nancy Lantz said. "We liked how those buses turned out and what they looked like. We are tired of our school bus yellow. We talked about getting it done, so we thought why not go through the track."
After putting in the initial bid, the Lantzes sat back to watch the process work. After a slow beginning, the bids started to pour in over the last week of the online auction as multiple people wanted that exclusive bus makeover.
Finally, for a bid of $3,425, the Lantzes were declared the winners when the checkered flag dropped on the auction. It made it all the more special the proceeds were going to MIS Cares.
"We are glad to donate," Lantz said. "Our bus went for a lot more than it went for last year – it almost doubled last year's winning bid. We figured it was for a good cause and we would have the bus the way we want it. The donation will help many organizations in the area."
MIS Cares, a 501© (3) non-profit entity under the umbrella of the NASCAR Foundation, focuses on raising funds for various local charitable causes the speedway supports. MIS Cares in 2011 alone awarded $75,000 in cash donations to local charities through its grant program. Another $50,000 was awarded through sponsorships and tickets those groups raffle off, also to raise money.