NASCAR Cup: Phoenix International Raceway undergoes makeover
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
By AMANDA VINCENT
International Speedway Corporation (ISC), the parent company of Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., announced on Monday a $178 million project aimed at modernization at PIR that is expected to include a redesigned infield, a new pedestrian tunnel, new seating, and the moving of the track’s start/finish line.
“It’s great to see Phoenix Raceway make such a big investment to improve the experience for the fans,” NASCAR driver Kyle Busch said. “I’m from the West Coast and Phoenix is one of those places that always feels like home to me. Moving the start/finish line is a big change for all the racers that have been used to racing at Phoenix in the past. I’m looking forward to seeing how those changes might affect the racing and how the end of the races play out.”
According to a press release on the renovations, the infield redesign will include a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage Fan Zone that will place “fans face-to-face with the superstars of the sport.”
The start/finish line will be moved to turn two, and the new 45,000-seat grandstand feature “in-seat Wi-Fi connectivity” and will have access to the infield via the new pedestrian tunnel. Existing grandstands on the front straightaway will be replaced by motorcoach spaces.
A new pit road will be constructed in front of the new grandstand near turn two.
“When our project is completed, we will have a venue that delivers amazing fan experiences to go along with our reputation for great racing action,” PIR President Bryan R. Sperber said. “By shifting the start/finish line to Phoenix Raceway’s famed dog leg, fans will be perfectly positioned to watch one of the most exciting turns in motorsports. We are confident the Phoenix Raceway Project powered by DC Solar will put racing in Arizona in a whole new and exciting light.”
DC Solar will be the entitlement sponsor of the project and will be a multi-year sponsor of the facility’s redesigned midway. Completion of the project is expected before the November 2018 race weekend at the track.
“This is a great day for ISC and Phoenix Raceway, but more importantly, for racing fans in the state of Arizona and around the world,” ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy said. “A project of this magnitude is monumental for our company as we get to work enhancing the experience of the great fans who love to watch our races in Phoenix and enjoy this beautiful area. Having Phoenix Raceway within our prestigious stable of venues always has been a tremendous asset and source of pride for us. We are thrilled to create a best-in-class facility in Phoenix, and we’re confident it will grow the fan base here and further serve as a destination track for motorsports fans everywhere.”
Other additions are expected to include flat-screen TVs in common areas, a new public-address system and the addition of more shade.