Pikes Peak International Raceway

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Pike's Peak International Raceway
PPIRlogo.JPG
Pikes Peak International Raceway.png
Location 16650 Midway Ranch Road, Fountain, Colorado, 80817
Coordinates 38°35′29.85″N 104°40′34.39″W / 38.5916250°N 104.6762194°W / 38.5916250; -104.6762194Coordinates: 38°35′29.85″N 104°40′34.39″W / 38.5916250°N 104.6762194°W / 38.5916250; -104.6762194
Capacity 10,000
40,000[1]
Owner Pikes Peak International Raceway, LLC
Opened 1997
Construction cost $50 million
Major events USAC Silver Crown Series
Oval & Road Course
Surface Asphalt
Length 1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Turns 4
Banking 10°
Road Course
Surface Asphalt
Length 1.30 mi (2.09 km)
Turns 9
Banking varying
Short Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length 0.25 mi (0.40 km)
Turns 4

Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) is a racetrack in a Colorado Springs annexed area of the Fountain, Colorado, postal zone that by October 12, 1997, was "the fastest 1-mile paved oval anywhere".[2] The speedway hosted races in several series including the Indy Racing League and 2 NASCAR series (Busch and Truck) until operations were suspended 2005-8. A wide variety of amateur racing groups use PPIR for racing and training, and many NASCAR teams use PPIR for testing[citation needed] (the design is similar to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the California Speedway in Fontana.)[3]

History[edit]

Racing in the Pikes Peak Region included 19th century horse tracks (e.g., to the west of Colorado Springs' Palmer House along Fountain Creek by 1882[4] and to the north by 1903, the "Roswell Racing Park"),[5] and the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb started in 1916 on the 1915 Pikes Peak Highway. In 1938, a track was north of the Alexander Aircraft factory and c.World War II another was to the factory's southeast at the south end of the Nichols Field taxiway.[6] On the Pike's Peak Ocean-to-Occan Highway[7] west of the city was the end of the 1951 Colorado sports car rally (terminus at the Crystola Inn),[8] a 1953 dirt dragstrip "some four miles east of Colorado Springs" was used for "the first statewide drag race",[9] and a stock car track was along Powers Road in the early 1960s. The "last local track" for auto racing east of the city through the late 1970s was the Colorado Springs International Speedway which "had crowds in the 3,000-4,000 range on summer weekends".[10] The Platte Avenue go-kart track closed c. 1990, the greyhound track closed c. 2005 and is now an off track betting facility, and the Olympic velodrome in Memorial Park is a remaining racing venue within the city.

Pikes Peak Meadows[edit]

Pikes Peak Meadows was a dirt horse racing track facility opened in 1964[11] 20 mi (32 km) south of Colorado Springs and 25 mi (40 km) north of Pueblo, Colorado, with a large, blue, covered grandstand on the west. The facility was annexed by the City of Colorado Springs c. 1985[12] and after its horse racing ended in 1993, the city "approved the speedway in January 1996".[11] C. C. Myers "announced plans in May 1996 to build a major auto racing facility" at Pikes Peak Meadows.[13]

Speedway development[edit]

In 1997, "Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP formed a joint venture January 30 with Raceway Associates, a partnership headed by California contractor and developer C.C. Myers Inc, to own and run the 1,300-acre" speedway complex.[14] The asphalt track was constructed 6 ft (1.8 m) below the "normal ground level",[15] C.C. Myers planned "to get a big-time NASCAR race in 1998",[16] and the facility had an open house for the local community on May 31, 1997.[17] The first race's attendance (June 8) was 16,810,[18][verification needed] the Richard Petty Driving Experience used PPIR July 2–17,[2] the first IRL Series race on June 28 was televised,[19] and a Winston West 500K race was held in July 1997.[2]

International Speedway Corporation[edit]

Earlier in 1996, a competing track near Denver in Adams County, Colorado was attempted by Penske Motorsports, Inc. which merged in 1999 with the International Speedway Corporation.[20] In 2002 ISC gained "the right of first refusal should PPIR owners decide to sell their 1,200-acre complex"[20] and in October 2005 for $11 million,[21] "bought out the owners of Pikes Peak International Raceway"[20] (racing operations were suspended and the scoreboard was moved to Texas Motor Speedway.) In 2006, meetings "between attorneys representing [Commerce City, near Denver] and International Speedway Corporation"[20] were conducted before ISC "announced in February [1997] that it was eyeing land in Commerce City as well as eastern Aurora for the track. It envision[ed] a $360 million to $400 million track and stadium that could hold 75,000 to 80,000 fans."[20] A new opposition group, Commerce City Citizens and Business Alliance, endorsed anti-raceway candidates which won local elections, and in May 1997 "ISC executive Wesley Harris said the 1,300-acre parcel the company was considering near Denver International Airport was not compatible with its needs".[20] ISC sold PPIR in November 2006 (the purchase closed in the first quarter of 2007),[21] and PPIR operations resumed in 2008.

Current races[edit]

On December 6, 2012, USAC announced that PPIR will be on the 2013 USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series schedule.[22] Pikes Peak International Raceway will host the richest event in SRL Southwest Tour history as announced on April 23, 2013.[23]

Race results[edit]

PPIR race winners
Date Series Winning Driver Vehicle Event
2013-09-27/28 NASA Rocky Mountain Seybold, David [timed sessions]
2005-08-21 IRL United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Andretti Dallara/Honda Honda Indy 225
2005-07-23 NASCAR Busch David Green Brewco Ford (#27) …Salute to the Troops 250[24]
2004-08-22 IRL United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Andretti Dallara/Honda
2004-07-31 NASCAR Busch Greg Biffle Ford …Salute to the Troops 250
2003-07-26 NASCAR Busch Scott Wimmer Chevrolet …Salute to the Troops 250
2003-06-15 IRL New Zealand Scott Dixon Ganassi G-Force/Toyota
2002-07-27 NASCAR Busch Hank Parker Jr. Dodge …Salute to the Troops 250
2002-06-16 IRL Brazil Gil de Ferran Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
2002-05-19 NASCAR Truck Mike Bliss Xpress Chevrolet (#16) Rocky Mountain 200
2001-06-17 IRL Buddy Lazier Hemelgarn Dallara/Oldsmobile
2001 NASCAR Truck Joe Ruttman Dodge
2001-07-28 NASCAR Busch Jeff Purvis Chevrolet
2000-06-18 IRL Eddie Cheever Cheever Dallara/Infiniti
2000 NASCAR Truck Greg Biffle Ford
2000-07-22 NASCAR Busch Jeff Green Chevrolet …Salute to the Troops 250
1999-07-24 NASCAR Busch Andy Santerre Chevrolet …Salute to the Troops 250
1999 NASCAR Truck Mike Wallace Ford
1999 NASCAR West Mike Wallace Ford
1999-08-29 IRL Greg Ray Menard Dallara/Oldsmobile
1998-08-16 IRL Sweden Kenny Bräck Foyt Dallara/Oldsmobile
1998-07-14 NASCAR Busch Matt Kenseth Chevrolet …Salute to the Troops 250
1998 NASCAR Truck Ron Hornaday Chevrolet
1998 NASCAR West Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
1997 AMA Superbike Miguel Duhamel Honda MNBA Superbike Final
1997 AMA Superbike Rich Oliver Yamaha ELF Fuels and Lubricants 250 Grand Prix
1997 AMA Superbike Jason Pridmore Suzuki Teamline 750 Supersport
1997 AMA Superbike Nate Wait Harley Davidson Progressive Insurance H-D Supertwins Final
1997 AMA Superbike Paul Harrell Yamaha Pirelli Formula XTreme Final
1997-06-29 IRL Tony Stewart Menard G-Force/Oldsmobile
1997-06-08 Winston West Michael Waltrip Ford

References[edit]

  1. ^ "title tbd". Retrieved date tbd.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Bergsten, Tim (October 12, 1997). "PPIR races through 1st year, tunes up for next". The Gazette. "Myers, and Apollo Real Estate Advisory of New York, the track's co-owners, didn't borrow money to build PPIR. Neither has a loan to pay." 
  3. ^ Sommer, William (June 3, 1997). "From a dream and a vision to this weekend's race". The Gazette. 
  4. ^ J. J. Stoner, Madison, Wis. ("Beck & Paul, Lithographers, Milwaukee") (1882). [www.loc.gov/item/75693126 Panoramic Bird's Eye View of Colorado Springs, Colorado City & Manitou, Colo.] (Map). www.loc.gov/item/75693126. "Palmer House…Cascade [across from end of] Pikes Peak" (image link to the Library of Congress)
  5. ^ The Giles City Directory of Colorado Springs and Manitou (almanac). The Giles Directory Company. May 1903. Retrieved 2013-11-02.  Chapters: The Giles Classified Business Directory of Colorado Springs [p. 559] … of Colorado City [p. 715] … of Manitou [p. 755]
  6. ^ Freeman, Paul (2013-10-13). "Colorado Springs area". Airfields-Freeman.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  7. ^ Colorado Springs, Colorado City and Manitou City Directory. Vol. XIII. The R. L. Polk Directory Co. 1916. "Pike's Peak Ocean-to-Occan Highway"  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help);
  8. ^ Maynard, L (December 1951). "Cold Confusion". Road and Track (magazine). "Colorado Springs, Colorado--The Pikes Peak Sports Car Club conducted a "tops up" rally, thru a blinding snowstorm, on Sunday Oct. 21, 1951. The largest turnout of sports cars ever assembled for actual competition in the Rocky Mountain area: gathered in spite of the weather. … Twenty-nine entered the run, including four XK-120s, one Lea Francis, one Mercedes-Benz, one Jaguar Mk V sedan, and twelve MGs. A total of 60 people were at the finish . . . at Crystola Inn, on the Ute Pass above Colorado Springs …after noon, MGs and Jaguars started to appear on the snow-covered Denver highway at Johnson's Corner (Salida). … the run began at 1:30. The three check points (Woodbine Lodge, Roundup Ranch, and Snow Water Springs Lodge)… 5 inches of newly fallen snow that covered the winding and precipitous mountain roads (all over 6,000 feet) covered by the tour. … Two of the contestants turned back for lack of traction due to smooth tires, a Lea Francis from Denver and a diesel Mercedes-Benz from Colorado Springs. … The snowstorm continued throughout the run which lay over gravel mountain roads from Salida, Colorado, thru Jarr Canyon, over the pass to Deckers, and to Westcreek on the South Platte River. Thence over a paved, but snowy, highway to Woodland Park, and over the old highway to Crystola Inn"  ("on the Ute Pass above Colorado Springs")
  9. ^ Southworth, Bill. "Colorado Conquest". "…through the efforts of the local Sea-Bee Reserve unit… Grading equipment was loaned by Douglas Jardine, a Colorado Springs contractor and commander of the unit. … president of the Cam Winders [club] "Our goal is to make Colorado Springs the mecca of all hot rodders in the Rocky Mountain area [by having] the strip paved…" 
  10. ^ Routon, Ralph (May 29, 1997). "No telling how many will attend first races". The Gazette. 
  11. ^ a b Hartman, Todd (June 1, 1997). "Raceway promoters face ghosts of horse track's past failure". The Gazette. "… the former horse track … closed for good in 1993 … dirt horse racing track built in 1964 … Clinton Charles Myers himself came from California to visit the site with O'Sullivan in 1995. … The raceway now owns 1,000 acres. … The City Council approved the speedway in January 1996." 
  12. ^ Hartman, Todd (April 6, 1997). "Raceways neighbors feeling run over". Gazette Telegraph. "Residents found out about the racetrack plans in early 1996. Rancher [Kirk] Hanna immediately flew to Phoenix to record noise from a racetrack there … The city originally annexed the site in the mid-1980s to capture the benefits of a horse racing track." 
  13. ^ Bergsten, Tim (June 1, 1997). "Start your engines -- racing begins Saturday". The Gazette. "In July, Michael Waltrip and Kenny Schrader … will race in the Winston West 500K race at PPIR. When Myers announced plans in May 1996 to build a major auto racing facility here, fans and business people could not believe their good fortune. … In 1994, Myers received national recognition for rebuilding the earthquake-ravaged Santa Monica Freeway 74 days ahead of schedule." 
  14. ^ Hellman, Wayne. "Investors buy into race track". Gazette Telegraph. 
  15. ^ Bergsten, Tim. "Completion of raceway on track for summer". The Gazette. "Most of the bleacher structure that will seat 42,700 is in place … The bleachers wrap around the west side of the track, which was sunk 6 feet below the normal ground level to improve viewing." 
  16. ^ Routon, Ralph (April 13, 1997). "Rising steel eye-opener along I-25". The Gazette. 
  17. ^ Bergsten, Tim (May 28, 1997). "Countdown begins at new track". The Gazette. "Anyone interested in having a closeup look at the track can take a free tour this weekend." 
  18. ^ "Pikes Peak International Raceway". NASCAR.com. Retrieved date tbd.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  19. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN2ih-Lmirk 1997 IRL Race TV Broadcast
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Proposed Track News: Denver". Jayski's® Silly Season Page. July 18, 1998. 
  21. ^ a b Bainbridge, Jim (November 23, 2006). "PPIR may become a private racetrack". The Gazette. 
  22. ^ 2013 Silver Crown Schedule
  23. ^ http://www.srlsouthwesttour.com/pikes-peak-international-raceway-to-host-richest-event-in-spears-southwest-tour-history/
  24. ^ http://racing-reference.info/tracks?id=183 Full field sesults of each IRL, Busch & Truck Series Race

External links[edit]

External video
NASA Rocky Mountain racing