Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix International Raceway in November 2011
|Location||7602 S Avondale Boulevard
Avondale, Arizona 85323
|Owner||International Speedway Corporation|
|Former names||Jeff Gordon Raceway|
|Major events||Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Verizon IndyCar Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
|Length||1.022 mi (1.6447 km)|
|Banking||Turns 1 & 2: 10–11°
Turn 3: 8°
Turn 4: 8–9°
Backstretch: 10°, 8°
|Lap record||18.8701 (194.975 MPH) (Hélio Castroneves, Penske Racing, 2017, IndyCar Series)|
|Road course (1991–2011)|
|Length||1.51 mi (2.43 km)|
|Road course (1964–1991)|
|Length||2 mi (3.2 km)|
Phoenix Raceway (PIR) is a 1 mile, low-banked tri-oval race track located in Avondale, Arizona. It is named after the nearby metropolitan area of Phoenix. The motorsport track opened in 1964 and currently hosts two NASCAR race weekends and 1 IndyCar Series race weekend annually. Phoenix Raceway has also hosted the CART, USAC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The raceway is currently owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation.
The raceway was originally constructed with a 2.5 miles (4.0 km) road course that ran on both the inside and the outside of the main tri-oval. In 1991 the track was reconfigured with the current 1.51 miles (2.43 km) interior layout. Phoenix Raceway currently has an estimated grandstand seating capacity of around 51,000. Lights were installed around the track in 2004 following the addition of a second annual NASCAR race weekend.
Phoenix Raceway is home to two annual NASCAR race weekends, one of 13 facilities on the NASCAR schedule to host more than one race weekend a year.
Phoenix Raceway was built in 1964 around the Estrella Mountains on the outskirts of Avondale, Arizona. Because of the terrain and the incorporation of a road course and drag strip, designers had to build a "dogleg" into the backstretch. The original roadcourse was 2 miles (3.2 km) in length and ran both inside and outside of the main oval track. The hillsides adjacent to the track also offer a unique vantage point to watch races from. "Monument Hill", located alongside turns 3 and 4, is a favorite among race fans because of the unique view and lower ticket prices. At the top of this hill lies a USGS bench marker known as Gila and Salt River Meridian, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Long before Phoenix Raceway existed, this spot was the original land survey point for all of what later became the state of Arizona.
Phoenix Raceway was built with the goal of being the western home of open wheel racing. Sports cars and USAC began racing at the track in 1964, and the track quickly became a favorite of drivers and soon replaced the old track at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. In 1977, the first Copper World Classic was held, a marque event for USAC midget and Silver Crown cars.
NASCAR began racing at Phoenix Raceway in 1978. However, it was not until 1988 when NASCAR's premier series, now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, began racing at the track. Following the announcement of NASCAR being added to the track schedule, Phoenix Raceway built a 3-story suite building outside of turn 1 and increased grandstand capacity to 30,000. A year prior, the track's main grandstand was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, reconstruction was finished in time for the first NASCAR cup race. That first race was won by Alan Kulwicki where in his celebration he performed the first "Polish Victory Lap".
In 1991, the old 2.5 miles (4.0 km) road course was removed and replaced by a 1.51 miles (2.43 km) infield road course. In 1996 the grandstand capacity was increased to 65,000. International Speedway Corporation (ISC) officially took ownership of Phoenix Raceway from Emmett "Buddy" Jobe in April 1997. Racing at Phoenix Raceway began to dramatically change in 2003. Turn 2 was reconstructed by pushing back the outside wall to make racing safer. The wall originally came to an end where the old road course crossed the oval track. At the same time, an access tunnel was built under turn 4. Previously, vehicles had to use crossover gates and pedestrians used a crossover bridge. In 2004, NASCAR announced it would give a second annual race weekend to Phoenix Raceway starting with the 2005 season. Following the announcement, the track installed lights to allow the newly scheduled NASCAR race to be run in the evening. The addition of a second NASCAR racing weekend had dramatic effects on the economy of the state of Arizona. A study at the Arizona State University estimated that Phoenix Raceway brings in nearly $473 million annually to the state of Arizona. 2005 would also become the last year that a major open-wheel racing series would race at PIR, until it was recently announced that the track will return to the schedule for the 2016 IndyCar season. Despite the 2006 departure from the schedule, the track was still used by IndyCar for testing purposes.
In 2006, the Allison Grandstand was expanded from turn 1 to turn 2, increasing the reserved seating to 76,800. Included with the expansion is "Octane", an exclusive lounge on top of the grandstands overlooking turn 1. In 2008 Phoenix Raceway added the SPEED Cantina, a one-of-a-kind at-track sports bar and grill, outside turn 2. In early 2010, some of the grandstands along the backstretch were removed to allow additional room for recreational vehicles, thus the seating capacity dropped to around 67,000.
In November 2010, ISC and the Avondale City Council announced plans for a $100 million long-term development for Phoenix Raceway. $15 million would go towards repaving the track for the first time since 1990 and building a new media center. The plans also include a reconfiguration of the track. The front stretch was widened from 52 feet to 62 feet (19 m), the pit stalls were changed from asphalt to concrete, the dogleg (between Turn 2 and Turn 3) was moved outward by 95 feet (29 m), tightening the turn radius of the dogleg from 800 feet to 500 feet (152 m). Along with the other changes, progressive banking was added to the turns: Turns 1 and 2, which had 11 degrees of banking, changed to 10 degrees on the bottom and 11 degrees on the top. Turns 3 and 4, which had 9 degrees of banking, changed to 8 degrees on the bottom and 9 on the top. Project leader Bill Braniff, Senior Director of Construction for North American Testing Corporation (NATC), a subsidiary of hoenix Raceway’s parent company International Speedway Corporation, said "All of the changes – including the adjustment of the dog-leg – will be put in place in order to present additional opportunities for drivers to race side-by-side. We’re very confident that we’ll have multi-groove racing at Phoenix from Day 1 because of the variable banking that will be implemented.” The infield road course was also sealed off and removed from use, making Phoenix Raceway an oval-only facility. The reconfiguration project was completed by mid-August 2011, and on August 29–30, five drivers tested the new track, describing the new dogleg and backstretch as a "rollercoaster" as now when they enter it dips, then rises on exit and dips down going into turn 3, due to the elevation changes. On October 4–5, several NASCAR Cup Series teams tested the oval which was open to the public. Seven–eight million dollars went towards connecting the track property to the Avondale water and sewer systems. Work began following the 2011 Subway Fresh Fit 500.
On June 11, 2015, Phoenix Raceway announced the track would be renamed to "Jeff Gordon Raceway" for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 in tribute to Gordon, who was contesting his last NASCAR season as a full-time driver in 2015.
After a 2016 INDYCAR Test in the West, INDYCAR measured the track as 1.022 miles.
On January 30, 2017, Phoenix Raceway and ISC announced a $178 million renovation called the Phoenix Raceway Project Powered By DC Solar. Project will be completed by November 2018. It was also noted that the facility would be referred to as Phoenix Raceway moving forward, signaling the removal of International from the tracks name.
New Amenities Once Completed:
- Grandstand seating capacity will be 45,000
- upgraded Club, 32 renovated suites and 19 new suites.
- New escalators and elevators, in addition to the existing elevators that will be upgraded
- new souvenir areas, a new First Aid and EMS location, a new Guest Services area, as well as multiple new restrooms -- including ADA restrooms
- New Fanzone located in the infield
- New DC Solar Fan Midway
- New Busch Garage, new Corporate Hospitality, and new Guest Services and Ticketing buildings
- Technology upgrades planned for the Phoenix Raceway Project Powered By DC Solar include flat screen TVs throughout common areas, a new PA system and free Wi-Fi available throughout all common areas including the DC Solar Fan Midway, Infield and in-seat Wi-Fi
- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
- Verizon IndyCar Series
- Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (1996–2005, 2016-present)
- NASCAR Xfinity Series
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Lucas Oil 150 (1995–present)
- USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by Traxxas
- Phoenix Copper Cup (1989–2009, 2017-present)
- USAC National Quarter Midget National Series (2017-present)
- Atlantic Championship (1991-1995)
- Barber Pro Series (1992-1996, 2001)
- Can-Am (1987)
- Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
- The GAINSCO Grand Prix (2000–2006)
- IMSA GT Championship
- Exxon World Sports Car Championships (1992-1995)
- Indy Lights
- Phoenix Grand Prix (1986–1995, 2003–2005, 2016)
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- GM Goodwrench / AC Delco 300 (1995–1998)
- NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
- Casino Arizona 50 (1978–1984, 1988–1996, 2003–2004, 2010–2014)
- Talking Stick Resort 75 (1998–2014)
- NASCAR Mexico Series
- Toyota 120 (2013–2015)
- NASCAR Autozone Elite Division | Southwest (1988–2006)
- SCCA Formula Super Vee (1980-1990)
- Trans-Am Series (1995-1997)
- USAC IndyCar
- USAC Honda National Midget Championship
- Copper World Classic (1980–2009)
- USAC Stock Car (1968, 1970)
- USAC Mini-Indy Series (1977-1978)
- U.S. F2000 National Championship (1990, 1992, 1997-1999, 2003)
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stats
(As of 3/15/15)
|Most Wins||8||Kevin Harvick|
|Most Top 5s||14||Jimmie Johnson|
|Most Top 10s||21||Mark Martin|
|Most Top 20s||32||Mark Martin|
|Most Laps Completed||9530||Mark Martin|
|Most Laps Led||1202||Kevin Harvick|
|Avg. Start*||8.1||Rusty Wallace|
|Avg. Finish*||5.2||Alan Kulwicki|
|Closest Finish||0.01||Kevin Harvick|
* from minimum 5 starts.
- (*) Rain-shortened event
- (**) Race extended due to green-white-checker finish
- a April race extended to 375 laps (600 km)
- b November 2011 races when track reconfigured to 1.022 miles
|Season||Date||Winning Driver||Make||Distance||Avg Speed||Margin of Victory|
|1988||November 6||Alan Kulwicki||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||90.457 mph (145.576 km/h)||18.500 sec|
|1989||November 5||Bill Elliott||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||105.683 mph (170.080 km/h)||0.470 sec|
|1990||November 4||Dale Earnhardt||Chevrolet Lumina||312 mi||96.786 mph (155.762 km/h)||0.670 sec|
|1991||November 3||Davey Allison||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||95.746 mph (154.088 km/h)||11.440 sec|
|1992||November 1||Davey Allison||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||103.885 mph (167.187 km/h)||3.220 sec|
|1993||October 31||Mark Martin||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||100.375 mph (161.538 km/h)||0.170 sec|
|1994||October 30||Terry Labonte||Chevrolet Lumina||312 mi||107.463 mph (172.945 km/h)||3.090 sec|
|1995||October 29||Ricky Rudd||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||102.128 mph (164.359 km/h)||0.530 sec|
|1996||October 27||Bobby Hamilton||Pontiac Grand Prix||312 mi||109.709 mph (176.560 km/h)||1.230 sec|
|1997||November 2||Dale Jarrett||Ford Thunderbird||312 mi||110.824 mph (178.354 km/h)||2.105 sec|
|1998||October 25||Rusty Wallace||Ford Taurus||257 mi*||100.375 mph (161.538 km/h)||0.170 sec|
|1999||November 7||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix||312 mi||118.132 mph (190.115 km/h)||2.081 sec|
|2000||November 5||Jeff Burton||Ford Taurus||312 mi||105.041 mph (169.047 km/h)||0.854 sec|
|2001||October 28||Jeff Burton||Ford Taurus||312 mi||102.613 mph (165.140 km/h)||2.645 sec|
|2002||November 10||Matt Kenseth||Ford Taurus||312 mi||113.857 mph (183.235 km/h)||1.344 sec|
|2003||November 2||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||312 mi||93.984 mph (151.253 km/h)||0.735 sec|
|2004||November 7||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||315 mi**||94.848 mph (152.643 km/h)||1.431 sec|
|2005||April 23||Kurt Busch||Ford Taurus||312 mi||102.707 mph (165.291 km/h)||2.315 sec|
|2005||November 13||Kyle Busch||Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||312 mi||102.641 mph (165.185 km/h)||0.609 sec|
|2006||April 22||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||312 mi||107.063 mph (172.301 km/h)||2.774 sec|
|2006||November 13||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||312 mi||96.131 mph (154.708 km/h)||0.250 sec|
|2007||April 21||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet Impala SS||312 mi||107.71 mph (173.342 km/h)||0.697 sec|
|2007||November 11||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet Impala SS||312 mi||102.989 mph (165.745 km/h)||0.870 sec|
|2008||April 12||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet Impala SS||312 mi||103.292 mph (166.232 km/h)||7.002 sec|
|2008||November 9||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet Impala SS||313 mi**||104.725 mph (168.539 km/h)||0.295 sec|
|2009||April 18||Mark Martin||Chevrolet Impala SS||312 mi||108.042 mph (173.877 km/h)||0.734 sec|
|2009||November 15||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet Impala SS||312 mi||110.486 mph (177.810 km/h)||1.033 sec|
|2010||April 10||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet Impala SS||378 mi**a||99.732 mph (160.503 km/h)||0.130 sec|
|2010||November 14||Carl Edwards||Ford Fusion||312 mi||110.758 mph (178.248 km/h)||4.770 sec|
|2011||February 27||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet Impala SS||312 mi||102.961 mph (165.700 km/h)||1.137 sec|
|2011||November 13||Kasey Kahne||Toyota Camry||318.844 mi||112.909 mph (181.709 km/h)||0.802 sec|
|2012||March 4||Denny Hamlin||Toyota Camry||318.844 mi||110.085 mph (177.165 km/h)||7.315 sec|
|2012||November 11||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet Impala SS||326.018 mi**||111.182 mph (178.930 km/h)||0.580 sec|
|2013||March 3||Carl Edwards||Ford Fusion||322.952 mi**||105.187 mph (169.282 km/h)||1.024 sec|
|2013||November 10||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||318.844 mi||105.733 mph (170.161 km/h)||1.796 sec|
|2014||March 2||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||318.844 mi||109.229 mph (175.787 km/h)||0.489 sec|
|2014||November 9||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||318.844 mi||99.991 mph (160.920 km/h)||1.636 sec|
|2015||March 15||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||318.844 mi||105.753 mph (170.193 km/h)||1.153 sec|
|2015||November 15||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Chevrolet SS||223.818 mi*||106.512 mph (171.414 km/h)||Under caution|
|2016||March 13||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||313 mi**||113.212 mph (182.197 km/h)||0.010 sec|
|2016||November 13||Joey Logano||Ford Fusion||331.128 mi||0.802 sec|
|2017||March 19||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet SS||320.908** mi||104.271 mph (167.808 km/h)||0.312 sec|
|Verizon IndyCar Series|
|Qualifying- 2 lap Average||April 28, 2017||Hélio Castroneves||00:37.7538||194.905 mph (313.669 km/h)|
|Race||March 19, 2005||Sam Hornish, Jr.||1:30:24||137.753 mph (221.692 km/h) (before reconfiguration)|
|Qualifying- 2 lap Average||April 1, 2016||Kyle Kaiser||00:43.8334||167.872 mph (270.164 km/h)|
|Race||April 2, 2016||Kyle Kaiser||00:36:57.9123||149.297 mph (240.270 km/h)|
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series|
|Qualifying||November 13, 2015||Jimmie Johnson||25.147||146.308 mph (235.460 km/h)|
|Race||November 7, 1999||Tony Stewart||2:38:28||118.132 mph (190.115 km/h) (before reconfiguration)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series|
|Qualifying||November 14, 2015||Kyle Busch||25.992||141.933 mph (228.419 km/h)|
|Race||November 4, 2000||Jeff Burton||1:44:13||115.145 mph (185.308 km/h)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series|
|Qualifying||November 13, 2015||Erik Jones||26.179||137.515 mph (221.309 km/h)|
|Race||November 7, 2002||Kevin Harvick||1:24:26||108.104 mph (173.977 km/h) (before reconfiguration)|
|NASCAR K&N Pro Series West|
|Qualifying||November 12, 2011||Greg Pursley||26.894||136.804 mph (220.165 km/h)|
|Race||October 5, 2003||Scott Lynch||1:18:46||114.262 mph (183.887 km/h) (before reconfiguration)|
|Qualifying||April 1, 1995||Bryan Herta||19.019||181.952 mph (292.823 km/h) (before reconfiguration)|
|Race||April 12, 1987||Roberto Guerrero||1:26:56||138.020 mph (222.122 km/h) (before reconfiguration)|
|Qualifying||October 27, 1978||Danny Ongais||36.285||145.513 mph (234.180 km/h)|
|Race||November 4, 1972||Bobby Unser||1:27:32||127.618 mph (205.381 km/h)|
NOTE: Calculations based on the 1.022 mile standard established in 2016 by INDYCAR.
- "Phoenix International Raceway Track News, Records & Links". jayski.com. jayski.com. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
- "The best seat in NASCAR isn't really a seat at all". Nascar.com. August 12, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- "Phoenix Raceway". Autoracing.com. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- Caraviello, David (April 12, 2008). "The best seat in NASCAR isn't really a seat at all". Nascar.com. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- "Timeline". Phoenixraceway.com. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- Madrid, David. "PIR starts its engine on $100M expansion". azcentral.com. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Montedonico, Ben (February 26, 2011). "A Layout Of The Phoenix International Raceway Reconfiguration". StockCar Spin. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- Knight, Michael (June 11, 2015). "PIR to be renamed in honor of Jeff Gordon for fall race". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- Green, Kevin (November 12, 2011). "Qualifying: Pursley Tops The Field". NASCAR Home Tracks. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Race Results at Phoenix International Raceway". racing-reference.info. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Phoenix International Raceway.|
- Official Site
- Phoenix International Raceway race results at Racing-Reference
- PIR Page on NASCAR.com
- RacewayReport.com: Phoenix International Raceway Page – Local area information, track specs, mapping, news and more.
- Trackpedia guide to driving this track
- High Resolution image from Google Maps