Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix International Raceway in November 2011
|Location||7602 S Avondale Boulevard
Avondale, Arizona 85323
|Owner||International Speedway Corporation|
|Major events||NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
|Length||1 mi (1.6 km)|
|Banking||Turns 1 & 2: 10–11°
Turn 3: 8°
Turn 4: 8–9°
Backstretch: 10°, 8°
|Lap record||19.608 (Arie Luyendyk, Byrd-Treadway Racing, 1996, IndyCar Series)|
|Road course (1991–2011)|
|Length||1.51 mi (2.43 km)|
|Road course (1964–1991)|
|Length||2 mi (3.2 km)|
Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), formerly known as Jeff Gordon Raceway for one race, is a one-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 annually. PIR has also hosted the IndyCar Series, CART, USAC and the Rolex Sports Car Series. 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 both inside and outside of the main tri-oval. In 1991 the track was reconfigured with the current 1.51 miles (2.43 km) interior layout. PIR has an estimated grandstand seating capacity of around 67,000. Lights were installed around the track in 2004 following the addition of a second annual NASCAR race weekend.
Phoenix International 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. The track is both the first and last stop in the western United States, as well as the second and second-to-last track on the schedule.
Phoenix International 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 PIR existed, this spot was the original land survey point for all of what later became the state of Arizona.
PIR 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 PIR in 1978. However, it wasn't until 1988 when NASCAR's premier series, now the Sprint Cup Series, began racing at the track. Following the announcement of NASCAR being added to the track schedule, PIR 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. On August 25, 1992 the Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour came to the raceway. In 1996 the grandstand capacity was increased to 65,000. ISC officially took ownership of PIR from Emmett "Buddy" Jobe in April 1997. Racing at PIR began to dramatically change in 2003. The track reconstructed turn 2 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 PIR 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 PIR 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 PIR 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 PIR. $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 reconfiguration of the track made the width of the front stretch 62 feet (19 m), changed the pit stalls from asphalt to concrete, moved the dogleg (back stretch) outward by 95 feet (29 m), as well as making the radius of the dogleg 500 feet (150 m). Along with the other changes, the track changed to progressive banking with the banking of the first and second turn as well as the dogleg changing to 10–11 degrees, while the third and fourth turns will change to 8–9 degrees. The infield road course was also sealed off and removed from use, making PIR an oval-only facility. 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. 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 Sprint Cup teams tested the oval which was open to the public.
On June 11, 2015, PIR 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.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
- Verizon IndyCar Series
- Phoenix Grand Prix (1996–2005, 2016-present)
- NASCAR Xfinity Series
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Lucas Oil 150 (1995–present)
- Indy Lights
- Phoenix Grand Prix (1986–1995, 2003–2005, 2016-present)
- NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
- Casino Arizona 50 (1978–1984, 1988–1996, 2003–2004, 2010–present)
- NASCAR Mexico Series
- Toyota 120 (2013–present)
- Atlantic Championship
- Slick-50 200 (1979–1995)
- Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
- The GAINSCO Grand Prix (2000–2006)
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- GM Goodwrench / AC Delco 300 (1995–1998)
- NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
- Talking Stick Resort 75 (1998–2014)
- SRL Southwest Tour/NASCAR Autozone Elite Division, Southwest (1988–2006)
- USAC Indy Car
- Phoenix 150 (1964–1978)
- USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series
- Copper World Classic (1989–2009)
- USAC Honda National Midget Championship
- Copper World Classic (1980–2009)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stats
(As of 3/15/15)
|Most Wins||7||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|
* from minimum 5 starts.
- (*) Rain-shortened event
- (**) Race extended due to green-white-checker finish
- a April race extended to 375 laps (600 km)
|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||312 mi||112.909 mph (181.709 km/h)||0.802 sec|
|2012||March 4||Denny Hamlin||Toyota Camry||312 mi||110.085 mph (177.165 km/h)||7.315 sec|
|2012||November 11||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet Impala SS||319 mi**||111.182 mph (178.930 km/h)||0.580 sec|
|2013||March 3||Carl Edwards||Ford Fusion||316 mi**||105.187 mph (169.282 km/h)||1.024 sec|
|2013||November 10||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||312 mi||105.733 mph (170.161 km/h)||1.796 sec|
|2014||March 2||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||312 mi||109.229 mph (175.787 km/h)||0.489 sec|
|2014||November 9||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||312 mi||99.991 mph (160.920 km/h)||1.636 sec|
|2015||March 15||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet SS||312 mi||105.753 mph (170.193 km/h)||1.153 sec|
|2015||November 15||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet SS||219 mi*||106.512 mph (171.414 km/h)||Under caution|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Qualifying||November 13, 2015||Jimmie Johnson||25.147||143.158 mph (230.390 km/h)|
|Race||November 13, 2011||Kasey Kahne||2:45:47||112.918 mph (181.724 km/h)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series|
|Qualifying||November 14, 2015||Kyle Busch||25.922||138.504 mph (222.901 km/h)|
|Race||November 12, 2011||Sam Hornish, Jr.||2:21:18||85.918 mph (138.272 km/h)|
|NASCAR K&N Pro Series West|
|Qualifying||November 12, 2011||Greg Pursley||26.894||133.859 mph (215.425 km/h)|
|Race||November 12, 2011||Ryan Blaney||1:37:07||77.227 mph (124.285 km/h)|
Prior to 2011 reconfiguration
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Qualifying||February 26, 2011||Carl Edwards||26.224||137.279 mph (220.929 km/h)|
|Race||November 7, 1999||Tony Stewart||2:38:28||118.132 mph (190.115 km/h)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series|
|Qualifying||February 26, 2011||Joey Logano||26.806||134.048 mph (215.729 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)|
|NASCAR K&N Pro Series West|
|Qualifying||November 13, 2010||Greg Pursley||27.700||129.964 mph (209.157 km/h)|
|Race||October 5, 2003||Scott Lynch||1:18:46||114.262 mph (183.887 km/h)|
|Qualifying||April 1, 1995||Bryan Herta||19.019||181.952 mph (292.823 km/h)|
|Race||April 12, 1987||Roberto Guerrero||1:26:56||138.020 mph (222.122 km/h)|
|Verizon IndyCar Series|
|Qualifying||March 23, 1996||Arie Luyendyk||18.758||183.599 mph (295.474 km/h)|
|Race||March 19, 2005||Sam Hornish, Jr.||1:30:24||137.753 mph (221.692 km/h)|
|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)|
- "The best seat in NASCAR isn't really a seat at all". Nascar.com. August 12, 2010. Retrieved November 16, 2010.
- "Phoenix International 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.
- 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