The roar of an 800-horsepower engine, the cheers of a crowded grandstand, and the excitement of competitive professional racing aren't only for towns like Talladega and Daytona. Located in Avondale, AZ, Phoenix International Raceway, or PIR as it is colloquially known, is one of the Valley of the Sun's top attractions. Let's take a closer look at some fast facts about PIR below.
Initially built in the 1960s, the Phoenix raceway has undergone several renovations and design changes since the first race was held in 1964 and the first NASCAR race in 1988. When originally constructed, the track had an oval for stock car racing and an interior road course for open-wheel racing.
After 2011, the track was converted to oval-only as interest in IndyCar racing waned. In addition to removing the interior road course, track engineers changed the banking and radius of the turns, promoting more side-by-side racing and action for race fans.
Are you wondering about facts like, "how long is Phoenix International Raceway?" The most recent updates to PIR were completed in 2019, and the facility has remained relatively unchanged. Here are some quick stats on the raceway in its current form:
PIR is home to some of the most exciting NASCAR racing events every year, and 2023 will be no exception. Two NASCAR Cup Series races are currently on the calendar for this year at the raceway.
First, drivers will compete in the United Rentals Work United 500 on March 12. As one of the season's opening races, teams and drivers will utilize this race to gather momentum for the season ahead, make strategic adjustments to their cars, and gauge their performance. The second PIR event of the year will have fans on the edges of their seats. The NASCAR Cup Series Championship race that concludes the season is scheduled for November 5.
If watching the nation's best drivers twice this year doesn't satisfy your need for speed, you can try an in-car racing experience at Phoenix International. Two different on-track experiences are offered at PIR, where participants can drive a real race car in timed sessions without an instructor. With multiple dates offered, the NASCAR Racing Experience and the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience can excite true racing enthusiasts throughout the racing season.
Two NASCAR Cup races and in-car racing experiences aren't the only events at PIR this year. The raceway is also home to concerts and currently has two music festivals scheduled this April.
Entertaining events and races are only some of what PIR has to offer. The Arizona Accelerator charities are dedicated to supporting childhood education, life enrichment programs for children and families, and supporting military families and veterans. Interested parties can contribute directly, purchase commemorative license plates, or participate in 50/50 raffles on race days.
Located in Avondale, AZ, PIR is part of a diverse and thriving community. First Incorporated in 1946, Avondale has grown since the 1980s. Now home to almost 90,000 residents, the population has tripled in the past 20 years. Originally a small farming town, Avondale is ripe for this type of growth due to its quick access to the Phoenix-Metro area via Interstate 10 and ample land for building and expansion.
Avondale is home to 10 public parks, including Alamar park, which boasts 40 acres of recreation space with amenities ranging from tennis and pickleball courts to dog parks and a lake for urban fishing. Whether there is a race at PIR or not, Avondale has plenty to do and see.
As the host of the 2023 NASCAR Championship race, Phoenix International Raceway is a destination for casual and die-hard racing fans. Supported by a rapidly growing community in Avondale and the backing of the city of Phoenix, the raceway will be a fixture on the NASCAR circuit for years to come.
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