|Phoenix International Raceway
In 1964, when Phoenix International Raceway was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains, it was intended to be a new jewel in the crown of American open wheel racing. Drivers like Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and the Unsers soon came to love the one mile paved oval with the unique bend in the backstretch. And they really loved coming to Phoenix, where the tourism industry was just starting to grow and its western style hospitality was second to none.
But it wasn't until 1988, when NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing came to PIR, that auto racing in Phoenix really became a major sporting attraction for the “Valley of the Sun.” New racing legends and legends-in-the-making like Davey Allison, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and the rest of the NASCAR Winston Cup stars found out firsthand what their champ-car brethren had known for years: Phoenix International Raceway is truly a great place to race, both for the drivers and especially the fans.
Today, Phoenix International Raceway has a tradition that is unmatched in the world of racing. The Indycars have made 58 visits to PIR, and the annual Fall NASCAR weekend including NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch, Craftsman Trucks and Featherlite Southwest Series races is one of the biggest events in the entire state.
As a matter of fact, the Checker Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race is arguably the largest one-day sporting event in Arizona.