Due to Phoenix International Raceway’s (PIR) racing surface being “used up its life expectancy”, following Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 the track will undergo a complete makeover.
The track will have a slight decrease in variable banking in both corners and a longer backstretch. The plan calls for 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2, 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4.
Marty Flugger, the same engineer charged with the repaving of Daytona International Speedway, determined that changing the banking should also maintain the side-by-side racing that has made PIR so exciting at times.
PIR will also widen the front stretch from 52 to 62 feet, reconfigure pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls, push the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet and tighten the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet.
The repaving project should be complete by September. Goodyear plans to hold a tire test prior to the November race.
“It’s going to change the whole outlook when we come back here for a Chase race with two to go in the fall. It’s going to be a roll of the dice and I think it’s smart on NASCAR’s part to shake up the Chase a little bit with a new race track.” Kurt Busch said.
Dale Earnhardt Drive
The City of Avondale named a street in the new Avondale City Center Dale Earnhardt Drive. It’s the first of its kind in a Phoenix metropolitan area.
On Sunday, Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers and Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber presented a replica of the street sign to Earnhardt Jr. in honor of his family’s racing achievements and contributions to the sport of NASCAR.
The north entrance to the new Avondale City Center will bear the name Dale Earnhardt Drive.
“This is a special honor for my family, and we want to thank the city of Avondale, Mayor Rogers, and the entire Avondale community for recognizing my dad this way.” Earnhardt Jr. said.
“The city of Avondale is proud to be home to Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races every year. Dale Earnhardt’s legacy was very much felt in Avondale as it was throughout the country. We’ve also had the pleasure of watching Dale Jr. carry that legacy forward at PIR. Avondale wishes to pay tribute to the Earnhardt family achievements, as well as recognize the huge economic significance of NASCAR and PIR to the metro-Phoenix region.” said Mayor Rogers.