Phoenix International Raceway, commonly known as "PIR," opened in 1964 but didn't host a NASCAR race until the Checker 500 in 1988. Though generally described as a tri-oval, the corners at each end of the track are of a different radius, and the backstretch contains a distinct bend known as "the dogleg."
Other races run there over the years have included the Pyroil 500 (1991-1992) and the Dura Lube 500 (1995-1996). Two races were on the 2006 calendar: the SUBWAY Fresh 500, which has been there since 2005, and the Checker Auto Parts 500, run there since 2001. These "500" races go for 500 kilometers, or 312 miles.
Phoenix International Raceway Visitor Information
Phoenix International Raceway contact information: Phoenix International Raceway. 7602 S. Avondale Blvd., Avondale, AZ (85323). Phone 623/772-2000. www.phoenixintlraceway.com.
Phoenix International Raceway security: Forget about hard-sided coolers, thermoses, and insulated cups. Each fan is allowed one soft-sided bag or cooler, no larger than 6 x 6 x 12 inches, i.e., a soft-sided insulated cooler, scanner bag, fanny pack, purse, diaper bag, or binocular bag. You’re also allowed one clear plastic bag each, no larger than 18 x 18 x 4 inches. Coolers may contain ice, but clear plastic bags may not. Bring binoculars, scanners, headsets, and cameras separately, not in a bag. Make sure seat cushions don’t have hollow metal tube construction. Strollers, umbrellas, scooters, skateboards, and pets are prohibited.
Phoenix International Raceway parking: If you arrive early to avoid traffic, you’ll be tempted to grab a spot close to the entrance. Park near the exit and you’ll avoid the inevitable bottlenecks getting out. Better yet, take the Park-N-Ride shuttle. Shuttles are waved through traffic jams in and out of parking lots. Get there off the Interstate 10 at the 83rd Avenue exit; go north to Cricket Pavilion (2121 N. 83rd Ave.), between McDowell Road and Thomas Road; enter Park-N-Ride parking from the 83rd Avenue entrance.
Phoenix International Raceway first aid: Registered nurses man three fully equipped care centers: beneath section CC of the Jimmy Bryan Grandstand, under the Oasis building outside of Turn 2, and in the infield. The raceway is partnered with Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (925 E. McDowell Rd., phone toll-free 800/254-HELP), which is just under 20 miles away.