NASCAR is once again taking residency in the desert and solidifying Arizona’s status as the home for champions.
The Arizona Republic has learned NASCAR will announce on Tuesday it’s bringing championship weekend back to Phoenix Raceway in 2023 for a fourth consecutive year.
“It’s hard to describe how proud we are of this opportunity,” track president Julie Giese told the Republic. “I think it’s a tremendous honor — one that we take very seriously — but also, I think it’s a reflection of our community and our race fans, because they’re a big reason why NASCAR continues to keep its championship here.
“We are continuing to push, keeping our foot on the gas and driving Phoenix Raceway forward.”
Giese and her staff are seeing the benefits of a $178 million renovation that was completed in 2018 and successfully reinvigorated Phoenix Raceway’s stature as a world-class facility. Coming out of a global pandemic, the one-mile track hosted a sell-out crowd for the March race weekend this year, and now they’re doubling down.
Phoenix Raceway is also announcing six months in advance that grandstand tickets have sold out for the NASCAR Cup Series finale on Nov. 6 — the quickest sellout since the sanctioning body began racing at the one-mile track in 1988.
Upon receiving the call from Giese about another sellout and NASCAR’s continued relationship with Phoenix Raceway as the destination for championship weekend, Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise was left speechless and in awe.
“You can see where cities support NASCAR and where they don't, and Avondale absolutely supports them,” Weise told The Republic. “Economically, I think it means more now than it has in the past just as Avondale has grown. I think what you’re seeing is more and more people staying locally, taking in the vibe of the community as they stay here shopping in our stores and experiencing NASCAR.
“Our goal is to have the championship weekend be a part of Avondale for many years to come.”
Serving as one of the most ambitious and successful leaders across motorsports, Giese understood the potential of Phoenix Raceway when she took over as track president in 2018. But seeing the rapid upward trajectory that continues to take place nearly four years later is something even she couldn’t predict.
“This was definitely part of the vision and the goal when we were renovating the facility and creating this first-class venue that has an event experience that you really can’t compare anything to,” Giese said. “Did we expect during those planning timeframes that we’d be selling out six months in advance? That’s always the hope, but I think we probably have exceeded even our expectations on that.
“If anything it just reinforces why we did what we did when we renovated the facility and now have this absolutely first-class venue that people want to be here and be part of.”
Although the grandstands are sold out for the Cup Series finale, limited tickets are available for hillside and infield access, and tickets are available for the other NASCAR championships races: Camping World Truck Series on Nov. 4, and Xfinity Series on Nov. 5. Visit phoenixraceway.com for information.
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