AVONDALE, Ariz. — Phoenix Int’l Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced plans for the track’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2014.
Sperber was joined by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers, West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Chairman and former NASCAR Vice President Ken Clapp and 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva for the announcement.
The yearlong 50th Anniversary campaign will be a celebration of PIR’s relationships with its fans, community partners and the racing industry.
Many of the greatest drivers to ever turn a lap on PIR’s one-mile oval, along with the brightest personalities in the track’s history, will be invited to return for race weekends and other events throughout the coming year.
“The 2014 season will truly be a magical one for Phoenix International Raceway as we celebrate our golden anniversary,” Sperber said. “Next year is all about our fans, our community and our shared passion for racing, and we are looking forward to a year-long celebration that recognizes our history and those that helped to create it.”
The 50th anniversary celebration will feature a one-of-a-kind interactive and three-dimensional race weekend exhibit entitled Memory Lane, which will showcase the past 50 years of racing at PIR, including photos, artifacts and race-used memorabilia from drivers.
The exhibit will also feature a number of classic cars with ties to the track and which, in some cases, actually raced at PIR.
Race fans will also see the 50th anniversary theme incorporated in a number of ways over the next 13 months, including philanthropic and community outreach initiatives as well as special events throughout the year featuring noteworthy drivers and personalities.
Plans also include commemorative publications and broadcast content; a yearlong fan engagement program focused on the most influential people in the history of Phoenix Int’l Raceway, as decided by a blue-ribbon panel of industry insiders, media and local officials; and world-class race weekend events and entertainment.
Phoenix Int’l Raceway staged its first professional race on March 22, 1964 when in front of a crowd of 7,000 spectators, A.J. Foyt led every lap on his way to victory in the Phoenix 100.
The race track has evolved many times over the ensuing 50 years and has hosted races for virtually every major sanctioning body in American motorsports, including USAC, CART, IndyCar, motocross and NASCAR.