"New Look" Phoenix awaits NASCAR fans PHOENIX (Oct. 21, 1998) Just as millions of students across the country were returning to school with fresh faces, combed hair and a modicum of enthusiasm, so, too, has Phoenix International Raceway been...
"New Look" Phoenix awaits NASCAR fans
PHOENIX (Oct. 21, 1998) Just as millions of students across the country were returning to school with fresh faces, combed hair and a modicum of enthusiasm, so, too, has Phoenix International Raceway been getting ready for its own return --- a return to championship racing and this weekend's three-race NASCAR weekend.
"I'll tell you this: It's much, much more than a new coat of paint," said Emmett "Buddy" Jobe, PIR president and steward of International Speedway Corporation's long list of summer projects that will greet race fans returning for the 11th annual running of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dura Lube/Kmart 500, along with events for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the Featherlite Southwest Series, a part of the NASCAR Touring Division.
In addition to the 5,000-seat Bobby Allison Grandstand and Suite Tower in Turn 2, an impressive structure that rockets from the desert floor and fairly scratches the underbelly of the blue Sonoran Desert sky above, fans will be treated to a colorful new look that pays tribute to the rich Southwestern heritage of the area.
Twenty-two buildings at the 34-year-old facility have received complete refreshening, encompassing Southwestern colors and designed to bring uniformity to the overall theme. Restrooms will feature one three-color scheme, while concession stands will receive their own three-color design. Souvenir stands, too, will realize a unique design pattern.
Additionally, the backside of the A.J. Foyt, Jimmy Bryan, Richard Petty and the new Bobby Allison Grandstand will be "dressed" with colorful Southwestern-style signage, as well as new-and-improved section and directional signs. The track walls, too, will receive a Southwestern flair.
"It will be a dramatic change in landscape," Jobe said. "And, it's been developed to make our fans' experience at Phoenix International Raceway more enjoyable. We're excited about what's taking shape right now and we know our fans will like what they see."
Along with the other improvements, new to PIR and scheduled for debut during the Dura Lube/Kmart 500 weekend is the "KidZone," an area located in the shadows of the Richard Petty Grandstand and designed for the enjoyment of the track's tiniest fans.
"It's one more ingredient in the overall track experience," Jobe said. "We believe it will become a very popular stopping place for our younger fans and their parents."
While the layout of the KidZone is still taking shape, the idea is to create an area at the track where children and their parents can enjoy a wide range of activities not traditionally associated with motorsports -- face-painting, ring toss, basketball shoot and more.
"Our fans are coming to the track earlier and earlier," Jobe said. "They're here to enjoy the entire day and the total experience, not only the great racing that takes place. We believe the KidZone will give them one more terrific activity at Phoenix International Raceway. It's a break from the more traditional on- and off-track activities."
Source: NASCAR Online