NASCAR Track Facts: Phoenix International Raceway

Subway Fresh Fit 500
NASCAR continues it Southwest tour this week with a race in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix, by the way, is where my wife and I went on our honeymoon. We had a blast. 1700 miles of driving the beautiful terrain that fills the state of Arizona. I highly recommend it. The only downside is that I am convinced that people in Arizona hate us Texans.

Here is a quick run down of trivial facts and statistics for this weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix International Raceway History

  • Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
  • Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
  • The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debuted at Phoenix on Feb. 5, 1995. Mike Skinner becomes the series’ first winner.
  • The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race was on Nov. 11, 1999.
  • The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005. Also the first night race, it was won by Kurt Busch.

Track Numbers

  • There have been 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
  • Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988.
  • There have been 15 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.
  • Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007.
  • There have been 19 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson who has won the last three. Johnson was the last driver to win four consecutive races at a track – Lowe’s Motor Speedway from 2004-05.
  • The race has been won from the pole twice: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007) and Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008).
  • The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 12 of 25 races.
  • Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
  • There has been one green-white-checkered race at Phoenix: November 2004 (315 laps).

Hot Fact

Mark Martin has nine top-five finishes at Phoenix, more than any other driver. He has one victory and five second-place finishes in his 24 races and has just one DNF, that coming in his first race there.

NASCAR in Arizona

  • There have been 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Arizona.
  • 29 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Arizona.
  • There have been no race winners from Arizona in NASCAR’s three national series.

Phoenix International Raceway Data

  • Race #: 8 of 36 (4-18-09)
  • Track Size: 1 mile
  • Banking Turns: 1 and 2: 11 degrees
  • Banking Turns 3 and 4: 9 degrees
  • Banking/Frontstretch: 3 degrees
  • Banking/Backstretch: 9 degrees
  • Frontstretch: 1,179 feet
  • Backstretch: 1,551 feet

Qualifying/Race Data

  • 2008 pole winner: Ryan Newman (133.457 mph, 26.975 seconds)
  • 2008 race winner: Jimmie Johnson (103.292 mph, 4-21-07)
  • Track qualifying record: Ryan Newman (135.854 mph, 26.499 seconds, 11-5-04)
  • Track race record: Tony Stewart (118.132 mph, 11-7-99)
  • Pit Window: Approximately 70-78 laps, based on fuel mileage.