Construction on Phoenix International Raceway is completed. The new track includes a uniquely-shaped one-mile oval and a meandering 2.5-mile road course.
February 16, 1964
Davey MacDonald wins the first race at PIR, an open sports car event on the road course.
March 22, 1964
A.J. Foyt wins the track's first oval race, a 100-mile USAC event at an average speed of 107.536 mph.
Don White wins the first stock car race staged at PIR, a 250-mile chase on the road course.
Hollywood giant Steve McQueen wins a sports car race on the track's road course.
November 25, 1973
Billy Englehart wins the first United States Auto Club (USAC) Midget Series race staged at PIR.
The first "Copper World Classic" is held, featuring two road course races and two oval races. A total purse of $30,000 was offered for the entire event.
November 26, 1978
Richard Petty takes the first of his three NASCAR Winston West Series wins at PIR.
November 8, 1980
Valley resident Tom Sneva wins his first race at PIR in the Sugaripe Prune Phoenix Cosworth.
January 31, 1981
Ken Schrader wins for the first time at Phoenix International Raceway in a National Midget Series car, starting an illustrious career in the desert.
March 27, 1982
Rick Mears becomes the first driver to top the 150 mph mark at PIR.
September 15, 1985
Emmett "Buddy" Jobe purchases PIR from Dennis Wood. At the time, the track featured less than 10,000 reserved seats.
October 12, 1985
Al Unser becomes the first driver to crack the 160 mph mark at PIR.
The Copper World Classic total purse reaches $100,000.
April 12, 1987
Roberto Guerrero wins the fastest Indy car race in track history, averaging 138.020 mph over the course of the 200-mile contest.
Lightning strikes the track's main grandstand, burning the majority of the structure to the ground. Reconstruction begins.
NASCAR announces the addition of an annual Winston Cup Series event to the PIR calendar. The inaugural visit from NASCAR's premier series is set to take place in November 1988.
Construction of a three-story suite building is completed outside Turn 1. Reserved seating capacity is increased to 30,000.
November 6, 1988
Alan Kulwicki wins the Checker 500, the first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race staged at PIR. A then-record crowd of 60,000 is on hand for the first "Polish Victory Lap," staged by Kulwicki after his first career win.
November 4, 1989
Dick Trickle wins the first of his two consecutive victories in the NASCAR Southwest Series at PIR.
NASCAR Winston Cup Series regular Ken Schrader registers his third straight USAC Silver Crown Series victory at the track.
During the summer months, the infield course is redesigned to its current configuration. It currently stands at 11 turns and 1.51 miles.
April 4, 1992
Michael Andretti becomes the first driver at PIR to top 170 mph.
October 4, 1992
Road racing returns to PIR with the debut of the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) Camel GT Series. The race is the first ever run under lights at PIR.
February 5, 1995
The NASCAR SuperTruck Series (now the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) debuts at PIR. Mike Skinner is the series’ first winner.
April 1, 1995
Bryan Herta becomes the first driver at PIR to top 180 mph in qualifying.
October 29, 1995
Ricky Rudd wins the fall NASCAR Winston Cup Series race in front of the first 100,000-plus crowd at PIR. A total of 102,000 fans are on hand for the event.
March 23, 1996
Scottsdale resident Arie Luyendyk sets a one-lap world record for speed on a true one-mile oval, qualifying his Indy Racing League machine at 183.599 mph.
Reserved seating capacity for the track grows to 65,000.
February 2, 1997
Tony Stewart celebrates his first Copper World Classic win after taking the checkered flag in the USAC National Midget Series race from the pole.
March 23, 1997
Jim Guthrie drives home with a track-record winner's paycheck worth $170,000 for his victory in the Indy Racing League's Phoenix 200.
International Speedway Corporation purchases Phoenix International Raceway from Emmett "Buddy" Jobe.
October 25, 1998
A race at PIR is shortened due to rain for the first time in history, giving Rusty Wallace his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series win at PIR after ten years of attempts.
November 6, 1999
The first NASCAR Busch Series race is held, with former Copper World Classic winner Jeff Gordon winning in a car owned by he and his wife, Brooke.
April 22, 2000
The new Grand American Road Racing Association returns sports car racing to PIR, with Jack Baldwin and Irv Hoerr winning the two-hour night race.
Turn Two is modified for safety while a tunnel is installed under Turn Four.
May 14, 2004
NASCAR announces the realignment of the 2005 schedule, which will add a second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at PIR. The new spring date is set for April 23, 2005.
Let there be light! PIR installs track lights, which will change the way racing is seen at PIR. The following equipment is installed: - 32 ground-mounted perimeter poles (70'-110' tall) - 34 grandstand and rooftop-mounted poles (10'-50' tall) - 153 ground-mounted infield poles (6'-24' tall) - 1044 total light fixtures - Combination of 1000w, 1500w, 2000w metal halide light fixtures - 70 miles of wire - 200 tons of concrete
27 semi-trailers are required to transport the lighting equipment from Iowa. The lights create 146 million lumens (a typical table lamp is 25 lumens), for a total of 1.5 million watts of power per hour. The new lighting at PIR is the equivalent to 10,357 blocks of residential street lighting.
March 30, 2005
PIR hits the lights! For the first time, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series cars, on loan from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, drive under the lights at the historic one-mile oval.
April 22, 2005
PIR President Bryan R. Sperber announces the expansion of the Bobby Allison Grandstand, one of the most extensive construction projects in the history of Phoenix International Raceway.
April 23, 2005
Kurt Busch wins the inaugural spring NEXTEL Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway.
November 17, 2005
The Buddy Jobe Suite is demolished to continue the Bobby Allison Grandstand expansion.
April 20, 2006
The new Bobby Allison Grandstand debuts, giving fans a sweeping view of the track from outside of Turns 1 and 2.
April 21, 2006
Octane, the unique and exclusive lounge positioned six stories above Turn 1, debuts.
August 24, 2006
The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University releases an economic impact study measuring the effect of PIR on Arizona. The study reports that PIR is responsible for the contribution of $473 million annually to the Grand Canyon State, an amount higher than that projected for the Arizona Super Bowl to be held in nearby Glendale in 2008.
PIR celebrates its 20th season of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing with the April 21 running of the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ and the November 11 running of the Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil.
April 21, 2007
Jeff Gordon opens the 20th season of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series action at PIR with a thrilling victory over Tony Stewart in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™. The victory is Gordon’s first in 17 tries in the desert and the first by a driver from the pole position. It is Gordon’s 76th win, tying him for sixth all-time with Dale Earnhardt on the NEXTEL Cup Series career wins list. Gordon celebrates his win by holding a “3” flag out of his driver’s side window to commemorate the late Earnhardt’s great career.
November 6, 2008
SPEED Cantina, a one-of-a-kind at-track sports bar and grill, opens outside Turn 2 at PIR. The project, designed by Phoenix-based Detail Design & Fabrication (DD&F), is the result of a collaboration between PIR and the leading motorsports network, SPEED.
November 9, 2008
Jimmie Johnson wins the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil to become the first driver in PIR history with three Sprint Cup Series wins.