Sperber Among Top Phoenix Sports Figures
Track president lauded for facility improvement, economic spark
Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber has been named as the No. 5 Sports Power Broker in the Phoenix area by the July 2009 issue of Sports Arizona Monthly, ranking just ahead of Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, and Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky. The magazine's look at the Valley of the Sun's most prominent sports business figures sought the top "influential professionals" who "play a role in shaping the future of sports in our community." Sperber was recognized for a number of accomplishments since his 2002 arrival in the Valley of the Sun, the most notable of which was his command of the track's bid to secure a second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, a vision which came to fruition in April 2005. Sports Arizona recognized Phoenix International Raceway's significant annual economic impact and facility improvements under Sperber's watch, and remarked that the growth sparked by Sperber at the track has created a "juggernaut" that is "extending to the surrounding West Valley cities that are hitching their wagons to the track to spur their own economic development." Extremely active in the community - both in business and philanthropic sectors - Sperber is an active member of Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), an organization dedicated to improve the greater Phoenix area and the State of Arizona by bringing together talent, resources, and leadership to create action on priority issues. He is also a member of Phoenix’s Young President’s Organization (YPO), and serves on the Arizona State University Foundation’s Board of Trustees. In his philanthropic efforts, Sperber is board president for Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Brandon Webb’s charitable "K Foundation." The online magazine can be found at www.sportsarizonaonline.com. The full list is as follows: 1. Michael Bidwill – President, Arizona Cardinals
2. John Junker – President/CEO, Fiesta Bowl/Insight Bowl
3. Derrick Hall – President/CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks
4. Redfield T. Baum – Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court
5. Bryan Sperber – President, Phoenix International Raceway
6. Ken Whisenhunt – Head Coach, Arizona Cardinals
7. Robert Sarver – Owner, Phoenix Suns/Phoenix Mercury
8. Wayne Gretzky – Managing Partner/Head Coach, Phoenix Coyotes
9. Rick Welts – President/CEO, Phoenix Suns
10. Ken Kendrick – Managing Partner, Arizona Diamondbacks
11. Jerry Colangelo – Chairman, Phoenix Suns/Chairman, USA Basketball
12. Ed Beasley – City Manager, City of Glendale
13. Josh Byrnes – Senior Vice President/General Manager, Arizona Diamondbacks
14. Lisa Love – Vice President for University Athletics, Arizona State University
15. Robert Brinton – President, Cactus League Ass'n./Executive Director, Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau
16. Steve Nash – Guard, Phoenix Suns
17. Dana Garmany – Chairman/CEO, Troon Golf
18. John Solheim – Chairman/CEO, Karsten Manufacturing Corp.
19. The Thunderbirds – Founders, FBR Open
20. Dawn Rogers – Senior Associate Athletic Director, Arizona State University
21. Jerry Reinsdorf – Owner, Chicago Bulls/Owner, Chicago White Sox
22. Steve Kerr – President of Basketball Operations/General Manager, Phoenix Suns
23. Dennis Erickson – Head Football Coach, Arizona State University
24. Mike Connelly – Senior Vice President/General Manager, FOX Sports Arizona
25. Kurt Warner – Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
26. Dan Bickley – Lead Columnist, The Arizona Republic/Afternoon Host, XTRA Sports 910
27. Harold Slemmer – Executive Director, Arizona Interscholastic Association
28. John Gambadoro and Mark Asher – Afternoon Hosts, Sports 620 KTAR
29. Steve Moore – President/CEO, Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
30. Mike Kennedy – Chairman, Super Bowl Host Committee Tickets to all events throughout the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil weekend at Phoenix International Raceway are available at the newly-designed www.phoenixraceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223).
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For the second-straight year, Helio Castroneves showed his intricate knowledge of the fastest way around Phoenix Raceway’s 1.022-mile oval during Beach Whiskey Outback Steakhouse Qualifying Day. The 41-year-old Brazilian and driver of the No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet set a new one-lap (18.8701 seconds, 194.975 mph) and consecutive two-lap (37.7538 seconds, 194.905 mph) record to earn the pole position and win another "Speed King" crown for this year's running of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix Raceway.
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Phoenix Raceway is encouraging fans to prepare for race day traffic by arriving early and enjoying the full racing experience during the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix event weekend, April 28-29. In addition to the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Saturday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. (local), the race weekend will also include the Phoenix Copper Cup USAC Silver Crown Series and the USAC .25 (Quarter) Midget races, as well as the Vintage Desert Classic. The weekend will officially kick off at the track with the Beach Whiskey Outback Steakhouse Qualifying Day on Friday, April 28.
Phoenix Raceway will host the Beach Whiskey Outback Steakhouse Qualifying Day on Friday, April 28 to kick off the Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend and set the field for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix under the lights on Saturday, April 29.
Fans attending the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix Raceway can receive an autograph from some of their favorite former IndyCar drivers at the Vintage Autograph Session Presented by Classic Racing Times on Saturday, April 29.
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