PIR To Open Richard Petty Raceway

Grand opening of karting attraction to feature appearance by track namesake

Richard Petty
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Phoenix International Raceway has teamed up with the legendary Richard Petty on a joint venture to create the first-ever high performance kart track within a NASCAR facility. This experiential innovation will put race fans behind the wheel and into the action at the brand new Richard Petty Raceway - located on PIR's Midway - beginning this November for the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend.

The 1/16th-mile Richard Petty Raceway will be located just inside Gate 4 at PIR, providing fans the chance to test their racing mettle for just $20 a session. The permanent one-of-a-kind venue will allow first-hand entertainment for fans 16 and older.

"Throughout his career Richard Petty has done so much for the fans. We're very excited to be able to partner with him on what promises to be a truly unique offering for PIR’s patrons," said PIR president Bryan R. Sperber. "Providing race fans the opportunity to turn laps at the brand new Richard Petty Raceway will add to PIR's engaging appeal and we're very excited to unveil Richard Petty Raceway in November."

A grand opening for Richard Petty Raceway is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, November 13. Petty - NASCAR's all-time wins leader and Raceway namesake - is scheduled to appear, along with AJ Allmendinger, the current driver of the No. 44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge.

"I'm thrilled to be a part of the Grand Opening of Richard Petty Raceway at PIR," said Petty. "The fans deserve to have fun and be entertained during their entire experience at the race track. I hope Richard Petty Raceway can be part of that."

Richard Petty Raceway will open on Thursday, November 12 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The facility will stay open throughout the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend at PIR, with racing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, November 13, and action beginning at 8 a.m. and lasting until 30 minutes before the checkered flags of the Able Body Labor 200 and Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, respectively, on Saturday and Sunday.

The raceway's structure will include a pit and garage area, as well as grandstand seating where each driver's "fans" can gather and show support - just as they would for the Chase for the Sprint Cup competitors on PIR's one-mile oval. Each race at Richard Petty Raceway can include five competitors.

At 20 feet wide and featuring a flagman's tower, tire barriers, and a layout quite similar to that of the main Phoenix International Raceway oval, Richard Petty Raceway is designed to give NASCAR fans yet another exciting racing surface - with the added thrill of participation in 9hp high-performance karts, provided by Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE). Competitors will put on firesuits and helmets and receive detailed instruction from RPDE professionals prior to racing.

Fans will have the chance to win a spot to compete in a race at the grand opening against the Sprint Cup Series professionals by entering the Richard Petty Raceway Grand Opening Sweepstakes. More information is available online at PhoenixRaceway.com/rpraceway.

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 PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale.

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