Gaulding Wins First Race At PIR
In the final laps of the Casino Arizona 50 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night, Gray Gaulding closed in on runaway leader Cole Custer. With only a single turn to go before the drop of the checkered flag, Gaulding tapped the back of Custer and spun out the leader.
It appeared Custer had lost speed by getting loose when steering into turn 3. Gaulding motored on to his first victory on the K&N Pro Series West tour as Custer dropped to sixth. Gaulding explained the controversial finish by saying, "I was able to catch up to him when he had to go through lapped traffic. I barely touched him, and that's all it takes around here."
Pole-sitter Custer raced his way to an enormous 8.338-second lead just past the 50-lap halfway mark, but a caution flag bunched the field on lap 27. When the cars went back to racing, Custer built more than a second-and-a-half edge over Gaulding with 10 circuits to go. But, that lead gradually narrowed until the fateful conclusion.
Brandon McReynolds, son of former NASCAR Cup crew chief and Fox TV analyst Larry McReynolds, started 20th after bottoming out on his qualifying run but stormed his way to a fifth place finish.
Jesse Little copped second place, while Cameron Hayley was third and David Mayhew fourth. Derek Thorn finished 15th, but it was enough to clinch the series title for 2013.
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Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Kristie Maggs has been promoted to Senior Director of Consumer Marketing and Partnership Activation. Since joining PIR in July 2007, Maggs has played an integral role in the marketing efforts of two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends and the upcoming Verizon Indy Car Series – growing the track’s fan base through promotional opportunities with track partners and elevating the PIR brand.
Phoenix International Raceway participated in the inaugural NASCAR West Coast Media day at the Peterson Automotive Museum in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday. The event, which highlights the second season of back-to-back races at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana, featured NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. In addition to the upcoming 2016 season, the drivers as well as track presidents discussed the return of “NASCAR Goes West” including the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 13.
NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Great Clips Chevy SS for Hendrick Motorsports, attended Wednesday’s Phoenix Suns home game versus the Charlotte Hornets at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Kahne was in the Phoenix area to promote the start of the 2016 NASCAR season, the Daytona 500, and the Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 13.
For people looking for that perfect gift for the race fan in their life, Phoenix International Raceway has extended its Black Friday and Cyber Monday special offers through the end of the week.