In 1964, when Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains, it was intended to be a new jewel in the crown of American open wheel racing. Drivers like Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt soon came to love the one-mile paved oval with the unique bend in the backstretch. Plus, they really loved coming to Phoenix, where the tourism industry was just starting to grow and its Western-style hospitality was second to none.
In 1988, when NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing came to PIR, auto racing in Phoenix really became a major sporting attraction for the "Valley of the Sun." New racing legends and legends-in-the-making like Davey Allison, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and the rest of NASCAR’s stars found out first-hand what their open-wheel brethren had known for years: Phoenix International Raceway is truly a great place for drivers, fans and tourists alike.