Phoenix March 2015 News & Notes


Check back for more updates as the days wind down to events at Phoenix International Raceway in March 2015. During Race Weekend, look for more updates posted here.

The broadcast of the Mexico Toyota Series, Toyota 120 will air live Friday, March 13, beginning at 10 p.m. ET on NBC Universo. The XFINITY Series, Xalta Faster Tougher Brighter 200 will air on FOX at 4 pm ET on March 14 with the Sprint Cup Series broadcast of the 500 March 15 on FOX at 3:30 pm ET.

Tickets for the 500 on March 15 start at just $25. For tickets and information, visit or call 866-408-RACE (7223)


PIR and Americrown introduce new food court featuring deep fried, must-try treat 

It’s Spring Break, NASCAR-style, and fans coming to the 500 race weekend are encouraged to take a bite out of the CARBuretor Crunch, the first-ever signature item of Phoenix International Raceway. A collaboration between PIR and Americrown, the item is a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich encrusted with Cap’n Crunch, covered with bacon crumbles, fresh sliced bananas and caramel drizzle.


The CARBuretor Crunch, which comes in at roughly 900 calories, will be exclusively sold in the new ZOOMTOWN Food Court located in the heart of the Midway. Fans can purchase a single CARBuretor Crunch for $7, or a double order for $13, and will have social media bragging rights with a photo station declaring, “I ate the CARBuretor Crunch.”

“With food being such an important part of the race day fan experience, we asked our chefs to create a one-of-a-kind treat that fans can’t get anywhere else,” said Kristie Maggs, Director of Consumer Marketing & Partnership Activation. “Just like NASCAR, this creation is classic Americana with a little extra horsepower.”

Also featured at the new ZOOMTOWN Food Court will be the Bootleggers bar, in addition to a variety of other food options including bar-b-que, hot dogs, quesadillas and tacos. The ZOOMTOWN Food Court offers free WiFi and covered seating to patrons.


Free autograph session on Fan Midway prior to Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200

Fans coming to the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 14 will have the opportunity to attend a free NASCAR XFINITY Series Autograph Session. Held on the Fan Midway and open for anyone with a grandstand ticket, the event is a great opportunity to meet NASCAR stars of the future.

Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon and Brian Scott, Roush Fenway Racing’s Darrell “Bubba” Wallace and Chris Buescher, TriStar Motorsports Blake Koch, VIVA MotorsportsJamie Dick and HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi’s Brennan Poole, as well as other drivers, are scheduled to sign autographs on the Fan Midway.

The autograph session will be held beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 9:15 a.m. on Saturday near the Main Stage on the Fan Midway. Fans wanting to participate in the autograph session will need a wristband, which will be handed out when the gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. 

Please note that driver participation and number of autographs is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are sponsors of this promotion. 


Top Regional Mexican artist will be the honorary pace car driver Friday, March 13

Billboard chart topper and DEL Records/Empire Productions artist Luis Coronel will be the honorary pace car driver for the Toyota 120 NASCAR Mexico Series race on Friday, March 13, Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today.  Fans of Coronel should plan on arriving before 7 p.m. PST to see him take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.

The Regional Mexican singer, who is a social media sensation with over 250,000 followers on Twitter and three million likes on Facebook, will drive the Toyota Camry pace car and lead the field of 28 of the best drivers from Mexico to the green flag on Friday night’s main event.

Coronel will also entertain fans at the Main Stage on the Fan Midway immediately following the Toyota 120 race.

Born in Tucson, Arizona to Mexican parents, the 19 year-old crooner became the youngest solo artist in 13 years to hit No. 1 on Top Latin Albums with his sophomore albumQuiero Ser Tu Dueño. Coronel, who recently won Univision’s Premios Lo Nuestro Mexican Regional Male Artist of the Year, is also the reigning Billboard Latin Music Awards New Artist of the Year and was named to their 21-Under-21 list.

The concert is free to all fans with a grandstand ticket for the Toyota 120.


New spin on driver introductions caps off entertainment featuring Tonic, Luis Coronel and Cantina lineup

Race weekend entertainment for the 500 at Phoenix International Raceway will feature a new spin on driver introductions as world-renowned DJ Michaelis applies his own flair, mixing all music related to the PIR “Like A Boss” marketing campaign.

Famous for deconstructing popular music, DJ Michaelis will put his own twist on the traditional driver introductions. The West Coast DJ holds big room residences in cities around the world including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Moscow and Bali and has new Trap and Progressive House music being released later this month.

Social media sensation Luis Coronel will highlight Friday’s entertainment as he will be performing a concert immediately following the NASCAR Mexico Series Toyota 120 race on Friday, March 13. The Billboard chart topper and DEL Records/Empire Productions artist recently won Univision’s Premios Lo Nuestro Mexican Regional Male Artist of the Year and will entertain fans on the Midway.

Prior to the 500 on Sunday, March 15, Grammy-nominated Tonic will also be performing a free concert for any fan with a grandstand ticket. The multi-platinum rock group with six top-10 singles will entertain fans in the midway area at 10:30 a.m. MST.

Race weekend entertainment officially kicks off at the Cantina with Whiskey’s Quicker on Thursday, March 12 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Formed in 2011, the Phoenix-based group is one of the most popular rock cover bands in Arizona and has been a mainstay at Phoenix International Raceway ever since.

Harry Luge, Jr. will hit the Cantina stage on Thursday and Saturday from 9 – 11 p.m., and on Friday from 7 – 8:30 p.m. The Arizona-born singer/songwriter is a favorite on the country music scene throughout the Southwest and has become a regular on the Cantina stage during PIR’s NASCAR weekends since 2005.

Taking the stage on Friday from 9 – 11 p.m. at the Cantina will be DaisyTrain. Featuring some of Arizona’s best and most notable musicians, DaisyTrain will entertain fans with the most current country hits, adding a Texas-sized dose of flash and flair.

Also performing at the Cantina will be Arizona’s original and best hair band rock show, METALHEADS, who will entertain fans on Saturday from 7 – 8:30 p.m. The group of four have been performing across the state since 2003 and will be returning to PIR for the second-straight year.


Fans encouraged to write good-luck notes to legendary driver on start/finish line before 500

NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon left his mark on Phoenix International Raceway – literally – when he tore up the first chunks of asphalt at the start/finish line in April, 2011 to kick off PIR’s repaving project. With Gordon embarking on his final full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, PIR is inviting fans to write a note to him on the start/finish line prior to the 500 on Sunday, March 15.

Any fan who purchases a Pre-Race Pit Pass will have the ability to walk on the track on Sunday morning and, in one of NASCAR’s most unique traditions, write good-luck notes to their favorite drivers. To celebrate Gordon’s outstanding career, PIR will paint his iconic No. 24 on each of the black squares of the checkerboard start/finish line. The track has also installed a billboard above the backstretch recognizing Gordon.

Pre-Race Pit Passes are available for $60 and are valid for all three days of racing action at PIR and provide access to the Infield, Pit Road and the race track itself prior to the start of pre-race ceremonies on Sunday. The pass gives fans the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers and potentially get autograph or a photo with their favorite car. Fans can also get a picture in Gatorade Victory Lane and have the opportunity to view pre-race ceremonies, including Driver Introductions as well. A valid race ticket is required for admission.


 “Following a review of the existing safety barriers at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) with ISC and NASCAR officials, PIR will supplement its existing barrier system. A new tire pack barrier will be installed along the interior wall of Turn 4 in advance of the 500 race weekend.

“The additional protective barrier represents PIR’s ongoing commitment to providing a safe racing environment for its drivers, teams and fans. PIR will continue to work in tandem with NASCAR to expedite the adoption of additional impact-absorbing technologies, as deemed necessary, at our facility.”


Arizona State alum to step out of the Octagon and into race car

Dan Henderson PIRTwo-time Olympian and current UFC star Dan Henderson will lead the field to the green flag behind the wheel of the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car at the start of the 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 15. Henderson’s appearance was the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment.  As the official pace car driver, the 44-year old mixed martial artist will take an honorary lap around the one-mile oval.

“I’m excited to get behind the wheel and pull out onto the track at Phoenix International Raceway and help start the 500,” Henderson said. “NASCAR drivers are the best in the world at what they do, and I can’t wait to see them in my rear view mirror just before they take the green flag. It’s a great honor and it’s going to be a huge thrill.”

Henderson represented the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games. He also wrestled collegiately at Arizona State and was a three-time USA University Greco-Roman National Champion. He began his mixed martial arts career in 1997, winning the championship in that year’s Brazil Open Lightweight Tournament.

Henderson owns more major tournament titles than any other athlete in MMA history, winning four different international events in three weight divisions – heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight. He is the only man in MMA history to hold the title in multiple weight classes at the same time.

In addition to his duties behind the wheel, Henderson will make a promotional appearance at PIR prior to the race on Sunday, March 15. For more information on timing and other appearances, please visit

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