ISM Raceway

Nickname

The Jewel of the Desert

Location

Avondale, Arizona

Length

1-mile (1.6 km)

Type

Intermediate D-Shaped Oval

Seating

67,000

Opened

1964

Series

Monster, Xfinity, Gander

Bio

ISM Raceway is a 1-mile, low-banked tri-oval race track located in Avondale, Arizona, near Phoenix. The motorsport track opened in 1964 and currently hosts two NASCAR race weekends annually. ISM Raceway has also hosted the CART, IndyCar Series, USAC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The raceway is currently owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation.

The raceway was originally constructed with a 2.5 miles (4.0 km) road course that ran on both the inside and the outside of the main tri-oval. In 1991 the track was reconfigured with the current 1.51 miles (2.43 km) interior layout. ISM Raceway currently has an estimated grandstand seating capacity of around 51,000. Lights were installed around the track in 2004 following the addition of a second annual NASCAR race weekend.

ISM Raceway is home to two annual NASCAR race weekends, one of 13 facilities on the NASCAR schedule to host more than one race weekend a year.

Phoenix International Raceway was built in 1964 around the Estrella Mountains on the outskirts of Avondale. Because of the terrain and the incorporation of a road course and drag strip, designers had to build a “dogleg” into the backstretch. The original roadcourse was 2 miles (3.2 km) in length and ran both inside and outside of the main oval track. The hillsides adjacent to the track also offer a unique vantage point to watch races from. “Monument Hill”, located alongside turns 3 and 4 (now turns 1 and 2 due to the tracks 2018 reconfiguration), is a favorite among race fans because of the unique view and lower ticket prices. At the top of this hill lies a USGS bench marker known as Gila and Salt River Meridian, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Long before Phoenix Raceway existed, this spot was the original land survey point for all of what later became the state of Arizona.

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