Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that the speedway will officially be renamed Jeff Gordon Raceway on Nov. 15, 2015 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500. The race is the semifinal race for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and will be Gordon’s last Sprint Cup Series race at the track as a full-time competitor.
“Jeff has had an amazing career in NASCAR, both as a tremendously successful competitor and as an incredible ambassador for the sport,” Sperber said. “When we thought about how to recognize his accomplishments for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, we knew we had to put together a celebration that was bigger than anything we’ve done in the past. It doesn’t get bigger than renaming the race track and Jeff Gordon is a person who is truly deserving of that honor.”
The renaming of the track will be a way for all PIR fans to celebrate the importance Gordon had on the track, the fans and the sport as a whole. It is the first time that a track has been renamed for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
“It’s an honor to have the track named after me, even if only for a day,” said Gordon. “What a cool gesture by Bryan Sperber, his staff and ISC. I’ve had some great moments at Phoenix International Raceway, and this will just add to the many great memories I have of racing in Phoenix.”
PIR will also release a series of five individual trading cards featuring Gordon’s image and key moments throughout his 24-year career at PIR. A limited number of each card will be randomly distributed to ticket holders both with their ticket mailing and at the gates each day during the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 race weekend. Fans will have the opportunity to trade with each other at locations on the Fan Midway throughout the weekend in order to collect the complete set.
Leading up to the race, PIR will present 24 Moments of Greatness on its social media channels highlighting some of the track’s and fans’ favorite moments with Jeff Gordon.
In addition, the event will be commemorated with an official logo displayed throughout the track, and fans will be able to purchase apparel online and on race weekend through a partnership with Fanatics, the market leader for licensed sports retail.
Gordon has four career wins at PIR, including three in NASCAR-sanctioned races. Each of his wins represented a significant moment to the track’s history. On Nov. 6, 1999, he raced to victory in the inaugural Xfinity Series race at Phoenix, before tying the legendary Dale Earnhardt with his 76th career Sprint Cup Series win on April 21, 2007. Forever etching his name into PIR history, Gordon kicked off the repaving of the track by digging the first piece of pavement following his win on Feb. 27, 2011. His 23 top-10 finishes at Phoenix is a track record, and he will tie Mark Martin for the record for most Sprint Cup Series starts at PIR in November when he makes his 34th start.
In January of 2015, Gordon announced that the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season would be his last. The four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion will join the FOX broadcast team full-time in 2016 as race analyst.
Tickets for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 start at $25 and are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 866-408-RACE (7223) or at the PIR box office. The green flag for the semifinal race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will fall at 2:30 p.m. EST.