PHOENIX – ISM Raceway hosted the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 this past weekend for the second NASCAR event since the newly-modernized facility was completed in November of last year. Fans descended upon the West Valley for the greatest and most immersive fan experience in motorsports.
Fans who added the INfield Experience to their order were able to venture into the five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages and observe drivers and teams working on their race cars all weekend long. Crews interacted with fans, answered questions and many drivers stopped to sign autographs with fans along the fan walkway. Driver appearances featuring the likes of Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and Erik Jones allowed fans to interact with some of their favorite drivers during Q&A sessions throughout the weekend. And Gatorade Victory Lane played host to fans, including many from “Rowdy Nation,” as Kyle Busch notched wins number 198 and 199 in his NASCAR career by taking the checkered flag in the iK9 Service Dog 200 as well as the TicketGuardian 500.
“I really appreciate what has been done here,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing during his post-race press conference on Sunday. “I think this is where our sport needs to go. When you get fans that are standing right in the garage area with the cars being worked on, I think it’s an awesome experience. Those are things you can’t buy. Somebody comes to the racetrack, has a great experience, gets a chance to get an autograph, be right there with the cars worked on and be on pit road. I just really appreciate that. I wanted to say I really appreciate this racetrack and what they’ve done to make that kind of experience and help our sport.”
Following Opening Weekend in November, fans asked for additional activities in the INfield for young race fans and ISM Raceway delivered. In addition to adding Junior pricing for the INfield experience, ISM Raceway created the new Junior Activity Zone. Located adjacent to the Portacool Chill Zone, this kid-friendly area included giant coloring boards, inflatable games, face painting and other youth activities.
Staying true to their role as leaders in technology and innovation within the industry, ISM Raceway also hosted the inaugural eNASCAR Heat Pro League Draft in Gatorade Victory Lane prior to the TicketGuardian 500 on Sunday morning. Fourteen of the major NASCAR teams participated in the draft and were represented by the most recognizable personalities in the sport. Making their teams’ selections for the newest professional league in eSports, NASCAR drivers including Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and even The King himself, Richard Petty, all participated in the livestreamed event.
“We’re dedicated to providing the greatest fan experience in professional sports,” said Julie Giese, president of ISM Raceway. “With our newly modernized venue, we are continually looking for ways to enhance the experience and the response from our fans has been tremendous. We’re already looking forward to another unforgettable NASCAR semifinal weekend in November.”
NASCAR will return to ISM Raceway in November for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cups Series Semifinal Weekend. The weekend, Nov. 8-10, will feature the semifinal race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, as well as the championship race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Tickets and INfield access for all three days are on sale now and available online at ISMRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in-person at the ISM Raceway ticket office.
Video Highlights from the TicketGuardian 500 Weekend:
About ISM Raceway
Since 1964, ISM Raceway has been the premier motorsports venue in the Southwest. As part of a $178 million modernization project, the track officially became ISM Raceway in 2018 as a result of a naming rights partnership with ISM Connect, a pioneer in smart venue technology bringing the digital fan engagement experience to Phoenix. Phoenix hosts two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekends each year. The 2019 season at ISM Raceway will begin with the TicketGuardian 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race weekend on March 8, 9 and 10. The schedule is anchored on Nov. 8, 9 and 10, with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal Playoff Weekend after which the field is reduced to the final four championship contenders. For more information, visit www.ISMRaceway.com.