Report: Phoenix looking at potential changes to track

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The president of Phoenix International Raceway says the track will be taking a “hard look” at the its master plan over the next few months as it looks at possible additions and alterations  to the 1-mile track.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Bryan Sperber said many changes could be coming to the track, including the possibility of moving the start-finish line to the backstretch.

“If this were a baseball game, we’re probably in the first inning of that,” Sperber said. “So, there will probably be a lot of different things that will surface and will vet a lot of the potential opportunities and land on a really good plan for Phoenix going forward.”

In addition to moving the finish line, other possible “concepts” that have been explored include adding a double-decker grandstand on the frontstretch. PIR, which is owned by the International Speedway Corporation,  currently holds about 60,000 seats.

“It would be interesting to see if that were to happen because clearly, as you say, there’s a lot of action on the backstretch,” Sperber said. “But there’s a lot of action on the frontstretch, too. We’ve some crazy finishes here at PIR. We want to be careful not to tamper with what I think is a very successful formula as far as the on track racing.”

Any potential additions or alterations to the track would follow a $100 million project that was completed in 2011 that widened the frontstretch to 62 feet and the dogleg on the backstretch by 95 feet. Progressive banking was also added in Turns 1 and 2 to 10-11 degrees and Turns 3 and 4 to eight degrees.

The dogleg on backstretch often leads to drivers going three or four-wide as they head toward Turn 3

“The fans love it — what they call the dive-bombing,” Sperber said. “Whoever thought we could be four and five-wide at Phoenix? It’s been tremendously exciting. We thought it would be good, but it vastly exceeded even my expectations.