Julie Giese

Phoenix Raceway to host fans for championship races

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Phoenix Raceway announced Friday that it will host a limited number of fans for each of its three days of racing in November.

The track hosts the championship events for the Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series. The Truck finale is Nov. 6. The Xfinity race is Nov. 7. The Cup finale is Nov. 8.

The track will allow about 20% capacity. That is about 8,400 seats. The guidelines were approved by local officials.

MORE: Talladega Superspeedway open to fans for Cup playoff race 

“While we wish we could have a full house with the greatest fans in motorsports, the health and safety of everyone is our top priority and we are excited that we can still share this NASCAR championship weekend experience with many in a safe environment,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese in a statement. “The entire Phoenix Raceway team has been looking forward to hosting the track’s first-ever championship weekend since it was announced in March of last year, and we’re thrilled to be able to welcome fans all three days to share in this monumental event for our venue, our community and the entire state of Arizona.”

The track states in a media release that season ticket holders will receive priority for tickets. The track will not be able to accommodate some ticket holders. Phoenix Raceway stated it will issue a credit to those displaced accounts toward the 2021 championship weekend. Also, the track’s INfield Experience will not be open to fans. Camping will still be available. All campers will be pre-screened upon arrival. Campsites are limited to a maximum six guests per spot.

The track’s release also states that fans will be screened before entering the gates. Fans age 3 and up are required to wear a face covering. Go here for more information on the track’s protocols.

 

Texas, Daytona among tracks hosting high school graduation ceremonies

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The school lives of many American students were put on hold over the last two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic as learning went from the classroom to the living room.

On top of that, many senior classes had their graduating classes canceled or modified in creative ways. Among those are students who attend high schools near Texas Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Phoenix Raceway.

The tracks have announced they will host graduation ceremonies for area high schools throughout this month and in June.

Texas Motor Speedway will host ceremonies for all school districts in Denton County: including Aubrey ISD; Argyle ISD; Denton ISD; Krum ISD; Lake Dallas ISD; Lewisville ISD; Little Elm ISD; Northwest ISD; Pilot Point ISD; Ponder ISD; Sanger ISD and Westlake Academy.

All graduates will accept their diploma in-person while wearing academic regalia in addition to masks. After walking across a staging area, they’ll receive their diplomas in Victory Lane. Families of graduates will socially distance as they watch from their cars in the infield. The ceremonies will be broadcast on the track’s “Big Hoss” video board on the backstretch as well as via live stream.

“A great deal of thanks and appreciation for this program must go to (Denton County) Judge Andy Eads and his staff for their significant efforts in making this idea come to fruition in what was really a very short amount of time,” Eddie Gossage, President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway, said in a press release. “A high school graduation ceremony is such an important achievement and lifelong memory for students as well as their families and friends. We are honored by the opportunity to support each and every Denton County high school graduate as best we can in these difficult times.”

TMS is no stranger to hosting high school graduations. Gossage has turned driver introduction ceremonies into make shift graduation ceremonies for NASCAR drivers, including Erik Jones and Cole Custer.

On May 31, Daytona will host graduation ceremonies for students of Flagler-Palm Coast and Matanzas High School in Flagler County, Florida.

While details on the logistics of the ceremony are still being discussed, graduates will walk across the stage of the Ocean Center to receive their diploma before getting in a car to ride across the historic track’s start-finish line.

Each ceremony will be simulcast via radio inside the facility and live-streamed on the FlaglerSchools.com website. Only one vehicle is permitted for each graduate and their family. Additionally, all in attendance must remain in their vehicles.

“The France family has been committed to supporting our local schools in any way they can,” Chip Wile, President of Daytona International Speedway, said in a press release. “We are unique in that we can comfortably accommodate these schools and provide an unforgettable experience for these graduates. We are honored to host these graduates and their families for this special occasion.”

Pocono will host North Pocono School District’s graduation ceremony on Friday, June 12.

Family and loved ones attending the event will watch from inside their personal vehicles on the racetrack. The ceremony will be broadcast via Pocono Raceway’s internal FM radio station and on the track’s double-sided video boards. As names will be read by Principal Ron Collins, graduates’ photos will be displayed on the video boards and students will be called to drive across the Pocono Raceway start/finish line. Graduating seniors and their loved ones will be encouraged to decorate their cars in celebration of all their high school accomplishments. Guests will be permitted to attend in their vehicles or to watch the streamed graduation live on North Pocono School District’s Facebook page.

Phoenix Raceway will host Buckeye Union High School District graduates May 16. More than 1,000 graduates, inside vehicles with family members, will take to the 1-mile oval. Led by Toyota Camry pace cars, graduates will hear their names aloud on the track’s public address system as they cross the start/finish line.

“During these unprecedented times with large gatherings such as traditional high school graduations in doubt, our facility has the unique ability to provide a fun twist while safely holding an event like this,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “I’m proud that we can utilize Phoenix Raceway to celebrate the accomplishments of the young men and women in our community and be part of such a memorable day.”

Hailie Deegan, Julie Giese among Forbes’ ‘Women In Sports To Watch’ in 2019

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There are two representatives from the NASCAR world on Forbes’ newly released list of “Women In Sports To Watch” in 2019.

The sport is represented by driver Hailie Deegan and track executive Julie Giese.

Deegan competes in the K&N Pro Series West and last year became the first woman to win a race in the series after a last-lap pass at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway.

Giese is the president of ISM Raceway, a position she was named to last October, making her the only female president of any of International Speedway Corp.’s 13 tracks.

Giese has been with ISC since 2001 when she joined Watkins Glen International as the director of public relations.

Julie Giese named president of ISM Raceway

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Julie Giese was named president of ISM Raceway Tuesday by International Speedway Corp., making her the only female president at ISC’s 13 tracks.

She will take over the position in November once Bryan Sperber steps down. Giese will oversee the debut of ISM Raceway’s $178 million renovation project for the Nov. 9-11 NASCAR race weekend.

Julie Giese

Giese is a long-time ISC employee. She started with the company in 2001 as the director of public relations at Watkins Glen International.

Giese ascends to president of the track in Avondale, Arizona, after serving as managing director of business operations for ISC Design & Development.

“For me, it was a natural fit,” Giese told the The Arizona Republic. “I have a great understanding of the project. I think my experience puts me in a position to not only open a new venue, but also make sure we’re driving sales, and making ISM Raceway the premier destination we want it to be.”

Giese directed coordination between ISC’s 13 tracks, internal corporate departments and the Design & Development team on ISC’s significant capital investment and redevelopment projects.

“We couldn’t be happier to announce Julie Giese as President of ISM Raceway,” said ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy in a press release.  “She has spent close to two decades in motorsports, most notably with ISC, that included leadership roles in major redevelopment projects like Daytona Rising and the ISM Raceway Project. Julie’s unparalleled knowledge of the industry, along with her experience and passion, will serve her well in this new role.”