Tucson Speedway becomes official NASCAR track

Tucson Speedway becomes official NASCAR track

By Kayla Anderson. CREATED May 1, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Bob Duvall, Senior Director, Business Development - NASCAR announced that Tucson Speedway has been designated a NASCAR track for the Whelen All-American Series. 

This series is NASCAR's national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. Tucson Speedway is the fifty-eighth paved and dirt track throughout the United States and Canada to be selected.

Tucson Speedway is excited to renew their relationship with NASCAR.  According to Brad Corneliusen, Tucson Speedway Advisory Board Chairman, "These short tracks are very important to the NASCAR organization.  It is where young talent trains to make it to the next level."

Tucson's Alex Bowman, who raced at Tucson Speedway, is an example of the latest driver to make it into NASCAR's premier divisions, Alex ran in the NASCAR Nationwide series in 2013 and is competing in NASCAR's Sprint Cup in 2014.

Brad also said, "Tucson Speedway would like to be known as one of the original anchors of Tucson racing scene.  We have a lot of racing near the Pima County Fairgrounds with the Southwestern International Raceway drag strip, Musselman Honda Circuit Track, and the Tucson Kart Club; add to that the possibility of a Indy Car Track, and motor sports are becoming very exciting in Tucson." 

Tucson Speedway has had a relationship with NASCAR in the past from 1994 to1999, hosting the NASCAR Winter Heat Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. 

The track is a 3/8 mile, progressive banked, paved oval located at the Pima County Fairgrounds, off of Interstate 10 in Tucson, Arizona. 

The track was originally built in 1968 as a clay oval.  Between 1968 and 1993, the dirt track was operated under the names of Tucson International Speedway, Corona Speedway, Raven Raceway, and Tucson Raceway Park. 

In 1982, International Speedway Corporation obtained the facility and in 1993, the track was redesigned and paved.

Tucson Speedway (Tucson Raceway Park) was home of the NASCAR Winter Heat Series from 1994 through 1999, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series from 1995 through 1997.  These programs helped launch the careers of drivers such as Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Matt Crafton, Ron Hornaday and others. 

From 2002 to 2011 the track was operated by three different entities, leading to the track closure in 2011.  

In October of 2012, a nonprofit group "START Tucson LLC" obtained the lease on the racing facility. The track was re-branded as "Tucson Speedway", and the renovations began.  After cutting out over two linear miles of cracked asphalt, a new aggregate was poured and entire track was resealed. The stands have been refurbished, the concession areas have been remodeled, the bathrooms remodeled, new landscaping, and racing resumed in April of 2013.

In addition to the weekly racing, Tucson Speedway has hosted the 2013 Arizona Pro Stock Championship, the inaugural Chilly Willy 100 Super Late Model Race, and the Lucas Oil Modified's Shootout 75.  Additional National events are on the schedule for 2014 and 2015.