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Phoenix race track completes construction without hitting the brakes

In November 2018, some 54 years after it opened its track to racing events, the Phoenix Raceway located in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale, Ariz., welcomed fans to a new racing experience, with a completely redesigned facility. The $178 million makeover included a redesign of the 1-mile track along with brand new stadium facilities, including grandstand seating capacity of 42,000, 19 additional suites and added escalators and elevators. It features a stripped-down, clean-lined look, with metal interior and exterior wall panels that emphasize an industrial appearance that’s just right for the sometimes-gritty sport of racing.

The project’s especially interesting because the track kept operating while the reconstruction was underway, taking advantage of time between the spring and fall racing seasons. Ground was broken in 2017 following that spring’s last race in April, with 33 upgraded suites and a new fan club prepped to be ready for the November event schedule. Then new entrances, including elevators and escalators, along with a new sports bar and grill, were in place for the 2018 spring season to begin in March. Finally, the redesigned raceway with its repositioned starting line were completed for the official November 2018 grand opening.

Design duties were split, with the local office DLR overseeing the infield and Detroit-based Rossetti acting as architect for the grandstand, midway, bar and other features. Together, the team turned to Petersen to supply the PAC-CLAD metal wall panels used throughout the project. These included more than 51,000 sq. ft. of the company’s Flush panels, for use in interior spaces, and more than 18,000 sq. ft. of 7/8 Corrugated panels for exteriors. Both of these products from the company’s PAC-CLAD line were specified in 22-gauge steel in an Almond finish.

Installation was handled by Chandler, Ariz.-based Kovach, with the Tempe, Ariz. office of Okland Construction acting as general contractor.