.Jeff Gordon has been one of NASCAR’s all-time heroes during his 24–year career, so it is only fitting that Phoenix International Raceway will be called Jeff Gordon Raceway for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Nov. 15. The race is No. 35 of 36 in the 2015 season and also Gordon’s penultimate race as a full-time driver. Gordon has 2 victories and 23 top 10s in 33 career Cup starts at Phoenix. The Raceway was also the site of one of the most controversial moments of his career when he wrecked championship contender Clint Bowyer in the closing laps back in 2012.
“Jeff has had an amazing career in NASCAR, both as a tremendously successful competitor and as an incredible ambassador for the sport,” stated Phoenix International Raceway president Bryan R. Sperber. “When we thought about how to recognize his accomplishments for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, we knew we had to put together a celebration that was bigger than anything we’ve done in the past. It doesn’t get bigger than renaming the race track and Jeff Gordon is a person who is truly deserving of that honor.”
Not only is this the first time a track has been renamed for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, PIR will issue a series of 5 individual trading cards featuring Gordon’s image and key moments throughout his 24-year career at the 1-mile oval. A limited number of each card will be randomly distributed to ticket holders, both with their ticket mailing and at the gates each day during the race weekend. Fans can trade with each other at locations on the Fan Midway throughout the weekend, in order to collect the complete set. In addition, an official logo will be displayed throughout the facility to commemorate the event, and the public will have the opportunity to buy apparel online and on race weekend through a partnership with Fanatics, a licensed sports retail company. Meanwhile, Phoenix will air “24 Moments of Greatness” on its social media channels, highlighting some of the sport’s favorite memories with Jeff.
“It’s an honor to have the track named after me, even if only for a day,” Gordon stated.”What a cool gesture by Bryan Sperber, his staff and ISC. I’ve had some great moments at Phoenix International Raceway, and this will just add to the many great memories I have of racing in Phoenix.”
Sunday’s event is just the latest in a series of track tributes to Gordon during his final season, including Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which presented him with a customized blackjack table and changed the speed limit around its facility to 24 mph; while Atlanta Motor Speedway gave him a red No. 24 Bandolero car, with the names of Gordon’s two children, Ella Sofia and Leo, over each door. The kids were also on hand to give the command prior to April’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.in Bristol, TN had Ella Sofia and Leo give the command prior to its April race.