Jimmie Johnson: Renovations will place PIR among nation's top racetracks

Posted at 2:19 PM, Feb 16, 2017

No one is more excited about the $178 million renovation project coming to Phoenix International Raceway than the man who has won four races at that track.

After he took Governor Doug Ducey for a spin (literally) at the Arizona State Capitol, NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson talked to ABC15's Jason Snavely about the upcoming improvements to the 53-year-old Avondale racetrack, including new grandstands, a Fan Zone and a number of additional enhancements to the fan experience. 

"I think it's gonna be exciting," said Johnson, who won four NASCAR races at PIR between 2007-09. "Potentially with the reconfiguration, we can have a really wild finish to a race.

"And then, certainly, just updating the infield, updating the fan experience, updating the suites for the corporate side, it's going to be a very nice venue."

PIR renovations are expected to be complete by November 2018.

"Hearing how much money they're spending on it, it's gonna be one of the top venues in the country, period," Johnson said. "It's amazing to see a state and a track invest so much back into the track," he said. "It's not inexpensive to own these tracks and put these events on. To see someone really reach in their pockets to enhance the fan experience is amazing."

A San Diego native, Johnson said PIR has always been among his favorite tracks.

"It's a small track that puts on a great race," he said. "We've had such great support out here for NASCAR racing."