Nearly 55 years after becoming an official racetrack, Avondale’s Phoenix Raceway will host the NASCAR championship series Friday, Nov. 6, through Sunday, Nov. 8.
While the cars will be going at full speed, for viewers it will be more of a “yellow flag”—with caution—experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the country, and nothing seems normal these days. Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese still wants fans to enjoy the series as if life was back to normal.
“For us, it was something that we’ve been waiting over a year and half to get to this race weekend,” Giese said. “We are excited for this opportunity to showcase Phoenix Raceway, the city of Avondale and the entire state of Arizona for that matter.”
Although fans will be allowed to come to the track, the raceway will not be filled. Only about 20% of the track will be filled, which will mean only about 8,000 fans will attend the championship weekend. Strict guidelines will be in place for fans who do choose to attend the events.
“Face masks are required, temperature screening upon entering the stadium, and social distancing throughout the entire venue while you are here,” Giese said. “Cashless concessions and a number of new protocols are in place to ensure a safe experience for everyone.”
The race action begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, as the green flag drops for the Lucas Oil 150, to decide the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series Championship.
That will be followed at noon Saturday, Nov. 7, by the Arizona Lottery 100. The 100-lap championship race in NASCAR’s top developmental series will be part of a Saturday doubleheader along with the Xfinity Series’ Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, the 2020 NASCAR Championship Weekend will culminate with the NASCAR Cup Series, with four elite drivers battling for the championship.
Limited fans will be allowed into the track, but fans of NASCAR in Avondale can still attend a drive-in watch party at The BLVD in Avondale starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.
Hosted by the city of Avondale, NASCAR and Phoenix Raceway, the inaugural NASCAR Championship Watch Party at The BLVD will bring every second of the action from the track directly to the fans, all from the comfort of their vehicles.
The event is free to attend, but guests must register in advance at phoenixraceway.com/watchparty. In addition to watching the first NASCAR Cup Series champion crowned at Phoenix Raceway, the afternoon of fun will consist of virtual appearances by NASCAR Cup Series drivers and other special guests, as well as a special gift pack for each car. Guests can also enjoy food trucks, games and other activities.
The BLVD, located at 755 N. 114th Avenue in Avondale, opens its gates at 10 a.m., with the green flag set to drop for the championship race at 1 p.m. Visit phoenixraceway.com/watchparty for more information.
“We worked with the city of Avondale on a watch party to just allow more people to participate in the event and come together as race fans to celebrate the championship just a few miles down the road from the track,” Giese said. “We’re excited to engage a few more people knowing that not everyone can be at the track on race weekend.”
“Certainly a different event than we thought we would be hosting, but excited still by the fact that we are hosting it,” Giese said. “We will crown four champions, and we will have some fans with us as well.”