The day of the first race found the pits packed and the technical inspections going on. Th
I had the opportunity to talk to multiple fans while waiting, briefly—in line, and sitting down to eat—and they all were very impressed with the track, the people running it, and what they perceived as a good value for the money they spent to come to the track. Everyone I spoke with said they would be back to watch another show. They were all glad that the track was there. Many were confident that the track would be a first class operation in a reasonable amount of time.
The track had changed a bit from the practice day with the addition of an Armco barrier around it. It looked nice but now the racers had something to hit. Four divisions—Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Pro Mods, and the Modifieds—put on plenty of close racing and the drivers all seemed to really like the speed the track was offering. It wasn't too fast and the size of the corners kept the track from becoming a dragstrip connected by two corners. The corners were large enough to really allow the drivers to keep a good bit of momentum into and out of the turn. The lack of clay didn't seem to hurt the track and how racy it would be throughout the night. Jonah and his team did a good job preparing the track. It wasn't too wet in the beginning and not too dry at the end of the evening; a great balance.
The winner of the very first race was Matt Martinez in the Stock Car division. The race was close in the early stages but as the second and third place cars started to race each other, Matt was able to pull away and take the win in the first ever race at Arizona Speedway. The fans went nuts and screamed like Matt had just won the Daytona 500.
Last minute preparations for the first race. The track was well prepared; not too much or
The opening of the Arizona Speedway was a fairly large undertaking. Jonah and his team did a very good job of taking a former motocross practice track and turning into a very good dirt track in what seemed like a fairly short time. This track will give the racers in Arizona a great place to race, and if the enthusiasm of the fans that night is any indication, they enjoyed the track just as much, if not more, than the racers.
Some of the fans expressed a bit of melancholy about the passing of Manzanita but they were very understanding when we started to talk about the economics of the situation. The fact that they were sitting at a new track was a very big positive. They have a good number of reasons to return and only time will tell if the level of enthusiasm will continue. Many a business start-up is marked with extremely high levels of effort, attention to detail, and outstanding customer relations. This is the point where the Arizona Speedway is currently standing.
The staff Jonah has assembled did a great job at making the fan and the racer feel at home and they offered a level of service that will keep them coming back for more. Looking forward, the fans and the racers have a place to go on Friday and Saturday nights that will offer a good value for the fan and racer alike. Arizona Speedway, the job was well done and should be a model for other people who would like to start a track.
Like most racers, no matter how much time you give them to prep the car there are still th
The show was run well and the schedule was maintained. These cars are waiting their turn t
The racing was close and exciting all night long. The racers did a great job of keeping it
And the winner of the first race at Arizona Speedway is Matt Martinez. This is a title tha
Richie Davis towed three hours from Springerville, Arizona, to win the first Modified race
As the sun set on Arizona Speedway's first night of racing, the future is bright indeed.