Abbie Parr | Getty Images
Abbie Parr | Getty Images

Phoenix Raceway announces sellout for NASCAR Cup Series title race

Phoenix Raceway announced Sunday that the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race on Nov. 7 is fully sold out, marking the earliest sellout in the history of the track.

The emphasis here is on fully. There are no more grandstand seats, the hospitality suites are sold out and the hillside is full. The FanShield Infield Experience? Again, fully booked.

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“I think this says a ton about our fans,” said Julie Giese, NASCAR Vice President of Track Marketing and Phoenix Raceway President. “It’s exciting coming off of last year’s race, where we only had a limited capacity, and we were well on our way to a sellout then, too. I’m really happy for our team and proud of our team. And most of all, I’m happy that we’ll see all of our fans back with us.”

It’s been quite the journey for Phoenix Raceway and surrounding community since NASCAR announced in 2019 that the 1-mile facility would host the title race for all three NASCAR national series beginning in 2020.

So while November will mark the second consecutive year NASCAR’s three national series conclude their season with a title race in the desert, it’s the first without capacity restrictions. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with local health protocols, capacity was capped.

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Those in attendance last year saw Sheldon Creed capture a dramatic Truck Series championship; Austin Cindric rally with a beautiful restart in NASCAR Overtime to capture his first Xfinity Series title; and Chase Elliott cap an amazing end-of-season run for his first Cup Series championship.

Community support for the event has never wavered, Giese said, and has in fact strengthened during the pandemic — from local police and fire departments having custom badges and messaging on trucks, to the Avondale community and state of Arizona leaning in to embrace a premier championship weekend in the area.

“I think we had an expectation of how much the community was going to support us, and it’s surpassed my wildest imaginations on what this community can do around an event,” Giese said. “Just seeing the support we have from cities of Avondale and Phoenix and state of Arizona, so many people coming together to make this event as big and special as it can be. It’s fun to see that culminate and come together.”

Phoenix Raceway opened in 1988 and has hosted 50 races at NASCAR’s highest level — two per year since 2005.

The track reconfigured its mile-long oval ahead of its fall race in 2018, shifting the start-finish line to what was formerly the exit of Turn 2. And the distinctive track’s races in recent years have also put the expansive apron in the dogleg before Turn 1 into play — an enticing option for those willing to make dive-bomb passing attempts.

Those track changes were part of a larger $178 million renovation that put an emphasis on fan amenities and accessibility.

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And it’s the fans that makes this weekend so special for Giese.

“I can’t wait to see the fans and I can’t wait to have a full facility so those fans can witness a championship event and fully be part of it,” Giese said. “For so many of them, it’ll be their first championship event. In a way it’s the first for even those fans who were with us last year. I’m really looking forward to celebrating with them.”

This year’s Championship Weekend kicks off Friday, Nov. 5, with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at 8 p.m. ET. The Xfinity Series (along with ARCA Menards Series West) crowns its champion on Nov. 6, followed by the NASCAR Cup Series’ culmination and coronation on Nov. 7.

A limited number of grandstand and FanShield Infield Experience tickets remain for Friday and Saturday during NASCAR Championship Weekend. Fans can purchase tickets for Friday and Saturday’s action at Phoenix Raceway at www.phoenixraceway.com and can also secure their seats for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway by purchasing season tickets.