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Fox Sports, PIR announce new TV deal

FOX Sports Arizona and Phoenix International Raceway have agreed to a new partnership that allows the regional sports network the ability to showcase Arizona’s premiere motorsports venue.

The historic track hosts the Southwest’s biggest racing events and has become one of NASCAR’s fastest and most exciting stops in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Beginning this Wednesday (Oct. 10), racing fans will be able to relive some of PIR’s best races in recent memory when FOX Sports Arizona debuts its new “Phoenix International Raceway Classics” series.

Produced to highlight past races at the venue won by NASCAR legends and get fans ready for this year’s Advocare 500 Weekend at PIR (Nov. 11-13), the first show will take viewers back to the 2003 Checker Auto Parts 500 that was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr. The series will offer four different one-hour episodes hosted by Valley resident Chris Neville, who is part of NASCAR’s coverage on TNT and SPEED TV.

Other races that will air in the series include the 2006 Subway Fresh 500 won by Kevin Harvick, the 2007 Subway Fresh Fit 500 won by Jeff Gordon and the 2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500 won by Mark Martin. Here is the complete schedule:

Oct. 10 @ 7:00 pm        2003 Checker Auto Parts 500
Oct. 15 @ 7:00 pm        2006 Subway Fresh 500
Oct. 24 @ 7:00 pm        2007 Subway Fresh Fit 500
Oct. 30 @ 7:00 pm        2009 Subway Fresh Fit 500

With the victory in 2007, Gordon tied Dale Earnhardt with his 76th all-time win and he recently said this about the moment, “What stands out to me is winning that race, tying Dale Earnhardt and carrying the No. 3 flag. That was a big deal. I looked up to Dale so much, admired him, respected him, to accomplish anything that he did in this sport was huge, so we wanted to honor him.”

When also asked a few weeks ago about his 2009 victory in Phoenix, Mark Martin said “That race was real special because it certainly looked like I wouldn’t win another race in my career at that time and it had been a few years since I’d won.”

This new agreement will also have FOX Sports Arizona produce a half-hour program in the Spring that highlights all the happenings from the 2013 Subway Fresh Fit 500. Phoenix International Raceway is one of just 12 tracks to host two Sprint Cup Races in one season and this program will bring to light everything that happens on not only the 1.0-mile oval, but off the track and outside PIR during race week. The air date and time for the show will be announced at a later date.

“Our new partnership with Phoenix International Raceway expands FOX Sports Arizona’s coverage of the local sports scene even further and strengthens our reputation as the network Arizona sports fans turn to first for comprehensive local sports programming,” said Brian Hogan, FOX Sports Arizona Sr. Vice President & General Manager.

“We’re tremendously excited to work with FOX Sports Arizona on a project that showcases many of the dramatic victories that have occurred at PIR over the years,” said Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber.  “It will be a real treat for fans to watch some of these historical accomplishments as we draw closer to our 2012 semi-final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup – the AdvoCare 500.”

In addition to the Sprint Cup Races, PIR is also home to the Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series West and the first NASCAR Mexico Series race to ever be held in the United States on March 1, 2013.

FOX Sports Arizona televises the most regional sports action in the state and is the exclusive cable television home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona Cardinals, Northern Arizona University and Phoenix Mercury. FOX Sports Arizona is currently seen in 2.5 million households in Arizona & New Mexico and can also be seen across the country via home satellite services. And for even more coverage of the local sports scene, log onto www.foxsportsarizona.com, www.twitter.com/foxsportsaz and www.facebook.com/foxsportsarizona.

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Michael Gossie

About Michael Gossie

Michael Gossie is an award-winning journalist who has earned more than 50 awards for writing, editing and design. He studied economics at Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., and put his entrepreneurial spirit to work in 2007, using a 200-year-old family recipe to launch an Italian sauce company. He is a competitive marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and is most proud of being the founding president of the Steuben Arc Foundation in Upstate New York, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities, including his sister.