GLM Highligt in Sports – Phoenix International Raceway –


Phoenix International Raceway was chosen to be honored as one of our GLM Highlights in Sports. Phoenix International Raceway is changing the image of motorsports and Arizona says Denise Meridith, CEO of Denise Meridith Consultants Inc. Though it is one of the most popular spectator sports in the US, in the past, people of color have been reluctant to attend NASCAR races, both because of the lack of minority drivers and an anticipated hostile reception from fans. In 2014, Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) demonstrated that times are changing. During its NASCAR weekend in March, PIR hosted the Mexico Toyota Series Race. PIR was the first track to involve drivers from its southern neighbor. In November, PIR is hosting the first Photographers of Color conference, where diverse photographers from around the country are invited to come learn about and photograph NASCAR races.

PIR has blossomed since President Bryan Sperber arrived from New York’s Watkins Glen International in 2002. Sperber seemed destined to lead in NASCAR, having been born in Daytona Beach, Florida. As one of the youngest track directors in NASCAR (in 2006 he was in the Business Journal’s “40 under 40” top executives list), he has brought innovation and enthusiasm to the sport. PIR’s involvement and respect in the community has grown under Sperber’s guidance. Whether it is sponsoring non-profit organizations or inviting churches, shelters, schools and many other non-profits to staff concession stands and raise money for their good works, PIR is reaching out to people, who have never been to a motorsports race before.

At PIR, you will see diverse fans, crewmembers, vendors, reporters, and volunteers among the 100,000 attendees/weekend. It is not your daddy’s motorsports anymore in Arizona.