186 187 THE ISM RACEWAY A NEWMOTORSPORTS EXPERIENCE T he ISM Raceway first opened in 1964, at the foot of the Estrella Mountains in Avondale, Arizona, some 20 miles southwest of Phoe- nix, and was known as the Phoenix Raceway. In its early days, the venue hosted only INDYCAR events, but in the 1980s, a NASCAR race was added each fall, and then in the early 2000s, a spring NASCAR event was also added to the schedule. The raceway was originally constructed with a 2.5 mile road course that ran on both the inside and the outside of the main tri-oval, but in 1991, the track was reconfigured to its current, 1.5 mile, interior layout. In 1997, the Phoenix Raceway was acquired by the International Speedway Corporation, which began making some upgrades to the venue, now called