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Phoenix Raceway to become ISM Raceway in 2018

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The track now known as Phoenix Raceway, formerly known as Phoenix International Raceway and colloquially referred to as “PIR,” will in 2018 be known as ISM Raceway following Phoenix Raceway selling the naming rights to ISM Connect, a smart venue technology company.

ISM Connect, LLC is listed with a Randolph, N.J. base and has ramped up its motorsport involvement in recent weeks, including being the naming sponsor of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

News that ISM Connect would take over Phoenix’s naming rights was first reported by The Arizona Republic, via AZCentralSports.com, on Monday.

The full Phoenix Raceway release is below. The track is set to host both NASCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series once again in 2018, with the IndyCar race in April the last scheduled race for its current track configuration before the completion of its renovation project, which is sponsored by DC Solar. The IndyCar race next year is the third in its initial three-year contract since returning in 2016.

Phoenix Raceway and ISM Connect, a pioneer in smart venue technology, today announced a multi-year partnership that includes naming rights for the Raceway’s modernized venue as well as the installation of a groundbreaking digital fan engagement experience. Beginning in 2018, the venue will be known as ISM Raceway.

ISM’s 360° Connect network will provide the modernized venue with advanced, robust technology and data capabilities to create meaningful connections between fans, partners and the venue itself. This will be done through the use of digital display screens, interactive experiences, social media integrations and a mobile app that will give fans access to unique content, in-seat ordering, and more.

“We’re focused on building a world-class facility and the partnership with ISM will further enhance our technology capabilities and create opportunities to better engage with fans,” said Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber. “ISM Raceway will serve as a premier motorsports and entertainment destination for generations to come.”

The ISM Connect network will power various fan activations and experiences throughout the venue, including the new infield Fan Zone, new pedestrian tunnel connecting the infield to the new seating areas and one of the two new Canyons – the immersive and interactive entrances. As part of the partnership, ISM Connect will also receive naming rights for one of the Canyons – providing over 20,000 square feet of fan engagement and brand activation that vertically spans multiple concourse levels.

“This partnership underscores our commitment to strengthening relationships and communication between venues, fans, partners and brands through innovative digital solutions,” said ISM Connect Vice President of Operations Jeff Hutchins. “ISM Raceway, powered by ISM Connect’s digital engagement network, will revolutionize how large venues connect every piece of their technology in order to gather and analyze data with the goal of improving the fan experience.”

The partnership with Phoenix Raceway further reinforces ISM Connect’s significant presence in motorsports as the company has brought ISM Vision Powered by BoldVu®, the World’s Largest 360° Digital Engagement Venue Network, to the NASCAR experience across the country.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.