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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.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)