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Nazareth Speedway

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Nazareth Speedway (formerly Pennsylvania International Raceway) was a motor racing circuit in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania which operated from 1987-2004. The track is often associated with local drivers Mario and Michael Andretti.

Track historyEdit

The site had hosted motor racing events since the 1910's, and was renovated to 1.125 miles and reopened as Nazareth National Speedway in 1966. After closing in 1984, the track was purchased by Roger Penske in 1986. It was renovated and paved, and reopened as Pennsylvania International Raceway in 1987. It was the first racing oval to feature a warm-up lane to enter and exit the pits, designed in part by driver Rick Mears. In 1993, the track was renamed Nazareth Speedway. In 1997, the facilty underwent improvements, including a new retaining wall, catch fence, and new grandstands.

When the track re-opened in 1987 after the 1987 fire, it was a slightly reconfigured 1-mile oval (1.62 km). However, designers and participants were aware that it actually measured shorter than one mile. The banking varied between 2.7° and 6.0°. The back straight is 1200ft (400m) and the home straight is 800ft (260m). Indycar participants often took advantage of the inaccurate measurement for fuel strategy, knowing that they were running a shorter distance than advertised. In 1998, for fairness and accuracy, the track was remeasured by the CART sactioning body, and was advertised as 0.946 miles (1.52 km) in length. The race, which had been 200 laps, was increased to 225 laps for time value purposes.

Although the Nazareth Speedway hosted a Busch Series and an Indy Racing League race in 2004, the facility was closed after the 2004 season, and the races were all moved up to Watkins Glen International, which is host to an IRL race since 2005, plus a re-visiting by the Busch Series after a several year absence. The track is now up for sale, and may be resurrected if a strong buyer is found. Currently there is an offer to convert it into a multi-purpose indoor arena. Although the track closed in 2004, it is still featured in the EA Sports video game NASCAR 06: Total Team Control which is based on the 2005 NASCAR season.

Race WinnersEdit

NASCAR Nationwide SeriesEdit

Year Driver Started Car # Owner Make
1988 Rick Mast 12 22 Alan Dillard, Jr. Buick
1989 Bobby Hillin, Jr. 2 81 Ted Conder Buick
1990 Jimmy Hensley 2 25 Dick Moroso Oldsmobile
1991 Chuck Bown 2 63 Hubert Hensley Pontiac
1992 Todd Bodine 19 34 Frank Cicci Chevrolet
1993 Robert Pressley 11 59 Daniel Welch Chevrolet
1994 Ricky Craven 9 2 Ricky Craven Chevrolet
1995 Tim Fedewa 2 55 Ray DeWitt Ford
1996 Randy LaJoie 3 74 Bill Baumgardner Chevrolet
1997 Elliott Sadler 1 29 Gary Bechtel Chevrolet
1998 Tim Fedewa 2 33 Bill Baumgardner Chevrolet
1999 Matt Kenseth 7 17 Robbie Reiser Chevrolet
2000 Ron Hornaday, Jr. 4 3 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet
2001 Greg Biffle 7 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
2002 Jason Keller 2 57 Keith Barnwell Ford
2003 Ron Hornaday, Jr. 3 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2004 Martin Truex, Jr. 20 8 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet

NASCAR Craftsman Truck SeriesEdit

Year Driver Started Car # Owner Make
1996 Jack Sprague 2 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
1997 Jack Sprague 3 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
1998 Ron Hornaday, Jr. 10 16 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet
1999 Greg Biffle 1 50 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
2000 Dennis Setzer 19 1 Bob Keselowski Dodge
2001 Greg Biffle 2 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford

External linksEdit

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