Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on September 16, 1995 · Page 20
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 20

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 16, 1995
Page 20
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Saturday, September 1S, 1995 The Arizona Republic Cl PIR has matured in 10 years with Jobe Don't even try to compare present day Phoenix International Raceway to what it looked like 10 years ago. In 1985, PIR had fewer than 10,000 reserved seats. Now there are nearly 60,000. In 1985, PIR resembled a dreary outpost in bad need of a cosmetic pick-me-up. Now there is a neatly manicured grass infield, refurbished restrooms, a larger press facility and an infield garage area, a new road course and 25 state-of-the-art suites overlooking Turn 1. Now it looks ever so clean. Thanks in a large part go to PIR owner Buddy Jobe. Jobe, who purchased the' racetrack 10 years ago Friday, said he has pumped more than $10 million into improving the facility. i "As of this moment, we don't have an original structure that was there Auto racing Yours truly, who is a panel member, voted in order for Villeneuve, Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Al Unser, Ron Fellows and Greg Moore. Pit Stops Forsythe Racing has hired Richard Spenard as a consultant for its IndyCar team. Moore, who is a strong candidate to be Forsythe's driver, next season, tested Wednesday i Vi - 1 MARK ARMIJO The Arizona Republic when I bought it," Jobe said. Who's going to argue? Certainly, not NASCAR Winston Cup officials, who awarded Jobe a much-envied Winston Cup race in 1988. "We knew NASCAR had a menu for us to fill if we wanted to have a shot at getting one of their races," Jobe said. The menu included building a garage and adding suites. Jobe never hesitated and the result was a facility that became one of the few venues in the country to be an annual site for both a Winston Cup and Indy-car races. Under Jobe's ownership, PIR also has attracted the International Motor Sports Association, the Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am series, the American Motorcyclist Association and NASCAR SuperTrucks. IRL news According to one source, an Indy Racing League meeting held recently in Indianapolis attracted 26 potential j team owners. And two of the attendees currently have International Motor Sports Association ties, which makes sense. The IMSA series can't seem to get out of neutral. Although A.J. Foyt is the only owner to publicly commit to the IRL, some rumors along pit road suggest Jim Hall Racing (Gil de Ferran), Tasman Motorsports (Andre Ribeiro) and Pat Patrick Racing (Scott Pruett) also may jump Championship Auto Racing Teams' IndyCar ship. Hall, however, said such talk linking him with the IRL is hogwash. Jobe, who chose to side with the IRL, is convinced he made the right decision. "(IRL founder) Tony George gave me an opportunity to do something different and there wasn't much choice on what I was going to do," Jobe said. Now, Jobe believes a lot of people are reaping the benefits of what George is attempting to do by starting a rival circuit. "All of a sudden it's like CART is saying, 'Uh-oh, maybe we do have an attitude problem,' " Jobe said. Top gun Jeff Gordon was selected third-quarter winner in Driver of the Year voting, edging Jacques Villeneuve by 12 points. W .M A. .. . .. 'liV, )) tarn Dick VanArsdale Autographs Sat. Sept. 16 noon-2pm nt & ii ii at Firebird International Raceway Park. Also testing for Forsythe were David Empringham and Claude Bourbonnais. Ivan Stewart captured the SCORE Tecate Trophy-Truck championship last Sunday in Laughlin, Nev. Larry Ragland of Phoenix was fourth. Dan Beaver of Parker was fifth in Class 8; and Todd Gatrell of Prescott won Class 3. Bill Brandon won the Super Late Model race last Saturday at Tucson Raceway Park. 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