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7 tips for tailgating at PIR during NASCAR

[dropcap style=”style1″]S[/dropcap]o… Spring break is in full effect in Arizona and NASCAR is at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). The unique combination of great weather, time off work or school, and the thrill of stock cars going 200 plus miles per hour has brought together all walks of life to enjoy the sport and the culture that goes along with it.

Part of that culture includes tailgating.

Tailgating is not exclusive to NASCAR events or NASCAR fans but rather is a common practice at any large sporting event. It typically consists of drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages in the parking lot before the event. Usually there is good food involved and its nothing short of a good time.

While a pick up truck may come to mind when you think of tailgating, rest assured, what began as a fun pre-game get together with friends has morphed into “professional parting.” This explains why you see so many RV’s and campers as you gaze out at the infield of the track, parking lot, and those areas that resemble a campground.

Each year PIR proves to be a unique place for race fans to tailgate with its stunning mountain views, but to take advantage of the full experience you will want to keep a few things in mind before you head to the track and while you are there:

1. Get a reserved space 

IMG_0703Like other tracks, PIR has unreserved RV parking, however it is first come, first served. Lets forget about trying to get a “good space” and worry about just getting a space period, you will need to get there early. Running late? Sorry, your friend cant save you a space as it is strictly prohibited. Similarly, if you wish to park around your other tailgating friends, to get spaces together you will need to arrive together. It is recommended to avoid the stress and hassle of maneuvering a massive RV through the commotion, that you get a reserved space.

2. Fill out the paperwork 

To help speed up the process of getting everyone to their spaces on race day, PIR requests that all tailgaters complete their release forms prior to arriving at the track. This gives you the opportunity to understand the rules, regulations, and the fine print so that any questions, comments or concerns can be taken care of prior to the race to make sure you aren’t the one holding up the line.

3. Staging your RV

How much would it suck if your RV was towed instead of being parked at the track because you parked in the wrong area? Believe it or not, it happens. PIR has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to vehicles being parked or staged on roads around the track at any time. As your gear up for race day be sure to check the schedules and plan accordingly to arrive during the staging time.

4. Don’t sweat the necessity’s

Arizona natives know how brutal the weather can be even when it seems nice out. Sun screen is a must as well as copious amounts of water. If you forget the sun screen at home or run out of water, fear not, the most unique feature of PIR is that their is a Safeway Track Store on site. This can come in handy if you run out of hot dogs, condiments, or any other tailgating needs. As if that wasn’t cool enough, the Safeway even has an in-store cafe shop that tends to be a gathering spot for fans to socialize while they enjoy a morning coffee.

5. Don’t get too rowdy 

IMG_0710I know what you are thinking: What is a party without some spotlights, lasers, fog machines, or loud music? At the very least, its a party that wont be shut down by PIR officials as anything of that nature, including PA systems or live bands, are prohibited. It might seem like a joykill now, but you will be thankful when you are trying to sleep and noise is kept to a minimum. Just as you don’t want to be disturbed, don’t disrupt your neighbors.

6. Leave the toys at home

Yes PIR is massive and I am sure it is tempting to bring your golf cart or scooter to the event and cut down on the walking you will surly be doing, but leave it at home. Unauthorized vehicles are prohibited and are not limited to just golf carts and scooters. Sand rails, dirt bikes, ATV’s, and other off-road vehicles are prohibited. Additionally, just because a vehicle is street legal does not mean it is allowed on PIR property. PIR notes they will review each vehicle on a case by case bases, but lets air on the safe side and accept that the only authorized vehicle you can operate is a single person electric convince vehicle, and those are only to be used to assist those with disabilities.

7. Leave when its time 

Just as a hotel has a check out time, PIR does as well as asks that all RVs be out of the venue by noon following the final race day. Expect a massive line to get out and to meet the check out time, it is suggested you pack up and leave as early as possible.

Any other questions? Check out the tracks complete RV and camping information on the PIR website. 


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