Pikes Peak International Raceway Is No Longer Closed

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

The Pikes Peak International Raceway is now open.

Gates opened on Saturday, and cars were anxious to hit the asphalt for the first time in nearly three-years.

"Don't even lift off the gas. You got the pedal to the floor," said Race Car Driver Dick Radawicz.

For those of you who don't know the story, International Speedway Corporation purchased PPIR three-years ago. They immediately shut it down in hopes of eventually building a NASCAR track up North toward Denver.

The great news is that PPIR is back open. The only difference is that there still won't be a venue for NASCAR races.

"It's nice to hear the roar of engines again," said PPIR Spokesperson Vince Salas.

The National Auto Sports Association or NASA is the first to put their guests into high gear. Nearly 200 race car drivers showed up on Saturday with the need for speed.

"Oh my gosh! This is great," said Dave Balingit who's with NASA.

Engines and hearts were pumping with excitement.

"A lot of people I haven't seen race for three-years have come out of the woodwork," said Balingit.

The purpose of the track, according to PPIR, is to serve the public. As long as you have a helmet and a car the oval is all yours. "So when people come out here, it's a personal experience. They feel like this is their race track," said Salas.

Granted NASCAR events are prohibited at PPIR, but they'll still get national attention from other high profile auto races.

The pit-stops are full and the track is groomed now, but that wasn't the case five-weeks ago. "There were a few tumble weeds to take care of and a couple of weeds out in the parking lot," said Salas.

"Every time we would drive past PPIR on our way down to Pueblo you would just cry to look over and see the track sitting abandoned," said Radawicz.

The plan, according to PPIR, is to make sure that doesn't happen again.

The PPIR stands seat 40,000 people. Soon it'll be hacked down to 10,000 seats. PPIR Says they won't be needing the extra seats.

Also, races will be going on again on Sunday and Monday. Spectators get in free.


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