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Explosives take down control tower as part of ISM Raceway renovation

PHOENIX – The race control tower at ISM Raceway in suburban Phoenix was blown up Wednesday, a major milestone in the $178 million renovation of the motor sports facility.

The 130-foot-high control tower built in 1988 came down in spectacular fashion, with explosives taking out the structure’s supports before it toppled to the ground in a cloud of smoke and dust.

The track in Avondale, which opened in 1964, was known as Phoenix International Raceway until ISM Connect signed a naming rights deal in September 2017 that went into effect this year.

The raceway hosts two NASCAR races and one IndyCar event each year.

A ceremony was held before the demolition that featured ISM Raceway President Bryan Sperber, NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, Dickens Demolition owner Richard Dickens and ISM Connect Vice President of Sports Jeff Josephson.

The facility is scheduled to reopen in November for the Can-Am 500 NASCAR weekend.

“I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about what this facility will look like in November,” Sperber said.

The remodeled venue will have state-of-the-art technology to update the amenities and enhance the fan experience.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that … ISM Raceway will now be a professional sports facility in marketplace that takes its sports very seriously,” Helton said.

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