NASCAR Sprint Cup semifinal coming to Phoenix

Sep 11, 2012, 6:25 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm

PHOENIX – Another big NASCAR race is coming to the Valley.

The semifinal race of the 2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup is coming to Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 11.

NASCAR star Jeff Gordon was in the Valley on Tuesday to promote the race. He said he’s had a lot of success in Phoenix, but a recent change has made it tougher to win at PIR.

“Since they repaved the racetrack, it’s been a challenge for us trying to get a handle on what it takes to get around this track,” he said. “Just prior to the repave, we won a race here. e had an awesome setup, so it was kind of dissapointing to see [the repave]. That’s one of the great challenges of this sport is that things are constantly changing and evolving and you have to stay up with it.”

The semifinal race in November will be a big one.

“This is a very crucial race in the championship,” said Gordon. “You’re going to have to be on top of your A game. We just hope we’re in the hunt for the championship with two races to go, and that we can have some success like we’ve had in the past here in Phoenix.”

Gordon said that traditionally, he’s enjoyed coming to Phoenix to race.

“Not just because of the race track,” he said. “But also for the sights and sounds, the weather, and all of the great things that there are to do out here as well.”

Gordon is one of 12 drivers in competition in the Race for the Sprint Cup. Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. are among the other drivers competing. The 10-race competition starts this weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup semifinal coming to Phoenix