Horsepower has a long history at Pikes Peak International Raceway, literally. The site originally sported the Pikes Peak Meadows horseracing track. In April 1996, the transformation began when developers broke ground to build the $35 million, state-of-the-art Pikes Peak International Raceway with one of the fastest 1-mile surfaces in the world.
The track's first green flag fell in 1997 for the start of the USAC Rocky Mountain Classic featuring the USAC Silver Bullet, Midgets and Super Modified Series. The Indy Racing League (IRL) quickly signed onto the track and stayed for eight years. In 1998 the NASCAR Busch series held its first of eight races at PPIR. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series also ran the fast straight-aways at PPIR.
In September 2005 then PPIR President Rob Johnson announced the owners had sold the facility to International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Within months, ISC shuttered the facility so it could pursue the construction of a larger track north of Denver.
For nearly three years PPIR sat quiet, a wasting jewel of professional racing, until 2008 when a group of private investors announced the acquisition of the track from ISC. The facility's structure was still strong, but nature was slowly making its claim on PPIR, said John H. Molloy, PPIR's new CEO. Molloy and partners Guy Kathe and Bob Brockway are working to revitalize some of the glory of the famed raceway.
After initial maintenance and repairs, the new owners quietly re-opened PPIR. In September 2008 the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) leased the track for a two-day event. Since then, several organizations have held events at the re-emerging race facility. This includes several prominent NASCAR and Formula drivers who have tested their machines at PPIR. PPIR is currently one of a handful of tracks nationwide where NASCAR drivers can test and tune their vehicles without penalty.
The transformation to a facility dedicated to motorsports enthusiasts continues. The once 40,000-capacity venue now seats 10,000, making PPIR a more intimate facility. New track configurations and surfaces are in development, as are plans for state-of-the-art buildings, garage facilities and construction that will make PPIR the ideal exhilaration destination.