Kevin Harvick celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane at Phoenix International Raceway after winning the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.

Kevin Harvick drove his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet car to Gatorade Victory Lane in Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, but the race itself was a winner for Phoenix International Raceway. The track sold out of grandstand seats a week before the race and sold out of reserved camping spots more than two months early.

The final race of PIR’s 50th anniversary season and the final Eliminator Round race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup also garnered a 3.1 rating on ESPN, meaning that the broadcast was watched by more than 5 million viewers. Those numbers represent the highest-rated and most-viewed fall race at PIR since 2009 and represent a nearly 15 percent year-over-year increase.

The fall race at Phoenix has consistently sold out in recent years, and this year’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 was no exception. The sellout was announced on Sunday, Nov. 2, a week before race day. In addition, PIR’s premium seating and hospitality areas, including the Budweiser ROLL-BAR and the Trackside Club, as well as Octane, were all sold out for the race.

PIR sold out of its standard number of reserved camping spaces by Labor Day and opened up two additional camping lots in order to accommodate the increased demand. Camping is an integral part of the NASCAR experience for many motorsports enthusiasts, and thousands of race fans spend an entire week living on site at PIR for each race.

Early this year, NASCAR altered the format of the Chase for the Sprint Cup to emphasize winning and to create an elimination-style competition. As the final Eliminator race, Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 determined the final four drivers who would have the opportunity to race for the Sprint Cup Series Championship this weekend in Miami.

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