AVONDALE, Ariz. - NASCAR comes to Phoenix International Raceway in the spring and the fall to avoid summer-like temperatures, but record heat has fans and drivers feeling the effects.
"It was beyond warm, it was flat hot," race winner Ryan Newman said from victory lane. "I got burns on the back of my legs I've never had before."
Temperatures inside the race cars reached 140 degrees on Sunday. Dale Earnhardt Jr was seen on the TV broadcast dumping ice down his fire suit in pit lane.
Fans also had to deal with sweltering temperatures in the stands. A record high of 96 degrees was set in Avondale for March 19.
"It's pretty hot, pretty sweltering. Sweating a good amount," Tori Hiatt said from her spot on "Rattlesnake Hill."
Dennis Cosens and his son took a different approach to staying cool.
"This is the best spot," Cosens said from behind a lone saguaro cactus more than halfway up the hill. Cosens and his son are the only people who were willing to hike all the way up that far.
Coming here for the view. But staying for the precious few inches of shade.
"I can move over anytime if I get too hot. I'm trying to work on my sun tan," Cosens said.
Other than several minor dehydration issues, fans stayed mostly safe in the extreme heat. Even Cosens recognized how hot it was.
"It's pretty hot this year compared to other years to be honest, usually I have a windbreaker on to stay warm."
Sunday, Cosens decided not to wear a shirt at all.
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