Richmond International Raceway Track News Archive

  • Trent Harmon to Perform National Anthem at Richmond: From the Hollywood stage to the River City, American Idol Season XV winner Trent Harmon will perform the National Anthem prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 this Sunday, April 24 at Richmond International Raceway. Harmon previously performed at the Auto Club 400 alongside Idol's Top 5 contestants in March. The Mississippi native has traveled coast-to-coast since earning the ultimate American Idol honors, debuting his Country single "Falling." The track was written by Idol judge and Country superstar Keith Urban with Dallas Davison and Brett James. Harmon performed his coronation song during the series finale surrounded by Idol alumni and fellow contestants. Harmon will serve as the headliner to the Pre-Race Ceremony for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400, which will also include a performance of "God Bless America" by the USAF Heritage of America Band, skydivers and a six-plane flyover by the Bandit Flight Team.(RIR)(4-20-2016)

  • Military Appreciation Program Returns to Richmond: The men and women of the United States Military are some of the most caring and selfless people out there. It takes a special person to lay their life on the line in order for others to stay safe and live free. We can enjoy the freedom of attending races and cheering on our favorite drivers because of these men and women. Richmond International Raceway is continuing to show our appreciation for these men and women, and their families by partnering with Navy Federal Credit Union to bring the Military Appreciation Program back for the 2016 April weekend. Any current or former military members are invited to participate in the program. For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, military members, veterans and their families will receive a complimentary Pre-Race Pit Pass and admission to the Military Hospitality area presented by Navy Federal Credit Union with each ticket bought. For NASCAR XFINITY Series races, service men and women can purchase a $10 General Admission ticket. And, kids 12 & younger are admitted FREE in General Admission areas to all NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    "Supporting all the men and women who serve in the military is key to all of us here at RIR," said Dennis Bickmeier, President of Richmond International Raceway. "By Navy Federal coming on board with us, we are now able to provide NASCAR fans who serve in the military the chance to experience racing at RIR. It's just a small thank you for all they have done for us." This is a new partnership between RIR and Navy Federal. Dedicated to serving military members and their families, Navy Federal is focused on supporting them in every area of their life. A company that started in 1933 with seven members has grown to include over 5 million members. With an already strong desire to honor service men and women, Navy Federal has taken their support to another level with the help of RIR.
    "Navy Federal is proud to honor our service men and women by supporting the Military Appreciation Program at Richmond International Raceway," said Member Acquisition Manager Wayne Truxillo. "NASCAR fans serving in the military will have the opportunity to enjoy a unique, first class experience at one of the nation's premier racetracks." The 2016 NASCAR season is here and racing returns to Richmond! For the first time since 1997, Sunday racing returns to RIR. The TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is now on Sunday, April 24. Fans of all generations will get to experience the excitement of day racing at a short track on a Sunday afternoon. See NASCAR's stars like defending Sprint Cup Champion Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Jimmie Johnson battle it out to secure a win sticker. But wait, there's more. The ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race is moving to Saturday, April 23. See all of NASCAR's up-and-coming drivers battle it out on RIR's -quarter mile track surface. Tickets for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 and the ToyotaCare 250 go on sale January 15. Visit rir.com or call 866-455-7223 to purchase.(RIR)(1-28-2016)

  • Richmond to remove backstretch seats: Richmond International Raceway will remove its entire backstretch of stands prior to the April race weekend. The project will decrease seating capacity to approximately 60,000. Capacity was about 75,000 after the last project a little more than two years ago, and was at 69,000 in 2015 after the venue slowly widened seats. The purpose of the move is to improve the race experience for fans. This is phase two of the track's plan. In October of 2013, the venue removed its Henrico Tower, a portion of backstretch seating. RIR is also changing prices for seats on Turn 2, in order to to accommodate racing fans who purchased the backstretch seat tickets. Those Turn 2 seats will now cost $35, the cost of the seats the venue will be removing. Track personnel is still determine what will replace the space vacated by the removed stands.(WWBT)(1-6-2016)

  • Richmond spring could be moved to Sunday UPDATE2: International Speedway Corp., is exploring the possibility of moving the start of the spring Richmond race from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, an ISC official told NBC Sports. "I'm not going to say seriously, but we are exploring it,'' said Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway, who also oversees Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway for International Speedway Corp. "We're always entertaining whatever can make our events better for the broadcasters, for the fans and for the competitors and that's part of it.'' There are other considerations. ISC, as part of its typical post-event critique, is examining how far Richmond's ticket holders travel to attend that race. "If we run Saturday night, there are so many fans that are not staying there or not staying on property or not staying in the region and they drive back home in the middle of the night,'' Campbell said. "How many that is versus if we did it Sunday and they could leave right after the race and drive home - that's things we need to look at and do some questioning with our fanbase.''(NBC Sports)(5-4-2015)
    UPDATE: Although NASCAR is still likely weeks away from announcing the entire 2016 Cup series schedule, sources familiar with the scheduling process said the spring race at Richmond International Raceway will take place on a Sunday afternoon next season instead of Saturday night. RIR president Dennis Bickmeier confirmed on Friday that the track had put in a request to NASCAR to change its spring race date to a day event. "Now, we're just going through their process," Bickmeier said. "We'll see what comes out on the other end." The change in date will also return the Richmond spring race weekend to a more traditional three-day event, which also opens up the possibility for more extensive off-track experiences for fans on property.(Motorsport)(9-12-2015)
    UPDATE2: Richmond International Raceway has asked NASCAR to move the track's spring race from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, who also oversees RIR and Darlington Speedway in the chain of command for the International Speedway Corp., confirmed Saturday that RIR has asked for the move to day racing for its first of two races each season. Campbell said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier recently asked for the change after getting feedback from fans and discussing the possibility with Campbell. Campbell said NASCAR has not responded to the request. He said the change may be an easy decision for NASCAR, but "there are a lot of moving parts. Right now, the 2016 schedule isn't out. We have to see that, too." RIR has scheduled two Saturday night races - the only track with a pair of prime-time events - since 1998. Campbell said moving RIR's first race to Sunday daytime "helps differentiate the two races from each other." The annual September event has its own cachet as the final race before NASCAR's postseason Chase for the Sprint Cup begins. "This is a big event on its own," Campbell said. "Putting the spring race in the daytime would help it stand out as something special on its own."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-14-2015)

  • Kenseth wins at Richmond: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 4th win of the season, 2nd win at Richmond and 35th career win. Kenseth led 352 of the 400 laps.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #48-Johnson and #15-Bowyer.
    With his 4th win of 2015, Kenseth ties Johnson and Kyle Busch for most wins, will each start the Chase with 2012 points.
    #4-Harvick led the points for the regular season with 978 points, 30 more tahn #22-Logano.
    #1-McMurray clinched a spot in the Chase just by starting. Four other drivers got in the Chase via points: #31-Newman, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer and #27-Menard. McMurray and Menard make the Chase for the first time. #43-Almirola make a great effort to make the Chase and finished 4th but fell 17 points short of Menard.
    One odd incident happened on lap 290 when #95-McDowell hit the safety truck, tearing much of the rear of the car off. It was the end of the race for McDowell, who escaped injury as did the safety workers.
    There were 13 lead changes among 4 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 100.353mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(9-12-2015)

  • RIR Goes Gold to Honor Jeff Gordon and Support Childhood Cancer Awareness: September is national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and patients, families, researchers and charities, including the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation and Richmond International Raceway are rallying to bring awareness and raise funds for childhood cancer research, treatment, patient support and survivorship issues. Every day, 43 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer. The average age at diagnosis is 6 years old and approximately one in five children diagnosed will not survive. Forty-three - the same number of kids that fit on a school bus and the same number of drivers in this weekend's Last Race to Make The Chase, Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. RIR is "Going Gold" this weekend to honor NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Jeff Gordon, who is dedicated to the fight to end pediatric cancer. And we're inviting our fans to do the same, as a visual reminder that every child battling cancer deserves a future full of limitless potential and the chance to achieve a lifetime of dreams.
    "Jeff has had a tremendous impact on this sport," said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. "And his impact reaches even further through the work of his Foundation. Our hope in honoring Jeff in his final full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is to pay tribute to Jeff and the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation by supporting his cause and helping bring awareness and raise funds for childhood cancer research."
    Throughout the facility this weekend, fans will see gold reminders - the Childhood Cancer Awareness ribbon and Jeff's No. 24 on the track walls, the iconic "Richmond" painted gold on the start/finish line, gate workers and RIR staff in gold event shirts, and a Childhood Cancer Awareness ribbon on the Official Pace Car. Forty-three childhood cancer WARRIORS from Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and UVA Children's Hospital, wearing gold t-shirts, will arrive on a school bus at pre-race Saturday to lead fans in the Pledge of Allegiance.
    In addition, the Richmond Children's Hospital Foundation will be on the Midway selling gold shoelaces for $5. Four dollars from each sale will be used to support research and treatment efforts in the Richmond area. Fans may purchase shoelaces while here this weekend or you may purchase laces and other Go4theGoal gold gear online at http://go4thegoal.org/shop.html. Be sure to include "Richmond" in the team name box under the shoe laces to ensure the sale is credited to the Richmond Children's Hospital Foundation. So, grab your gold and join Richmond International Raceway, Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and UVA Children's Hospital this weekend as we proudly honor Jeff Gordon and support the children in our community who are battling cancer. Tickets for Saturday night's Last Race to Make The Chase, Federated Auto Parts 400 are still available. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.(RIR)(9-11-2015)

  • Tim Duggar in concert prior to Richmond race: Want to get your Saturday night started on the right note? Come see rising country music singer Tim Dugger perform on the pre-race stage prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, September 12th. With songs like "Way Past My Beer Time" and "You Know Who We Are," it's sure to be a good time. Making his first appearance at RIR, the Alabama native is no stranger to the sport. A lifelong NASCAR fan, Dugger has performed at several tracks across the NASCAR circuit ever since a chance meeting with Richard Childress at an Alabama nightclub got his foot in the door. From his debut single "(I Called Her) Tennessee" to his latest hit "Beer on a Boat," Dugger's music has been charming NASCAR and country music fans across the country. The unique twang in his voice reminds fans of country music stars such as George Jones, Merle Haggard, or Waylon Jennings, and fans can hear even more of it with a new EP dropping on iTunes later this month. And remember, fans are invited back out on the track for the Second Annual Post-Race Party presented by Outback. Join host Rutledge Wood for the party on the pavement, and celebrate into the night with the 16 drivers who've raced their way into The Chase.(RIR)(9-4-2015)

  • When the Smoke Clears at Richmond, the Party Begins: From Top Gear, to NBC and now to the RIR stage; entertaining and engaging NASCAR reporter Rutledge Wood will join Richmond International Raceway on September 12th as host of the Second Annual Post-Race Party, presented by Outback Steakhouse. After the "Last Race to Make The Chase" sets the field for the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, fans are invited down on the track to celebrate with the 16 elite drivers who's championship dreams are still alive. Be there as Wood brings the sports stars out one by one to the party on the pavement. With new presenting sponsor, Outback Steakhouse, on board, RIR plans to ignite the night with all of the things that create the best party in NASCAR. It's hype. It's loud. It's NASCAR America meets Miami nightclub. It's the first time fans will see all 16 drivers who get onto the Chase Grid. And it's going to be bigger than last year. Who will race their way into one of those final spots in the Chase, and who will be left on the outside looking in? Be there to make your allegiance known as they cross the Post-Race Party stage following the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday September 12.(RIR)(9-1-2015)

  • New rule changes announced for several tracks: A low downforce rules package similar to that scheduled for use by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams this weekend at Kentucky Speedway will be run in September at Darlington Raceway, according to Steve O'Donnell, Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for the sanctioning body. In addition, teams will compete with a higher drag rules package at both Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this month as well as Michigan International Speedway in August and Richmond International Raceway. This weekend's Kentucky aero package features a shorter spoiler (reduced from 6 inches to 3-1/2 inches) and a splitter extension panel (radiator pan) reduction from 38 inches to 25 inches. The splitter will have 1-3/4 inches less overhang that what has previously been used this season. Combined, the aero changes are expected to lessen the amount of downforce on the cars by approximately 1,000 pounds.
    While the Darlington setup will be similar to that slated for this weekend's Quaker State 400, there are differences. The spoiler will be 3-1/2 (instead of 3 inches) inches and the splitter will feature a 1/4-inch leading edge. There is no change in the size of the splitter extension panel (25 inches).
    Although the tires used this weekend at Kentucky were not tested at the 1.5-mile track with the lower downforce platform during an April tire test, Goodyear officials were able to determine a tire for the Darlington package during a one-day test last week with drivers #14-Tony Stewart (Stewart-Haas Racing), #20-Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing) and #2-Brad Keselowski (Team Penske).
    For Indy and Michigan, the aero package will feature a 9-inch spoiler and 1-inch wicker bill; a rear fascia extension panel similar to that currently used for superspeedway events; a 2-inch leading edge on the splitter; and a 43-inch splitter extension panel.
    Richmond will use a new tire. There are no scheduled aero changes for the upcoming race at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the start of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, however Goodyear will not return with a multi-zone tread compound tire that had been used there recently. The changes are not currently scheduled for use at any tracks hosting Chase races.(NASCAR.com)(7-7-2013)

  • RIR and the Department of Veterans Affairs are "Driving VA Benefits Home" This Sept: Richmond International Raceway (RIR) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are teaming up to bring home greater awareness and access to VA benefits for our nation's Veterans and Servicemembers. The Department of Veterans Affairs Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Friday, September 11 will set the field for the Federated Auto Parts 400 "Last Race to Make the Chase" on Saturday, September 12.
    "The best way to reach Veterans is to involve partners that engage Veterans in the communities where they live," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. "Through innovative partnerships like this, we have the opportunity to reach Veterans and their families who may not realize they are entitled to VA benefits and services or who may not know where to go for assistance," said McDonald.
    Drivers will participate in three rounds of knockout qualifying during the Department of Veterans Affairs Pole Qualifying on Friday afternoon. The fastest twenty-four drivers in the first round get to move on to the second round, where the stakes are higher. Only the top 12 can move on to the third and final round. Once the clock runs out in the final round, whoever is quickest secures the number one starting position and the coveted first pit stall.
    In addition to the Pole Qualifying partnership with RIR, VA will have its Mobile Vet Center onsite throughout the weekend to answer questions, share information, and help Veterans sign up for benefits and services. You'll find the Mobile Vet Center on the Midway, along with other interactive displays, food and shopping experiences. "Richmond International Raceway is proud to partner with such an important organization as the Department of Veterans Affairs," said Richmond International Raceway President, Dennis Bickmeier. "NASCAR is a very patriotic sport. And here at RIR, we pride ourselves on supporting the men and women who currently serve and have served our country. There's no better way to do that than by partnering with the VA to set the field for the Federated Auto Parts 400 'Last Race to Make the Chase.'"
    Start your weekend on Thursday, September 10 with the UNoH 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series race, where young guns lay down some laps at RIR. Friday, September 11 will be firing on all eight cylinders with all-day on track action that culminates with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. You'll see the series where names are made when up-and-comers battle with current stars. And you've heard it all year long, "It all comes down to Richmond." The Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the "Last Race to Make the Chase," and everything is on the line for NASCAR's best. Who's in and who's out to run for the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup? No one will know until the checkered flag waves! For tickets or more information, click here or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(6-18-2015)

  • RIR Recognized During National Travel and Tourism Week: As part of a celebration during National Travel and Tourism Week (May 4 - 8, 2015), Richmond International Raceway was recognized with the Dedicated Partner Award for its ongoing efforts to enhance the richness and quality of life in the Richmond Region for not only visitors, but residents as well. RIR was selected solely by the staff of Richmond Region Tourism for its outstanding partnership and continued collaboration within the tourism industry. "Our NASCAR race weekends are not only a big deal to Richmond International Raceway, but to Henrico County and the entire Richmond region," said Dennis Bickmeier, RIR President. "From fans to teams, people are staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants and shopping at local stores. We're proud to be a long-standing tourism catalyst for the region." Not only does RIR serve as an economic driver for tourism, the track is often recognized for its involvement in the community. In April 2015, Richmond was named as one of the "Top 10 Best Cities for Relocation" by the Huffington Post. RIR was listed specifically as one of the reasons why moving to the River City should be at the top of your list. With Richmond's unique culture, ideal weather, and decadent food paired with RIR's rich NASCAR history and short track racing - the RVA has something for everyone.(RIR)(5-17-2015)

  • Kurt Busch wins at Richmond: #41-Kurt Busch won the rain-delayed Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 2nd win at Richmond and his 26th career win. The race was originally schedueld to be ran on Saturday evening, but persistent race forced the postponement until Sunday afternoon.
    #4-Harvick finished second, the rest of the top 10: #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #22-Logano, #5-Kahne, #20-Kenseth, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer, and #78-Truex, Jr.
    #25-Chase Elliott, making his second Sprint Cup start, finished 16th.
    Harvick continues to hold the Chase points lead. He and Johnson each have 2 wins on the season but Harvick has 357 points to Johnson's 299.
    There were 12 lead changes among 5 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 53 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 97.157mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-26-2015)

  • Richmond adds more security near catchfence: Richmond International Raceway officials have added metal barriers and more security personnel in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last fall's fence climber. A spectator disrupted last September's Sprint Cup race at the 0.75-mile track by climbing atop the catchfence separating the main grandstand from the track. Track president Dennis Bickmeier told USA TODAY Sports that "bike racks," movable metal barriers, have been placed along the track concourse in front of the fence from end to end to keep fans away from the area. Additionally, Bickmeier said more security officers - he didn't provide a number - will work the fence area during on-track activity to guard against fans approaching the fence. Bickmeier also said new "No Trespassing" signs have been posted in the area.(USA Today)(4-25-2015)

  • Hydrogen-fueled car to pace Richmond race: Toyota announced the 2016 Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, will pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, April 25. This allows the Mirai to serve as the first hydrogen-fueled vehicle to pace a NASCAR race. It will lead the Sprint Cup Series field to the green flag at Richmond on Saturday night and emit only water out of its tailpipe along the way. The Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance to pace the 43-car NASCAR field at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) while using no gasoline and emitting nothing but water vapor. The groundbreaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, refuels in about five minutes and travels up to 300 miles on a full tank. It will arrive first to buyers in California later this year. The Mirai was tested and approved by NASCAR to pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after a test session at RIR earlier today. In the test session, the Mirai met NASCAR's performance requirements to pace the 400-mile NSCS race.(Toyota Racing)(4-24-2015)

  • M&M's Crispy to sponsor pole day at Richmond: It's been said that the taste of a NASCAR victory is sweet. But, why should drivers have to wait until after the checkered flag to get a sample? Well, Richmond International Raceway and M&M's Brand are here to satisfy that craving before the green flag waves. M&M's Brand and RIR are proud to bring fans M&M's Crispy Pole Qualifying at RIR on Friday, April 24th. The field for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, April 25th will be set on Friday when drivers participate in three rounds of knockout qualifying. After a decade of phone calls, petitions, Facebook posts and countless other pleas, Mars Chocolate North America brought M&M'S Crispy back nationwide in January following a 10-year hiatus.(M&M Mars)(4-17-2015)

  • Earnhardt, Jr., Elliott to appear at Track Takeover in Richmond: When you hear the names Earnhardt and Elliott many things come to mind. Generations of history, countless wins, and intense battles are just to name a few. These names have become part of NASCAR, and fans across the sport have grown to love them. But, you want to know more about them, don't you? Well, Richmond International Raceway is offering you the chance. Both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott will be doing Q&A's on the main stage at Track Takeover powered by Nationwide. All Saturday, April 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race ticket holders are invited to attend Track Takeover powered by Nationwide, where you can put your feet on the pavement just hours prior to NASCAR's best battling it out in the TOYOTA OWNERS 400. Two legendary last names in NASCAR on one stage answering questions that we all want to know. What's better than that? Add a rising legend in the country music scene to the list, that's what. Eric Lee Beddingfield will make his RIR debut, taking the stage at Track Takeover powered by Nationwide to entertain fans.(RIR)(4-10-2015)

  • Testing at Richmond on Tuesday & Wednesday UPDATE: Ever seen a movie preview that made you want to go see the main feature? Are you staying in town and wondering what to do during Spring Break? Richmond International Raceway has just the thing. We want you to join us as we preview some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' biggest names on Wednesday, April 8 when they take to the track to prepare for the main feature, the Saturday, April 25 TOYOTA OWNERS 400. Check the full guest list: #24-Jeff Gordon, #14-Tony Stewart, #2-Brad Keselowski, #15-Clint Bowyer, #42-Kyle Larson, #11-Denny Hamlin, #3-Austin Dillon, #6-Trevor Bayne, #43-Aric Almirola, #13-Casey Mears, #78-Martin Truex Jr, and #47-AJ Allmendinger. Fans are invited to attend testing on Wednesday, April 8 from 10:00am-5:00pm. Sit in the grandstands and enjoy a sneak peek of what's to come in a few short weeks. To access the grandstands, enter through the Main Gate on the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. Once in the gate, park near the Virginia is For Lovers Frontstretch Gate and Gate 70, located in Turn 4. Fans can enter the grandstands through Gate 70 only.(RIR) Teams will also test on Tuesday, but the track is close to the public then.(4-7-2014)
    UPDATE: The engineers and mechanics who hunched over an array of computers plied their trade with typical high-tech flair during Wednesday's open NASCAR test at Richmond International Raceway, analyzing data feeds and crunching numbers while their drivers made the rounds. The seven-hour session, which started 2 1/2 hours late because of early morning rain, came on the heels of Tuesday's rain-delayed Goodyear tire test here, where teams confirmed the rubber that will be used in the springtime 400-lapper. But in addition to making tires work, teams used the extra time to try different setups that may pay dividends in a little over two weeks. Thirteen drivers added the Richmond detour before heading to this weekend's racing at Texas Motor Speedway, driving cars equipped with ride-height sensors and pitot tubes to measure wind velocity. Additionally, three "wheel-force" cars -- one for each manufacturer and marked with a "W" beside their number on the scoring sheet -- also made the trip, each outfitted with a complex sensor attached to each wheel to measure load on the tires. The information from those three cars -- with Team Penske representing Ford, JTG-Daugherty Racing for Chevrolet, and Joe Gibbs Racing for Toyota -- would be shared within each manufacturer network. Tuesday at Richmond, teams tested tires for nearly four hours after steady showers pushed back the on-track schedule. Goodyear will employ zone-tread technology -- using two different rubber compounds, one for improved endurance and one for enhanced traction, in a single tread -- on its right-side tires. The left-side tire compound will remain the same as the one teams raced on last September.(NASCAR.com)(4-9-2015)

  • Fan who climbed fence at RIR convicted: A Hopewell man who climbed a fence overhanging the Richmond International Raceway track during the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup race on Sept. 6 was convicted Thursday of disorderly conduct and being drunk in public. Henrico General District Judge Thomas Jones sentenced James Dennis, 53, to 12 months in jail with 11 months suspended for disorderly conduct, and fined him $100 for being drunk in public. Dennis' lawyer, Greg Hough, said his client will serve the one-month sentence on weekends. Dennis Bickmeier, RIR's president, said he was pleased with the outcome in court and said such actions represent a threat not only to drivers during a race but to members of the public. "We want people to feel like coming to the races is something that is a safe thing to do," he said. Dennis told authorities at the time he was celebrating his birthday, though the judge noted that was two days earlier. Hough said in court that Dennis had suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from his military experience and was also being treated for other conditions.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-11-2014)

  • Richmond fence climber arrested, charged UPDATE: An unidentified fan made it all the way to the top of the catchfence in Turn 4, bringing out a caution during Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400. Richmond International Raceway spokeswoman Aimee Turner said the unidentified fan was arrested by Henrico County police and charged with disorderly conduct and being drunk in public. The fan sat atop the fence while the 42-car field zoomed underneath him at speeds upward of 120 mph. Asked how the fan got past security to climb the fence, Turner said the track will "review safety measures with Henrico (County) police and NASCAR." She said officers were stationed along the fence in front of the grandstands. One of those officers can be seen in photos on social media looking the opposite direction as the fan sits atop the fence. A video shows the fan getting past a cordoned area and climbing. The caution lights did not come on until after the climber had begun his descent, after sitting atop the fencing for several minutes. Police officers surrounded him at that point.(more at the USA Today)(9-7-2014)
    UPDATE: Henrico County police identified the spectator who climbed to the top of the catchfence during Saturday night's Sprint Cup NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway as James Richard Dennis, 53, of Henrico. Dennis was arrested and charged with being drunk in public and disorderly conduct. Henrico police Lt. Scott Jones said Dennis told police it was his birthday and he wanted to be on national TV. "He's up in the stands and he's waiting for his chance," Jones said. "When the officers are tied up on something else, when the officers walk away, he runs down, climbs the fence, all the way to top, starts waving, and he got his wish."(News & Advance)(9-8-2014)

  • Brad Keselowski wins at Richmond: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 4th win of the season, 1st at Richmond and 14th career win. The win is Roger Penske's 400th races win in major motorsports (NASCAR, Indy, etc)
    #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #1-McMurray, #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #48-Johnson, #31-Newman and #43-Almirola.
    Pole winner #2-Keselowski led 383 of 400 laps, winning his 4th race of the season.
    Points leader #24-Gordon (3 wins) finished 2nd, increasing the points lead to 31 #88-Earnhardt Jr. who finished 12th.
    #2-Keselowski takes the Chase Grid lead with 4 wins over #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #48-Johnson and #22-Logano, all with 3 wins.
    #31-Newman (+36pts) and #16-Biffle (+7) were the final two drivers to get in the Chase over #15-Bowyer (-7_ and #42-Larson (-16).
    There were only 4 lead changes among 2 drivers. There were 4 cautions for 27 yellow flag laps, none for accidents or engine failures but one was a competition caution, then two debris cautions and one for a spectator who had climbed to the top of the turn four catchfence.
    The average speed was 104.702mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(9-6-2014)

  • Donlavey's career honored at RIR: The legacy of Richmond native Junie Donlavey to NASCAR is being honored at Richmond International Raceway. The Sprint Cup garage has been named the Junie Donlavey garage in honor of the owner who was a competitor at NASCAR's highest level for more than 50 years. The track placed a sign over the entrance to the garage that says "Donlavey Garage" with the words separated by the number "90." That was the number on Donlavey's cars for almost all of his races. Above the "90" is "Junie" and below it is "Chief". Donlavey died June 9 at 90.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-6-2014)

  • Heavy rain hits Richmond, floods garage: Heavy rain and lightning scrapped the final half-hour of NASCAR Nationwide Series practice Thursday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway, but the mid-afternoon downpour caused more lasting issues for race teams. The Nationwide Series official hauler and about a dozen other team transporters were flooded by several inches of standing water, even an hour after rain had subsided at the .75-mile track. The race teams placed their cars on jackstands to avoid submersion, but the rainwater was deep enough to cover the tops of the scales in the NASCAR inspection area. Crewmembers walked from their haulers in the garage area in bare feet and rolled-up pants legs after the gully-washer. Nationwide teams were approximately 50 minutes into a final 90-minute practice session when lightning in the area forced NASCAR officials to order spotters down from their rooftop perch, putting a hold on on-track activity. About 10 minutes later, the skies opened with torrential rain to wash out the remainder of the session. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, recently renamed the Junie Donlavey Garage in honor of the Richmond native and longtime team owner, was not affected by the heavy rain. But the third-turn vehicle tunnel was flooded with 6-8 inches of water, according to a track maintenance worker.(NASCAR.com)(9-5-2014)

  • Top Five Things to make a memorable RIR weekend: Fifty 50 activities to guarantee a memorable September 5 & 6 NASCAR race weekend at Richmond International Raceway could be named, but the list has been pared down to the Top 5 things every fan should do while at America's Premier Short Track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 and Virginia529 College Savings 250 weekend.
    1) Post-Race Party on the Track: Everybody's talking about it! For the first time ever, fans are invited to party on the track after the checkered flag flies Saturday night. You started with DJ Ghozt spinning a party mix that'll make you kick up a storm on our asphalt dance floor! They will be handing out glow sticks, light-up sunglasses, thunder clappers, and more. Then, will set the stage and introduce all 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and YOU will be on the track to see it all.
    2) Gwaltney Turn 3 Fun Zone: The Turn 3 Terrace got a makeover, and it's going to be fun for all ages. First, added is a trackside Ferris wheel that fans can ride before and during the races Friday and Saturday. Second, try out nearly a dozen Gwaltney specialties. If you like bacon, you'll love it here. Third, the trackside bar returns - so grab a drink and enjoy the race from Turn 3!
    3) Tailgate: There's nothing better than an all-day tailgate at Richmond International Raceway. Parking lots open at 7:00 a.m. so you can enjoy a day outside at America's Premier Short Track. Pack your cooler with all your tailgate essentials and get ready to fire up your grill and crack open those beverages at the best party around. And if you forgot to bring a few items, there's an on-site Kroger store outside of Gate 34, next to Lot D.
    4) Tag Us: You may have heard the phrase, "Picture, or it never happened!" It's true. Make sure you're sharing your NASCAR race weekend experience with all your friends and followers on social media. There are a few hashtags you'll want to keep handy: #FederatedAutoParts400, #VA529, #GetOnTheGrid, #RIRselfie, and #PostRaceParty.
    5) Driver Appearances: There's no sport more accessible than NASCAR, and the race day appearances schedule is proof of that. We have a schedule of Q&As you won't want to miss, and it's constantly being updated, so check back often to make sure you don't miss one.
    Don't have a race ticket yet? No problem! Click here to get your tickets, which start at just $35.(RIR)(9-4-2014)

  • Last Minute Ticket Options for Richmond: As NASCAR prepares to roll into Richmond September 5 & 6, fans have several last-minute ticket options for Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and Friday's Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
    Individual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series grandstand tickets start at $40 (while supplies last), and NASCAR Nationwide Series tickets are $35 (general admission)/$45 (reserved).
    Special Pricing is available for several groups:
    o Kids 12 & younger feel the thrill and excitement of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at $25 off the adult price in EVERY grandstand. Kids are admitted FREE in general admission on Friday.
    o College students can celebrate the start of the school year "under the lights" at America's Premier Short Track for only $19. College students may purchase online in advance or on race day - must present college ID at ticket window. Click here for College Pricing info.
    o Cheez-It and RIR are proud to bring the Military Appreciation offer, which includes a complimentary Pre-Race Pit Pass on Saturday. Cheez-It Military Appreciation Info.
    o Groups of 20 or more receive special pricing and priority seating. Group Sales Info.
    Ticket Packages remain on sale through Wednesday, September 3:
    o Fan Vision Ticket Package ($65) includes a Federated Auto Parts 400 race ticket and a FanVision Controller and headset rental.
    o Racing Electronics Ticket Package ($50) includes a Federated Auto Parts 400 race ticket and a Racing Electronics headset scanner rental.
    Upgrade your race day experience:
    o Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass ($55) gets you in the infield for NASCAR Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice. These are available for guests 16 & older and can be purchased in advance or at the gate.
    o Saturday Pre-Race Ceremony Pass ($50) gets you on the track for driver introductions, preceded by live music with The Silver Bullets. This is your chance to get up close to all 43 drivers, just minutes before they battle on the track.
    Be sure to stick around once the checkered flag has waved Saturday night for the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Party on the Track!(more info a RIR.com)(9-2-2014)

  • Fans Can Upgrade Their Friday Race Day Experience With a Pre-Race Pit Pass at RIR: The green flag may wave at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 5, but the action at Richmond International Raceway starts well before that. Go to Pit Road from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm and take in the sights and sounds of race prep - including Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice - from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member. Friday's events include Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as well as WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The day's action is topped off with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road on Friday. Passes are available online by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the September 5 events. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children younger than 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes.(RIR)(8-28-2014)

  • Richmond International Raceway Retains Traditional Dates: What's better than a single scoop? A double dip! That's what race fans in Richmond will get in 2015, as NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway twice next season, and it will be on our traditional dates. Fans will rise to their feet for NASCAR excitement April 24 & 25 and September 11 & 12. What else is the same? The race entitlements:
    Friday, April 24, 2015: ToyotaCare 250
    Saturday, April 25, 2015: TOYOTA OWNERS 400
    Friday, September 11, 2015: Virginia529 College Savings 250
    Saturday, September 12, 2015: Federated Auto Parts 400
    Keep an eye on your mailbox and inbox, as ticket renewals for 2015 will be mailed out this fall. "NASCAR's return to Richmond International Raceway twice in 2015 is exciting news for our race fans, sponsors, and the entire Greater Richmond Area," said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. "These races are not only action-packed sports entertainment, but also a boon for the local economy." This exciting news comes less than two weeks before RIR's "One Last Race to Make The Chase" weekend, highlighted by the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, September 6. Twelve drivers are locked in to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but four spots remain. Who has what it takes to Get On The Grid? Find out for yourself by purchasing advance tickets, which start at just $35. Kids 12 & younger are admitted at $25 off in every grandstand. Click here or call 866-455-7223 for tickets and information.(Richmond International Raceway)(8-26-2014)

  • Turn 3 Terrace at Richmond gets a makeover: No, the state fair isn't coming back to the Richmond Raceway Complex. But, fans coming out to America's Premier Short Track this September 5 & 6 will get a taste of some carnival fun at the Gwaltney Turn 3 Fun Zone. Taking over the Turn 3 Terrace, the Fun Zone is FREE and open to all ticket holders on Friday and Saturday this upcoming race weekend. Fans will be able to buy unique Gwaltney-branded concessions served exclusively in Turn 3, grab a drink at the bar, and ride in a 47-foot tall Ferris wheel located right next to the "Action Track!"
    "As the primary sponsor of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for the September 6th Cup race in Richmond, Gwaltney will have two trackside footprints during race weekend. One - located in The Midway- will include sampling, a prize wheel, and a bacon-eating contest judged by racing legend Richard Petty and #43 driver Aric Almirola," said Dennis Pittman, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Gwaltney. "In the second area, since Gwaltney is such a family-oriented brand, we will be providing race attendees with picnic tables, kid-friendly concessions for sale, and a full-size Ferris wheel for families to ride and enjoy together." Ferris wheel rides are FREE to all ticketholders. Optional donations to the Victory Junction Gang will be accepted.
    With something for everyone, the Gwaltney Turn 3 Fun Zone only adds to the excitement surrounding the Federated Auto Parts 400 - "One Last Race to Make the Chase." Advance adult tickets start at $35; tickets for kids 12 & younger are $25 off the adult price in all sections, and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223. The Fun Zone is also open on Friday, September 5, prior to the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Tickets start at $30 in advance and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 866-455-7223. And parents, Children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday.(RIR)(8-25-2014)

  • Harvick visits the Ft. Eustis Army Base: #4-Kevin Harvick visited the Ft. Eustis Army Base in Virginia in advance of the Saturday, September 6, Federated Auto Parts 400 at RIR. The base was a fitting venue to let all the soldiers know about RIR's Military Appreciation Program. While on base, Harvick tested his skills on an Apache helicopter simulator with the 128th Aviation Brigade; took a tour of the 7th Transportation Brigade, also known as the "Army's Navy," and spoke with the men and women who protect our country on a daily basis. "I look at the NASCAR world in general, in the sports world, as one of the biggest supporters of our military, and we couldn't be more thankful for what they do for us," said Harvick. "It allows us to live our lives as we do, and there are a lot of sacrifices made for us to do so." NASCAR weekend in Richmond kicks off Friday, September 5, with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Tickets start at $30 in advance and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 866-455-7223. Children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday.(RIR)(8-22-2014)

  • Richmond fans invited to post-race Party on the Track: The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Richmond International Raceway started with the wildly popular and successful April 26 Track Takeover and it concludes with the September 6 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Party on the Track. That's right - fans attending RIR's Federated Auto Parts 400 can celebrate NASCAR-style after the checkered flag flies to conclude "One Last Race to Make The Chase". If you're a fan, you're invited to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Post-Race Party on the Track, featuring a DJ spinning festive tunes that NASCAR fans will enjoy as they party on the pavement. Show us your best "Robot", "Running Man", "Dougie", or "Shopping Cart" moves on the frontstretch under the lights. But leave your party shoes on because your fun continues with a prime spot to see the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup celebration. While the party is cranking into high gear, the 16 drivers who raced their way into the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be introduced on stage, followed by a photo opportunity and a confetti celebration...and you'll have a prime spot to see it live.(RIR)(8-11-2014)

  • VIP Race Weekend Experience at RIR: We don't need velvet ropes and champagne service to provide a VIP experience here at Richmond International Raceway during our NASCAR weekends. Elevate your trip to America's Premier Short Track with the All-Inclusive Weekend Package, which is on sale now for just $320 per person. Take a look at the experience you'll get with this unforgettable upgrade on September 5 & 6:
    Reserved seat on the top row of the Veranda Grandstand in Turn 1 for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
    Exclusive guided garage tour
    Pre-race Pit Pass for both days
    VIP Parking for both days (one pass per four packages)
    Access to the Pit Stop Club on September 6, which includes indoor hospitality with all-you-can-eat food & unlimited sodas, water, beer and wine. As well as access to celebrity appearances, including Richard Childress!
    So be part of the "in crowd" and take advantage of the limited availability, All-Inclusive Weekend Package for just $320. CLICK HERE or call 866-455-7223 to book your ticket.(RIR)(6-22-2014)

  • September Tickets for Richmond race on sale: NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway September 5 & 6, 2014, and tickets are on sale as of Friday, May 23. The weekend features one of the most anticipated races of the season - the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, September 6, which is "One Last Race to Make The Chase." NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will battle for precious points and last-chance wins. Once the checkered flag flies, the field will be set for the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Advance tickets start at just $35. Tickets for both races can be purchased online by visiting www.rir.com or calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(5-23-2014)

  • Robert Griffin III to drive pace car at Richmond: It started with a tweet from Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Robert Griffin III, followed by some chiming in from Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier and RIR. What began as a Twitter conversation about a month ago has resulted in Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III driving the Official Pace Car to start this Saturday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Griffin will join thousands of fans who align with the Redskins and NASCAR, just a short trip south of Washington, DC. Prior to Griffin leading the field of 43 NASCAR drivers to the Green Flag, he'll go through Pace Car training, spend some time with his pal Dale Earnhardt Jr., and get together with legendary Washington Redskins Coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs for a garage tour.(RIR)(4-23-2014)

  • RIR debuts Turn 3 Terrace: Richmond International Raceway will introduce the Turn 3 Terrace featuring the Outback Bloomin' Zone, another amenity open to all fans, during the April 25-26 NASCAR race weekend. The Turn 3 Terrace, not surprisingly located outside of Turn 3, is open before AND during the TOYOTA OWNERS 400, from 2:00 p.m. until the checkered flag flies. Fans are invited to take the Richmond stroll around the track and take a break to enjoy:
    Outback Bloomin' Zone featuring:
    o Q&A with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (3:45 p.m.)
    o Harvick's No. 4 Outback showcar for photo ops
    o Fill up on tasty food that you've come to expect from Outback Steakhouse
    o Free prizes
    RIR Memory Lane - take a walk through time and learn about many historical and monumental moments throughout RIR's legacy that spans more than 60 years
    Decades Trackside Bar - a full-service bar and outdoor seating that will be a hot spot before the Green Flag flies and during NASCAR action on America's Premier Short Track
    Don't forget - the Turn 3 Terrace featuring the Outback Bloomin' Zone is open to all ticket holders before and during the April 26, TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Go to rir.com or or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-22-2014)

  • Miller Lite Party Zone relocates to RIR's Midway: With the help of fan feedback, Richmond International Raceway enhanced the old and added some new. So what's changed in 2014? The Miller Lite Party Zone relocates to the Midway prior to the Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 NASCAR races. RIR took the fan-favorite atmosphere and moved it to a more fan-friendly area. The ultimate tailgate party just got that much better. Situated on prime real estate near the Virginia Is For Lovers Frontstretch Gate, it has never been easier to enjoy live music, tailgate games, a mechanical bull, food, a full-service cash bar with Miller Lite specials, and the #2 Miller Lite show car of Brad Keselowski. Open to ALL fans and FREE of charge, be sure to check out the scene on Friday before the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series & Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races, and Saturday prior to the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The April NASCAR weekend at RIR begins on Friday, April 25, with two races in one night. Catch the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, where kids 12 & younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Your Friday ticket also includes Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Sprint Cup and NBC12 Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Nationwide Series. Go to rir.com or or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-21-2014)

  • Fan Hospitality and Pit Pass Options for Richmond: Looking to upgrade your April 25 & 26 race days at Richmond International Raceway? We have options for fans to take their experience to the next level with add-ons and ticket packages that include pre-race pit passes, exclusive driver appearances, food & beverages, and much more.
    Pit Stop Club ($2,300 per group of 8), includes:
    Eight reserved grandstand seats in the Commonwealth Mezzanine on the frontstretch for the Saturday, April 26, TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
    Guided garage tours for each guest
    Pre-race pit passes for each guest
    Exclusive Q&A with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch
    Two VIP parking passes
    Admission to the climate-controlled Pit Stop Club hospitality area, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which includes a full buffet with beverages - complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, and water
    TORQUE Club ($800 per person), includes:
    Reserved, outdoor stadium seat for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (Saturday, April 26), and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races (Friday, April 25)
    Exclusive Q&As with NASCAR's Paul Menard, Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Mike Calinoff (Friday); Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Larry McReynolds (Saturday)
    Pre-race pit pass for both days
    All-inclusive gourmet food package
    Unlimited soft drinks and water
    Adult beverage tickets
    Reserved parking
    Access to the indoor, air-conditioned lounge
    Veranda Club ($320 per person), includes:
    Reserved seat in the top row of the Veranda grandstand for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races
    Pre-race pit pass for Saturday, April 26
    Exclusive Q&A with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch
    Guided garage tour on Saturday, April 26
    VIP parking for April 25 and April 26
    Admission to the climate-controlled Pit Stop Club hospitality area, from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which includes a full buffet with beverages - complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, and water
    For more information on these options, please call RIR's Sales Office at 804-228-7611(RIR)(4-20-2014)

  • Last Minute Ticket Options for Richmond: As NASCAR gears up for a visit to Richmond International Raceway April 25 & 26, fans have several last-minute ticket options for Saturday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and Friday's ToyotaCare 250/BLUE OX 100 doubleheader.
    Grandstand tickets for the April 25-26 races increase on race week, beginning Monday morning, April 21. That means Saturday's tickets will start at $40 (while supplies last), and Friday's tickets are $35 (general admission)/$45 (reserved). Special Pricing is available for several groups:
    o Kids 12 & younger feel the thrill and excitement of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at $25 off the adult price in EVERY grandstand. Kids are admitted FREE in general admission on Friday.
    o College students can celebrate the end of the school year "under the lights" at America's Premier Short Track for only $19. College students may purchase online in advance or on race day - must present college ID at ticket window. Click here for College Pricing info.
    o Toyota and RIR are proud to bring the Military Appreciation offer, which includes a complimentary Pre-Race Pit Pass. Toyota Military Appreciation info.
    o Groups of 20 or more receive special pricing and priority seating. Group Sales info.
    Ticket packages remain on sale through Wednesday, April 23
    o Papa John's 4-Pack ($199) includes 4 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 tickets, 4 Papa John's personal pizzas, and 4 Coca-Cola beverages.
    o Outback Steakhouse Ticket Package ($95) includes 2 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race tickets and a $50 Outback Steakhouse gift card.
    o Fan Vision Ticket Package ($65) includes a TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race ticket and a FanVision Controller and headset rental.
    o Racing Electronics Ticket Package ($50) includes a TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race ticket and a Racing Electronics headset scanner rental.
    The April NASCAR weekend at RIR begins on Friday, April 25, with two races in one night. Catch the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, where kids 12 & younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Your Friday ticket also includes Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Sprint Cup and NBC12 Pole Qualifying for NASCAR Nationwide Series. CLICK HERE or call 866-455-7223 for tickets.(RIR)(4-18-2014)

  • Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass at Richmond: The green flag may wave at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 25, but the action at Richmond International Raceway starts well before that. Join us on Pit Road from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm for a pre-race experience where you take in the sights and sounds of race prep - including Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice - from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member. Friday's events include Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as well as NBC12 Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The day's action is topped off with the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, followed by the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race - that's right, we said TWO races in ONE night! On Friday at noon, the new NASCAR Next class will be announced in Gatorade Victory Lane, and all Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass holders are invited. NASCAR Next is a program that spotlights NASCAR's emerging stars. Launched in 2011, the program has identified a number of drivers who have advanced from regional and touring racing series to NASCAR's national series. Notable alumni include Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Dylan Kwasniewski, Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. Can't get enough of the NASCAR Next class? They will be signing autographs on the backstretch at Track Takeover on Saturday, April 26, and you can say you knew them when they were just breaking into the sport! Every fan who has a ticket to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 is invited to get up close and personal with the track you love.
    Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road on Friday. Passes are available online by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the April 25 events. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children younger than 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes. Click here to view the Pre-Race Pit Pass Access areas. Appropriate dress is required. Shirt, shoes and shorts or pants must be worn at all times while on pit road. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield.
    CLICK HERE or call 866-455-7223 to purchase tickets for the Friday, April 25, ToyotaCare250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. Advance tickets start at just $30 and kids 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission.(RIR)(4-18-2014)

  • Virginia529 College Savings Plan renews Richmond NNS sponsorship Richmond International Raceway officials announced the Virginia529 College Savings Plan has extended its partnership with America's Premier Short Track through the 2015 season. The Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race kicks off the September NASCAR Doubleheader weekend "under the lights" on Friday night, September 5. The Virginia529 College Savings Plan remains the Official College Savings Plan of the track, presenting sponsor of the Family Section presented by Virginia529 College Savings Plan and the Virginia529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia.(RIR)(3-29-2014)

  • Richmond working to get Robert Griffin III to race: When Dale Earnhardt Jr. asked his fans on social media to help convince Robert Griffin III to attend Richmond's late-April race, Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier quickly e-mailed Junior's tweet to his staff. "Boom," the track president wrote. When Griffin quickly responded, saying he was in, Bickmeier e-mailed his staff again, this time including Griffin's tweet. "Double boom," he wrote. In case you were wondering whether Sunday night's flurry of tweets about getting Griffin to the Toyota Owners 400 on April 26 was just a goof, well, rest assured it was not. By Monday morning, track officials had already reached out to the Redskins, trying to capitalize on what Earnhardt started. "Our plan at this point is we'd love to connect with Robert and the Redskins and certainly determine his availability," Bickmeier said in a phone conversation. "I don't even know if he knew the actual date of the race. We have to determine all those things first, but we would love to have him. We've got a good spot for him, and I think giving him kind of an immersion in NASCAR would be pretty cool. I think it's a win for everybody. Earnhardt had originally suggested Griffin act as the grand marshal; that's typically an honor bestowed in conjunction with a race's sponsor, which is why Bickmeier instead suggested the quarterback drive the pace car. RIR hasn't used an honorary pace car driver in the recent past; "quite frankly, that's really reserved for someone of RGIII's stature," Bickmeier said. Track officials are willing to make any visit as intense or low-key as the quarterback would like.(Washington Post)(3-26-2014)

  • Kick It With Matt Kenseth in Fan Hospitality at RIR: Have you ever wanted to know the one thing Matt Kenseth can't live without? Are you curious about what the former NASCAR champion does on a day off? Dying to find out which driver he'd choose as a tag-team wrestling partner? Well, here's your chance to find out. Kick it with former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, on Saturday, April 26, in Richmond International Raceway's 3-Wide fan hospitality, prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. In addition to the exclusive Q&A, be sure to stroll up and down Pit Road for an up close and unforgettable visit to the pavement all of your favorite drivers will be racing on just a few hours later. The 3-Wide experience is $80 per person, and includes: 3 beer or wine tickets for fans 21 years of age & older with a valid ID. Unlimited sodas & water will also be available; Walk down Pit Road with an exclusive Pre-Race Pit Pass (2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., time and weather permitting), Interactive Q&A session with NASCAR personalities, including Kenseth; Dine on appetizers from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. & a buffet dinner from 3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Enjoy music, games, a complimentary souvenir event program, and a chance to win a trip to Pre-Race & Gatorade Victory Lane ceremonies. Take advantage of the only opportunity to obtain a Saturday Pre-Race Pit Pass with a single-day ticket and purchase today.(RIR)(3-5-2014)

  • Richmond Sprint Cup Series Tickets on sale: Tickets for Richmond International Raceway's April 25 & 26 NASCAR weekend go on sale Wednesday, January 15; however, fans who sign up to receive Ticket Holder e-mail communication can purchase two days early. Click here to subscribe and stay connected. A limited number of frontstretch seats will be available. NASCAR returns to RIR April 25 & 26 with three races in two nights. You've got to see Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and all your favorite drivers beating and banging at RIR on Saturday night, April 26 in the TOYOTA OWNERS 400. Advance tickets start at $35. New for 2014: tickets for kids 12 & younger are $25 off the adult price in ALL grandstands at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Be sure to click here to sign up to purchase early. The weekend begins Friday, April 25, with a full day of on-track activity and two races "under the lights"! Don't miss Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr., Brian Vickers and many up and coming drivers in the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Tickets start at $30 in advance, and kids 12 & younger are admitted FREE in general admission. For additional information, please visit www.rir.com or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(1-14-2014)

  • Richmond completes 'Five Days of Giving": Richmond International Raceway completed its Five Days of Giving campaign today with donations totaling $15,000, benefiting Richmond-area nonprofit organizations. The organizations are receiving grants from the track's charitable arm - Richmond International Raceway Cares. RIR opened up a grant application to be considered for a donation. Richmond International Raceway Cares is a Donor Advised Fund of The NASCAR Foundation, a 501(c)3. RIR Cares is dedicated to assisting charities, causes and events in the community that focus on - but are not limited to - youth, education and recreation.
    This year, five Richmond-based nonprofits are receiving grants from RIR Cares:
    * Blue Sky Fund ($2,000) - www.blueskyfund.org
    * Junior Achievement of Central Virginia ($2,000) - www.jatoday.org
    * Richmond Community Tool Bank ($3,000) - www.richmond.toolbank.org
    * Northside Family YMCA ($4,000) - www.ymcarichmond.org/northside
    * Youth Life Foundation of Richmond ($4,000) - www.ylfr.org
    Funds donated to these worthy causes would not be possible without the fans of Richmond International Raceway, who contributed to RIR Cares through events during the 2013 calendar year:
    * RIR Cares Track Laps
    * Online auctions through The NASCAR Foundation
    * Central Virginia Celtic Festival & Highland Games
    * Donation from sales of Krispy Kreme doughnuts on race weekends
    RIR's Five Days of Giving comes on the heels of wrapping up a FeedMore/Central Virginia FoodBank drive and Marine Toys for Tots drive. RIR waves the green flag on its 2014 season April 25 & 26, highlighted by the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. For additional information, please visit www.rir.com or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(12-20-2013)

  • Richmond rolls out kids pricing: Continuing its commitment to the fan experience, Richmond International Raceway is introducing special youth pricing in all of its grandstands for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with the April 26, 2014, Toyota Owners 400. Kids 12 and younger will be admitted at $25 off the adult price in every grandstand, allowing families to save money, while enjoying the race from any grandstand they choose. In addition to this new, fan-friendly perk, RIR continues to offer the Virginia529 College Savings Plan Family Section in Colonial E, where alcohol is prohibited. Pricing for kids 12 and younger are even lower in this special section. For years, RIR has admitted kids 12 and younger free of charge, when accompanied by a ticketed adult, for its NASCAR Nationwide Series races, and that policy continues with the April 25, 2014, ToyotaCare 250. Tickets for the April 2014 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race go on sale January 15.(RIR)(11-20-2013)

  • Richmond to remove some seats: Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier said on Friday that RIR will remove the Henrico Tower and there will be additional seating along the backstretch. He estimated that the track's capacity will drop about 10,000 seats. "We're taking down parts of Henrico grandstands (along the backstretch)," he said. "The lower part of the backstretch as you come toward turn three as well as some sections of the Old Dominion grandstands in Turn 3." Bickmeier said that the plan to remove some seating has been formulating for over a year. These sections have been on the low satisfactory end of post-race fan survey data. Henrico Tower, in particular, is an arduous journey for fans. Bickmeier said spectators need to climb 72 steps to the lower portion of the tower, where there are few, if any, amenities such as concessions and restrooms. "So, it's not where we get some of the best feedback from our fans," he said. "And, during the race, if you wanted to something to drink or go to the restroom, you have to come all the way down and climb all the way back up." Bickmeier said that reducing seating isn't a bad thing and referenced venues such as The Diamond and the University of Richmond's Robins Center that have lowered capacity. "This is not a new phenomenon by any means," he said. "It's happened at other motorsports facilities and other facilities in general." International Speedway Corporation, RIR's parent company, announced in June that it would make sweeping changes to the stands at Daytona International Speedway, which included moving all the seating along the front stretch of the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Overall, the changes are part of a long-term improvement process for RIR. Bickmeier said they have short-term ideas and long-term strategies for how to repurpose those areas. He said that the best data for the long-term improvement comes from fans.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-6-2013)

  • Federated Auto Parts extends naming rights for Richmond race: Federated Auto Parts will return to Richmond International Raceway for many more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at America's Premier Short Track. The partnership began last year with the inaugural Federated Auto Parts 400, and today both parties announced an extension that will keep the Virginia-based auto parts distributor's name on the traditional September NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for future seasons. In addition to its contract extension, Federated Auto Parts, which hosts nearly 2,000 guests in hospitality and suites on race weekends at RIR, remains the Official Auto Parts Supplier of Richmond International Raceway.
    "All of us at Federated Auto Parts are proud to extend our relationship with Richmond International Raceway and its premier spot on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule," said Rusty Bishop, CEO of Federated Auto Parts. "Our members and their customers love the fun-filled activities and hospitality provided at RIR, providing our partners with lasting memories. We are ready to continue the memory-making process with tonight's Federated Auto Parts 400, a race we expect to be unforgettable, as drivers try to race their way into The Chase tonight."
    "I can't tell you how excited the Richmond International Raceway team is to share in this announcement," said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. "We added Federated Auto Parts to a growing list of Virginia-based companies last year, and knowing they'll be part of our family solidifies our partnership for years to come. There's no better way to celebrate this announcement than by hosting an amazing Federated Auto Parts 400 tonight, under the lights, at America's Premier Short Track."
    Federated Auto Parts is no stranger to NASCAR. Now in its 18th year in the sport, Federated has served as the primary sponsor for Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace, as well as the entitlement partner at Nashville Superspeedway, prior to joining RIR as the entitlement sponsor of "One Last Race to Make The Chase."(RIR)(9-8-2013)

  • NASA to teach NASCAR fans at RIR: NASCAR fans in Virginia will have an opportunity to learn about an upcoming NASA mission to the moon during races at Richmond International Raceway. NASA's Langley Research Center says education specialists will be at Richmond International Raceway on Friday and Saturday. NASA officials will speak with the public about the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, which is set to launch from Wallops Island on Friday night. NASA says Richmond International Raceway is a designated viewing area for the LADEE lift-off. The robotic mission will orbit the moon to gather information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A model of the LADEE spacecraft will also be on hand at Richmond International Raceway for the public to view.(Associated Press)(9-6-2013)

  • Armed Forces Foundation "Troops to the Track" Program heads to Richmond: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track program on Saturday, September 7th by bringing service members of the Explosive Ordnance Technicians (EOD Techs) from the Capitol Region. EOD Techs are responsible for the disarming and disposal of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). These service members are highly-trained military professionals serving in the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force and will get to enjoy a special day of NASCAR-style VIP activities at the racetrack. 2013 season of Troops to the Track, a program in which service members are treated to a daylong interactive at-track experience, which includes: a special invitation and recognition at the drivers' pre-race meeting, a private tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pit road access during driver introductions / National Anthem and special seating in the grandstands. See the attached document for more information about the program.(AFF)(9-6-2013)

  • Kroger bringing on-site grocery store to RIR: Fans looking to stock up on tailgating items this weekend at Richmond International Raceway can visit a new, on-site Kroger store for their race day needs. Kroger is setting up shop in Parking Lot D this Friday and Saturday at RIR from 8:00am to 7:00pm Click here for a map to locate the store. The list of items available for purchase include hot dogs and hamburgers, Coca-Cola products, Gatorade, bagged ice, charcoal grills and much more. Tickets for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-6-2013)

  • Free Amenities & Fan-Favorite Activities This Weekend at RIR: When fans flock to Richmond International Raceway this weekend, they will enjoy many free amenities and fan-favorite activities. Those who don't already have tickets for the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race can click here for tickets. Here is a list of the great amenities awaiting fans:
    Free Parking General automobile parking at Richmond International Raceway has always been and continues to be absolutely FREE.
    Bring Your Own Food & Beverage Did you know fans are allowed to bring in their own food and beverage inside the gates of Richmond International Raceway? The maximum allowed cooler size is 14"x14"x14" - large enough for 36 12-oz beverages. No glass containers are allowed.
    Video Scoring Tower RIR's Video Scoring Tower remains one of the most impressive in NASCAR, displaying live race action, pre-race ceremonies, post-race Chase celebration and various events happening on Raceway property. Additionally, fans can stick around after the checkered flag to watch Gatorade Victory Lane celebrations and post-race driver interviews from the Media Center.
    Virginia529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia Kids 12 and younger can enjoy their race day in the Virginia529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia, which is a playful and educational environment featuring inflatable moon bounces, as well as scientific exhibits that will enrich their minds. While there, parents can sign their kids up for the free RIR Kids Club, with benefits including an official membership card, Kids Club gift, e-newsletter, birthday e-card, special ticket offers and contest opportunities. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano will be reading a book to children at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
    Mobile App Available on Apple and Android devices, RIR's free mobile app provides fans with a customizable schedule with reminder notifications; interactive GPS map with search capabilities; detailed Midway, parking and facility maps; seating charts; first aid, Will Call and ATM locations; "Friend Finder" to locate your friends on property and a race weekend postcard where you can take a photo with an RIR background to upload to your social media accounts.
    Miller Lite Party Zone Miller Lite brings the ultimate tailgate party to fans on race weekend, featuring live music, tailgate games, a mechanical bull, the Miller Lite show car and cash bar serving great tasting Miller Lite and food items for sale. Located near the Midway on the Amphitheater Hill, the Miller Lite Party Zone is the place to be from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Friday and 11:00am to 7:00pm. While in there, fans have access to the Miller Lite Party Bar, which is loaded with big screen televisions.
    Concourse Televisions More than twenty 42" televisions have been installed throughout the concourse, underneath the grandstands.
    The Midway Outside of the grandstands, Richmond International Raceway offers one of the best interactive and shopping experiences in all of racing, the Midway. The Midway features track and driver souvenir merchandise rigs, interactive displays, games, giveaways, music and more.
    V.I.B.E. The Virginia Industry Business Expo (VIBE), located on the Midway, adjacent to the Old Dominion Building, is an indoor display area, featuring displays and exhibitions from regional businesses, open to the public on Friday and Saturday.
    This weekend is NASCAR race weekend at Richmond International Raceway, featuring Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 - "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Ten drivers are looking to fill five positions to complete the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. The emotions are high and the anticipation is unparalleled. Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223.
    Friday night's Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is a great family value because children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-6-2013)

  • Free Festival at Richmond on Thursday: There's no better way to kick off NASCAR race weekend in Richmond than with a free festival on Thursday, September 5, at Richmond International Raceway. RVA's Stars of NASCAR Festival features some of the top drivers in a Q&A session with fans, followed by live music from The Killing Daylights. Additionally, RVA food trucks will be on hand, with lots of tasty food options available for purchase. The driver Q&A lineup is still to be determined. Drivers who are eligible for the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but have not yet locked in their spot, will be on hand for the question and answer session, which is free and open to the public. Depending on how this Sunday's race shakes out, there could be nearly a dozen drivers participating! In addition to food trucks, beer will be sold. Ten percent of all food truck sales that night will be donated to FeedRVA. Fans may enter RIR at Gate 4, located off of Laburnum Ave. between Carolina Ave. and Meadowbridge Rd.(more info at RIR.com)(9-4-2013)

  • Richmond Coliseum offering off-site parking and shuttle service: Fans attending the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 7, will once again be able to take advantage of the "Park and Ride" shuttle program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot. The shuttle service allows fans to park their vehicles and take a free shuttle to the main gate of America's Premier Short Track. The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond opens and begins offering free shuttle rides to fans at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 7. The shuttle runs continuously back and forth throughout the afternoon and evening, with pick-up/drop-off at the track's main entrance. The shuttle is free, but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. The Richmond Coliseum parking area is conveniently located less than five minutes from the intersections of I-95 and I-64. To see a detailed map of the Richmond Coliseum area visit: rir.com. Shuttle service is no longer available at The Showplace on Mechanicsville Turnpike.(RIR)(9-4-2013)

  • Cushioned Seat Rentals available at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway and IMG Seating are teaming up to offer padded seat rentals for the September 6-7 NASCAR weekend at RIR. Seat rentals are $8 per event and available for both the Saturday, September 7, Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Friday, September 6, Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The seats feature three-inch padded cushion and back support and will be attached to your seat and waiting for you before you enter the grandstand gates on race day.* To reserve your seat, you can add on during your purchasing process; or, if you already have tickets, click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Saturday. Go to rir.com or call 866-455-7223 for more info. This service is not available for guests who sit in the Commonwealth Tower Grandstand, as these seats already have seat backs. Guests who have general admission seating for the Friday, September 6 race must pick up their cushioned seats at any customer service location on-site with a photo ID.(RIR)(9-4-2013)

  • RIR offers Pre-Race Pit Passes: Richmond International Raceway is bringing fans closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes prior to the upcoming Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, September 6. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road prior to the Nationwide Series race. Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes are available online at rir.com or calling 866-455-7223.
    Friday's events include Farm Bureau Insurance Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the September 6, Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. A parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children under 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes. Appropriate dress is required. Shirt, shoes and shorts or pants must be worn at all times while on pit road. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield.(RIR)(8-27-2013)

  • Camping options available at Richmond: Fans looking for daily and overnight RV parking during the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway September 6-7, should look no further than the BLUE OX Meadowbridge Unreserved RV Parking (Lot J). This lot opens at noon on Thursday, September 5 and at 7:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday for daily and overnight RV parking. BLUE OX Meadowbridge Unreserved daily and overnight RV parking spaces are available for oversized vehicles, RVs and motorcoaches in Lot J. Passes for BLUE OX Meadowbridge Unreserved RV Parking can be purchased in advance for $90 for the weekend. The lot has continuous tram service throughout the day until approximately an hour and a half post-race Friday-Saturday, as well as 24-hour security. Sites do not contain utilities (no power, water or waste connections). Shower facilities are available for $5 per shower. Portable restrooms are provided. New for September 2013, Richmond International Raceway offers tent camping in Lot J. Fans may purchase a reserved 25' x 45' tent camping spot for $75 by calling 866-455-7223. Fans must have two or more Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets in their account to purchase a reserved tent camping spot in that account.(RIR)(8-13-2013)

  • Richmond Tickets on sale May 23: Following one of the most thrilling finishes of the NASCAR season last month at Richmond International Raceway, fans are excited that short track action returns to America's Premier Short Track September 6-7 for the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" weekend. Tickets for both nights of racing go on sale May 23. The Saturday, September 7, Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, known as "One Last Race to Make The Chase," is the final event before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Federated Auto Parts 400 is a race circled on every driver's calendar, as many will be fighting for one of the 12 spots in The Chase - NASCAR's 10-race finale that determines the series champion. The weekend gets started Friday, September 6, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Friday's advance tickets start at $30, with kids 12 and younger admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission. In addition to tickets for the races, fans can upgrade their race day experience with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes ($50) and Saturday 3-Wide Fan Hospitality ($80), which includes a Pre-Race Pit Pass, as well as food, beverages, driver question & answers sessions, and much more.(RIR)(5-12-2013)

  • Cushioned seat rentals at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway and IMG Seating are teaming up to offer padded seat rentals for the April 26-27 NASCAR weekend at RIR. Seat rentals are $8 per event and available for both the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Friday, April 26, ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The seats feature three-inch padded cushion and back support and will be attached to your seat and waiting for you before you enter the grandstand gates on race day.* To reserve your seat, you can add on during your purchasing process; or, if you already have tickets, click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Saturday. Click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Friday, or call 866-455-7223. This service is not available for guests who sit in the Commonwealth Tower Grandstand, as these seats already have seat backs. Guests who have general admission seating for the Friday, April 26 race must pick up their cushioned seats at any customer service location on-site with a photo ID.(RIR)(4-22-2013)

  • Off-site parking and shuttle offered at Richmond: Fans attending the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 27, will once again be able to take advantage of the "Park and Ride" shuttle program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot and The Showplace parking lot on Mechanicsville Turnpike. The shuttle service, which is only available on Saturday, April 27, allows fans to park their vehicles at either location and use the free shuttle service to the main gate of America's Premier Short Track.
    The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond opens and begins offering free shuttle rides to fans at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. The shuttle runs continuously back and forth throughout the afternoon and evening, with pick-up/drop-off at the track's main entrance. The shuttle is free, but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. The Richmond Coliseum parking area is conveniently located less than five minutes from the intersections of I-95 and I-64. To see a detailed map of the Richmond Coliseum area visit: rir.com.
    Fans can also park their cars and RVs at The Showplace and take a free shuttle ride to Richmond International Raceway. The Showplace is conveniently located less than three miles from Richmond International Raceway at 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike and is just -mile off of I-64 at exit 192. The cost for parking at The Showplace on Saturday, April 27 is $10 per car and $25 per RV. The complimentary shuttle to and from the track begins at Noon and operates continuously with pick-up and drop-off points at The Showplace and the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. To see a detailed map of The Showplace area visit: http://www.rir.com/About-The-Track/Seating-Chart-and-Maps/Shuttle-Map.aspx. Fans can also contact The Showplace at 804-225-8877 with any questions.
    Tickets are on sale now for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, more info at rir.com.(RIR)(4-22-2013)

  • Multiple camping options available at Richmond: Fans looking for daily and overnight RV parking during the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway April 25-27, should look no further than the Blue Ox Meadowbridge Unreserved RV Parking (Lot J). This lot opens at noon on Thursday, April 25 and at 7:00am on Friday and Saturday for daily and overnight parking. Blue Ox Meadowbridge Unreserved daily and overnight parking spaces are available for oversized vehicles, RVs and motorcoaches in Lot J. Passes for Blue Ox Meadowbridge Unreserved RV Parking can be purchased in advance for $90 for the weekend.
    New for 2013, Richmond International Raceway offers tent camping in Lot G. Fans may purchase a reserved 20' x 30' tent camping spot for $75 by calling 866-455-7223. Fans must have two or more Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets in their account to purchase a reserved tent camping spot in that account. A tent camping ticket package, which includes two tickets (in Henrico Grandstand, rows 1-10) to the race and a reserved tent camping spot, is available for$145. Shower facilities will be available in Lot G for $5 per shower.(RIR)(4-7-2013)

  • Richmond offers Q&A Session with Keselowski: There aren't many sports or venues where you can participate in an exclusive question-and-answer session with the defending champion. But when you're talking about NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway, you can do just that. RIR is offering a ticket package that includes an exclusive Q&A with the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and driver of the #2 Miller Lite car, Brad Keselowski. For $70, fans receive admission to an exclusive Q&A with Keselowski and a seat in the first 10 rows of the Dogwood Grandstand (Turns 1 & 2) or Colonial Grandstand (Turn 4) for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 27. The Q&A will take place in the Colonial Building at 3:45 p.m. on April 27. Any fan who has already purchased a ticket for the April 27 race may add on the Q&A with Keselowski for $30. Guests must purchase a race ticket and voucher for the Q&A to attend. This offer is limited, while supplies last.(RIR)(3-9-2013)

  • Richmond Spring Tickets on sale Friday: Tickets for Richmond International Raceway 's April 25-27, 2013, tripleheader weekend go on sale this Friday, December 7. Tickets can be purchased online at www.rir.com or calling 866-455-7223. The Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is set for Saturday, April 27, featuring defending champion Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chesterfield, Virginia's Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and many more. Advance tickets, including seats in Turns 1 and 4, start at $45. The Friday, April 26, ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race features Emporia, Virginia's Elliott Sadler, Brian Vickers, Justin Allgaier, Sam Hornish Jr. and all of your favorite series regulars mixing it up with several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers running double-duty. Advance tickets for the ToyotaCare 250 start at $30. The three-day spectacle begins Thursday, April 25, with the return of the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.(RIR)(12-6-2012)

  • Toyota sponsoring spring Richmond races: Buckling up for two days of NASCAR excitement, Toyota and Richmond International Raceway announced multi-year race entitlements, beginning with the April 26-27, 2013 doubleheader weekend at America's Premier Short Track. The weekend features the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. "This partnership allows us to align with a premium brand that has been supporting NASCAR for nearly a decade," said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. "These multi-year entitlements will allow Richmond International Raceway to continue delivering the high-quality events our fans have enjoyed for 60 years. To put on these NASCAR spectacles, we require two core ingredients: the fans and the sponsors - both of which drive our business and allow us to provide top-notch events." Toyota has a rich history at Richmond International Raceway. The auto manufacturer has seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins (Kyle Busch, four; Denny Hamlin, two; Clint Bowyer, one) and five NASCAR Nationwide Series top finishes (Kyle Busch, two; Denny Hamlin, two; Kurt Busch, one), and has served as the Official Pace Car at RIR.(RIR)(12-4-2012)

  • "Drive to End Hunger" pre-race at Richmond: The "Drive to End Hunger" pre-race will kick off the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway this Saturday. In addition to the fan-favorite driver introductions, fans will be treated to:
    Recognition of United States Olympians and Virginians: LaShawn Merritt (two-time gold medalist), Kellie Wells (bronze medalist), Francena McCorory (gold medalist), Terrence Jennings (bronze medalist), and T'erea Brown
    Flyover by VAW-124 E-2 Hawkeyes from Naval Station Norfolk
    Patriotic music and National Anthem performed by the 29th Division Band with the Virginia Army National Guard
    "God Bless America" sung by "The Singing Policeman," Danny Rodriguez
    Pledge of Allegiance led by U.S. Marine Sgt. John Peck and aforementioned Olympians
    Parachute team with American flag
    American flag unfurled on the frontstretch by Virginia Army National Guard
    Henrico County Fire Department truck displaying an American flag on the frontstretch
    All of this precedes one of the most anticipated races of the season, the Federated Auto Parts 400, which is "One Last Race to Make The Chase." Once the checkered flag drops, the field will be set for the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "We're proud to be a sponsor of this exciting race at Richmond International Raceway as we cheer on Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports; while at the same time engage fans across NASCAR nation in the fight against older adult hunger, an issue that impacts nearly 9 million people age 50 and older," said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP Foundation president.
    Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger, the initiative has donated nearly 13 million meals and driven corporate and individual donor commitments with an expected value of $17 million.
    NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway this weekend for the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" weekend, featuring the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. This is the final event before the field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. You can experience the excitement with tickets starting at $50, which can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-8-2012)

  • Romney to stop at RIR on Saturday: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will attend Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR confirmed on Friday. Officials said Romney will give the command to start the race in some form. He also is expected to participate in pre-race activities such as driver introductions, and possibly a few fan-related events. Romney will be in the state earlier in the day for an appearance in Virginia Beach. His presence is not expected to impact traffic flow at RIR. While there will be additional security at the track, fans will not be required to go through additional security checks.(ESPN)(9-7-2012)

  • Experience Friday's RIR On-Track Activity from Pit Road: Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes prior to the upcoming Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, September 7. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $55 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road this season. Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes are available online by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223.
    Friday's events include Gatorade Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the September 7, Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. Parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children under 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes.
    Again this year, shorts, short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts and blouses and open-toed shoes are permitted. Shoes, shirts and pants or shorts, dresses and/or skirts and blouses are required. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield. To purchase tickets for the September 7, Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Pre-Race Pit Passes, click here and be sure to "add race day activities" or call 866-455-7223. Friday's tickets start at $35 and children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission.(RIR)(9-7-2012)

  • Friday pit passes available at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes prior to the upcoming Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, September 7. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road this season. Again this year, shorts, short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts and blouses and open-toed shoes are permitted. Shoes, shirts and pants or shorts, dresses and/or skirts and blouses are required. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield.(RIR)(8-15-2012)

  • Federated Auto Parts to sponsor fall Richmond race: Virginia-based Federated Auto Parts announced a partnership with Richmond International Raceway. Joining RIR as the entitlement sponsor for the Saturday, September 8, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Federated Auto Parts 400 is one of the most important races on the series schedule, as the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" sets the field for the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In addition to the entitlement partnership, Federated Auto Parts, which has hosted hundreds of guests in hospitality and suites for more than 10 years at RIR, also announced it has signed on as the track's Official Auto Parts Supplier. Federated Auto Parts is no stranger to NASCAR. Now in its 17th year in the sport, Federated has served as the primary sponsor for Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace, as well as the entitlement partner at Nashville Superspeedway prior to its announcement that it would not seek any 2012 race sanctions. Tickets for the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race go on sale Friday, June 1.(RIR)(5-3-2012)

  • "Virginia is for Lovers" and Richmond team up for Sprint Cup race sponsorship: One of the most storied tracks in NASCAR is teaming up with one of the most well-known tourism brands in the country this weekend for the Saturday, April 28, Capital City 400 Presented by Virginia is for Lovers NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Richmond International Raceway, celebrating 60 Years of NASCAR this season, has hosted Sprint Cup races since 1953 - third longest among tracks on the circuit. The Capital City 400 name pays homage to the track's days of yore, when RIR hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races that included the "Capital City" name annually from 1962 to 1980. Virginia is for Lovers is the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country and stands for love, pure and simple. The Virginia Tourism Corporation promotes Virginia to potential travelers from throughout the world who are looking to completely connect with loved ones on a great Virginia vacation.(RIR)(4-24-2012)

  • Ford Focus Electric Becomes First All-Electric Pace Car in NASCAR: Ford's innovative marketing campaign for the 2012 Focus Electric continues as NASCAR selected the car to be the first-ever all-electric pace car, leading the field for the Sprint Cup Richmond 400 on April 28. Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008 Ford research shows that approximately 35% of new car intenders are motorsports fans and 78% of them support NASCAR. Ford also was the first to show off a 2013 model race car when it unveiled its new 2013 Fusion stock car in January. Ford Motor Company is again making NASCAR history this month as the all-new Focus Electric becomes the first all-electric pace car to ever lead the field for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Richmond 400. The all-new Focus Electric will perform all pace care duties at Richmond International Raceway on April 28. The Focus Electric pace car will be unveiled for the public at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on April 25. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will deliver the Focus Electric to Richmond International Raceway, where it will serve as pace car for that weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.(PRNewswire/Ford)(4-16-2012)

  • Richmond names fan advisory board: Last season, Richmond International Raceway assembled its inaugural Fan Advisory Board, compiled of 21 guests who expressed an interest in representing the best fans in all of motorsports. After earning their rookie stripe in the 2011 season, the Fan Advisory Board is back in 2012 for its first full season to assist Richmond International Raceway officials by providing input, advice and feedback on a wide range of topics. With conference calls and meetings throughout the year, the Fan Advisory Board serves as a sounding board for RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. But the communication goes both ways, as the fans are the eyes and ears, relaying information to further enhance Richmond International Raceway's operations. Fan Advisory Board members will be active throughout race weekends at RIR, talking with fellow fans and taking notes about their experience to relay back to track officials. Each member accepted their role because they have a passion for Richmond International Raceway - a place they call home twice a year on NASCAR weekends. The Fan Advisory Board members are: Joshua Grim, John Moon, Robert Rightmyer, Larry Curtis, Maryellen Davison, Lee Allan, Jeff Crowder, Lee-An Felkins, Gerry Allen, Amy Sylvia, Robert Ellis, Kevin Van Asdalan, Kamele Schwab, Frank Decker, Kendall Humphries, Brian Johnson, Joy Metzger, Steven Wilson and Vishal Aswani. Members will serve at least two full seasons, with new applications accepted next year for those whose term is complete. For tickets and information, click here or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(3-18-2012)

  • Pit Passes at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes for the upcoming Spring NASCAR Weekend. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road. Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes are available online by clicking here or calling 866-455-7223. To purchase tickets for the April 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series 250 race and Pre-Race Pit Passes, click here and be sure to "add race day activities" or call 866-455-7223. Friday's tickets start at $30 in advance and children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission. The headlining event of the Spring Weekend features the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 race "under the lights" on Saturday, April 28. Tickets can be purchased by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(2-17-2012)

  • Richmond partners with local advertising agency: What better way to support the "Buy Local" initiative than to do it yourself? In the spirit of buying local, Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier announced a partnership with local advertising agency Barber Martin. A 24-year-old shop located in metro Richmond, Barber Martin is a full-service agency that oversees the advertising platform for a wide variety of Richmond based companies, including Adolf Jewelers, West Broad Honda, Wealthcare Capital Management, VCU School of Business, Chesterfield Auto Parts, Capitol Region Airport Commission, and Southern States Cooperative. The Barber Martin team will assist RIR with print, television, radio and out-of-home messaging and promotions for the 2012 season.(RIR)(1-24-2012)

  • Richmond Staff receive NASCAR Awards of Excellence: Two Richmond International Raceway employees recently received awards acknowledging their commitment to excellent service they provide to RIR and the NASCAR community. Linwood Burrow, director of track operations, and Seiji Kashiwabara, nursing director, earned the Track Services Award for Excellence and Nursing Director of the Year Award for Excellence, respectively, at the 2012 NASCAR Summit. NASCAR presents The Track Services Award for Excellence annually to an individual who has taken the initiative to significantly improve track services at a NASCAR National Series Track over the duration of a career of ten or more years. Burrow, who earned the service award, has been a member of the Richmond International Raceway staff for over 40 years. NASCAR annually awards The Nursing Director of the Year Award for Excellence to a Nursing Director who shows outstanding leadership and organizational skills, quickly addresses concerns and delivers an immediate and positive outcome. Kashiwabara and his medical team operate the RIR Infield Care Center on race weekends, where they provide medical care to competitors and track guests. Kashiwabara has been a part of the RIR team for the past 11 years.(RIR)(1-20-2012)

  • Richmond tickets go on sale Friday: Proving that good things do happen on Friday the 13th, Richmond International Raceway fans may purchase tickets to the Saturday, April 28, Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this Friday, January 13, at 9:00 a.m. ET. The race marks the return of NASCAR to Richmond International Raceway for the first time since last September's Wonderful Pistachios 400 - one of the most exciting races of the 2011 season. Fans can enhance their race day experience with the Saturday Pit Pass Upgrade, providing the only opportunity to score a pre-race pit pass to walk down pit road for an unforgettable infield visit. The upgrade also includes admission to the indoor, climate-controlled 3-Wide hospitality area. The Saturday Pit Pass Upgrade is $80 for adults, $40 for kids 12 and younger. Fans wishing to purchase must also have a grandstand ticket. Tickets for the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race can be purchased online beginning Friday, January 13 or calling 866-455-7223. Tickets are also available for the April 27, Richmond 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the April 26, doubleheader, featuring the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Late Model race and the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.(RIR)(1-12-2012)

  • Special offer from Richard Petty Driving Experience at Richmond: Don't disappoint your loved ones with another tacky sweater, pair of argyle socks or a Snuggie. Wow them this holiday season with the gift of speed by giving a Richard Petty Driving Experience Ride-Along at Richmond International Raceway for $59 - a specially-priced holiday deal. Fans can ride-along shotgun at speeds of more than 100 mph during a three-lap qualifying run at Richmond International Raceway. That's right, riders don a racing fire suit, strap on a helmet and climb through the window and into the passenger seat for the ride of a lifetime and memories that will last forever. Click here to purchase your spots or call 1-800-237-3889 and mention "Richmond59" to receive the discounted price.(RIR)(11-25-2011)

  • Richmond announces 2012 dates: On the heels of what many race fans are calling one of the best races at Richmond International Raceway in years and the most entertaining race of the 2011 season, track officials announced that America's Premier Short Track will again host two NASCAR weekends in 2012. Next season Richmond International Raceway will feature NASCAR racing April 26-28 and September 7-8. The spring weekend features the second annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Thursday night, April 26; the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Friday night, April 27 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday night, April 28. The Saturday, September 8 date again features the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event before the Chase cutoff, rendering the Wonderful Pistachios 400 as the "One Last Race to Make The Chase." The weekend begins Friday, September 7, with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(RIR)(9-15-2011)

  • Harvick wins at Richmond: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 18th career win 4th of the season.
    #99-Edwards finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #6-Ragan, #22-Busch, #18-Busch, #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #11-Hamlin and #5-Martin. The pole sitter, #00-Reutimann finished 26th after being involved in a wreck mid-race.
    With the Chase starting next race at Chicago, the points have been reset with #18-Busch and #29-Harvick leading the points.
    #14-Stewart and #88-Earnhardt Jr. lock up 9th and 10th place in the Chase with the Wild Cards going to #2-Keselowski (3 wins, 11th in points) and #11-Hamlin (1 win, 12th in points).
    There were 11 lead changes among 7 drivers and a record tying 15 cautions for 85 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 88,000, down from 95,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Sunday, September 11 at 1:00am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 14 at 12:00pm/et

    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page.(9-10-2011)

  • Parking and Shuttle Service options for Richmond: Fans attending the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 10 will once again be able to take advantage of the "Park and Ride" shuttle program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot and The Showplace parking lot on Mechanicsville Turnpike. The shuttle service, which is only available on Saturday, September 10, allows fans to park their vehicles at either location and use the free shuttle service to the main gate of America's Premier Short Track.
    The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond opens and begins offering free shuttle rides to fans at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. The shuttle service back to the Coliseum parking area resumes immediately after the conclusion of the Wonderful Pistachios 400 race from the track's main entrance. The shuttle is free, but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. The Richmond Coliseum parking area is conveniently located less than five minutes from the intersections of I-95 and I-64. To see a detailed map of the Richmond Coliseum area visit: http://www.rir.com/About-The-Track/Seating-Chart-and-Maps/Shuttle-Map.aspx.
    Fans can also park their cars and RVs at The Showplace and take a free shuttle ride to Richmond International Raceway. The Showplace is conveniently located less than three miles from Richmond International Raceway at 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike and is just -mile off of I-64 at exit 192. The cost for parking at The Showplace on Saturday, September 10 is $10 per car and $25 per RV. The complimentary shuttle to and from the track begins at Noon and operates continuously with pick-up and drop-off points at The Showplace and the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. To see a detailed map of The Showplace area visit: http://www.rir.com/About-The-Track/Seating-Chart-and-Maps/Shuttle-Map.aspx. Fans can also contact The Showplace at 804-225-8877 with any questions.
    Fans will experience all the sights and sounds of NASCAR excitement at Richmond International Raceway September 9-10 for the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" weekend. Saturday's Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is one of the most anticipated events of the year, as the race sets the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Advance tickets start at $45 and can be purchased on www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223. The weekend begins Friday, September 9, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race "under the lights." A great option for the family, Friday's tickets start at $30 in advance, with children 12 and younger admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections.(RIR)(9-9-2011)

  • Pit Passes at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes for the next weekend's "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR doubleheader. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. For just $50 per person, you can enjoy pole qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Pre-Race Pit Passes are available online or by calling 866-455-7223. Friday's events include Fas Mart Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the September 9 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. Parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children under 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes. New this year, shorts, short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts and blouses and open-toed shoes are permitted. Shoes, shirts and pants or shorts, dresses and/or skirts and blouses are required. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway September 9-10 for a doubleheader weekend "under the lights." The Saturday, September 10, Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is "One Last Race to Make the Chase" for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Advance tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-9-2011)

  • RIR & Wonderful Pistachios to honor Military and First Responders During Pre-Race Ceremony: As fans fill the stands at Richmond International Raceway this Saturday night, September 10th, they will be joining in the most patriotic pre-race ceremony ever at America's Premier Short Track. To honor America, the pre-race ceremony will begin with a "Salute to America" concert featuring patriotic music performed by police and military bands, as well as an active duty marine. The evening will be highlighted by Wounded Warriors saying the pledge, Danny Rodriguez, the singing NY police officer, singing God Bless America and the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band performing the National Anthem.
    Rounding out the pre-race festivities announced last week, R. Lee Ermey "The Gunny" - a retired U.S. Marine and real-life Drill Instructor - will salute the troops by asking the drivers to start their engines and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi - a New Jersey resident and daughter of a volunteer New York fireman - will pay tribute to firefighters by passing the flag-waving duties to Frank Siller, founder of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation whose brother, Stephen Siller, lost his life on September 11th, 2001. Ermey and Polizzi are part of the Wonderful Pistachios advertising campaign.
    Fans will be handed 4" x 6" American flags as they enter the stands and are encouraged to wave them in tribute to America during the concert, God Bless America and National Anthem.
    In addition, fans attending the event, ABC-TV and MRN Radio broadcasters announcing the race, and the track announcer, will all go quiet for a three-lap moment of silence from laps 9 through 11 at the -mile oval. The three-lap moment of silence, in which all fans attending the race are again encouraged to wave their American flags, is the culmination of many 9/11 tributes and patriotic activities being planned by NASCAR race tracks, teams, sponsors, licensees, drivers, and fans in special recognition of the anniversary.
    This patriotic pre-race will serve as the "opening ceremonies" for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. When the checkered flag flies Saturday night, September 10, the field will be set for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Tickets for Saturday's event to be a part of the most patriotic pre-race ever start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-9-2011)

  • RIR to honor America: With the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled on Saturday, September 10, just a day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Richmond International Raceway has a patriotic pre-race ceremony planned. The evening will be highlighted by Wounded Warriors saying the pledge, Danny Rodriguez, the singing NY police officer, singing God Bless America and the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band performing the National Anthem.
    The pre-race ceremonies will begin at 6:15 pm with a "Salute to America" concert featuring patriotic music from the Newport News (VA) Police Pipe and Drums; Mike Corrado, an active duty Marine stationed in Quantico, Virginia, and the U.S. Army 29th Infantry Division Band from Ft. Belvoir. As fans enter the grandstands on Saturday, September 10 for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, they will be greeted by NASCAR Foundation volunteers handing out 4" x 6" handheld flags provided by Harrisonburg Auto Mall. Fans are asked to show their patriotism by waving the flags during the "Salute to America" concert.
    "Richmond International Raceway is unique in that every year since the 9/11 attacks our September race weekend has fallen on the weekend closest to 9/11," commented Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier. "It has always been important to us to recognize 9/11 and remember the victims and survivors, but even more so this weekend as we remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We are proud of our military and first responders; active, former and retired, and we are honored to have so many join us this weekend. I think our fans will find that this will be the most patriotic pre-race ceremony they have ever been a part of at Richmond International Raceway."
    Following the concert, the official welcome will be given by Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Frank Thornton, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors - Fairfield District for Henrico County. As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are introduced, they will cross the stage and exit through a tunnel of first responders from Virginia and enter into a Chevy Silverado, where they will be joined by a member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America for a lap around the track with an American flag.
    Henrico County (VA) Fire Department will display a flag from their ladder truck on the frontstretch apron for the day, along with Charlottesville (VA) Fire Department's ladder truck flag display on the backstretch apron for fans to enjoy. Additionally, skydivers will enter Richmond's -mile facility carrying the American flag.
    In addition to viewing the patriotic pre-race ceremonies on the Video Scoring Tower, fans will enjoy five color guards presenting our nations' flags (Ft. Lee - Army on the pre-race pad, Central Virginia Combo Fire Team in Turn One, Virginia State Police in Turn Two, Newport News Police in Turn Three and Naval Ocean Processing Facility in Turn Four).
    US Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco from Staten Island, NY, the first American to lose all four limbs in combat and survive, and Marine Corps Corporal Todd Nicely who is the second American to lose all four limbs in combat and survive, will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a memorable rendition of God Bless America by Danny Rodriguez, known as the "singing policeman from New York City." The 29th Infantry Division Band from Ft. Belvoir will return to the forefront to play our National Anthem. Fans are encouraged to wave their 4" x 6" flags during the entire pre-race.
    This patriotic pre-race will serve as the "opening ceremonies" for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. When the checkered flag flies Saturday night, September 10, the field will be set for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Tickets for Saturday's event to be a part of the most patriotic pre-race ever start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-7-2011)

  • Tracks spared hurricane damage: Hurricane Irene proved to be more than a hindrance to several NASCAR tracks over the weekend, but officials at Richmond, New Hampshire and Dover expect upcoming race weekends to go off without a hitch. Although Richmond International Raceway suffered no major damage, as of Monday morning the area around the track remained without electricity. Richmond is scheduled to host the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series event on Sept. 9, followed by the Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Sept. 10. Turner said track officials are confident the facility will be ready to host the more than 90,000 fans expected to attend each evening. In three weeks, the series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. According to NHMS director of communications Kristen Costa, the facility had minimal damage. At Dover, senior director of communications Gary Camp said track officials had enough lead time to stow important items. "We had no damage here at the track, fortunately," Camp said.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2011)

  • Blood drive will kick off Richmond race weekend: Richmond International Raceway will host its annual Drive for Life, a Virginia Blood Services blood drive, on Thursday, September 8, from noon to 5 p.m. in the historic Old Dominion Building. Participants should enter the property at Gate 4, off of Laburnum Avenue. Richmond International Raceway's Drive for Life is a partnership between the track and Virginia Blood Services. Donors may register in advance by logging on to www.vablood.org. Richmond International Raceway's Drive for Life has collected more than 400 units of blood during its four-year span. Richmond International Raceway's Drive for Life kicks off the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" weekend, September 9-10. In addition to the blood drive, Thursday features the Rockin' the Raceway Dierks Bentley concert, benefitting the Cullather Brain Tumor and Quality of Life Center at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital.(RIR)(8-30-2011)

  • Dierks Bentley in concert at Richmond: The September NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway gets a country kickoff Thursday, September 8, as national country music recording artist Dierks Bentley plays the track's amphitheater for the first "Rockin' the Raceway" to benefit the Cullather Brain Tumor Quality of Life Center at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital. The concert, which precedes the September 9, Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the September 10, Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, serves as a festive way to drop the green flag on race weekend in Richmond. Tickets ($55 reserved, $35 general admission) go on sale Friday, July 15, at 9:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.rir.com, via phone at 866-455-7223 and at Richmond International Raceway's ticket office, located at 600 East Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23222.(RIR)(7-15-2011)

  • Fall Richmond race becomes Wonderful Pistachios 400: Wonderful Pistachios, which has been rallying people to Get Crackin' for three years, will now be revving people to Get Racin' as the entitlement sponsor of Richmond International Raceway's September 10 Sprint Cup Series race. The Wonderful Pistachios 400 showcases one of the most anticipated racing events of the season, as it marks "One Last Race to Make The Chase." The multi-year race entitlement signifies Wonderful Pistachios' entrance into the sport of NASCAR, and it couldn't happen at a better time and place. When NASCAR descends upon America's Premier Short Track, some of the best drivers in the world will battle for the final spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Wonderful Pistachios will be sold at concessions stands during Richmond's race weekend, as well as at most International Speedway Corporation tracks.(RIR)(7-13-2011)

  • New RIR president named: International Speedway Corporation ("ISC") announced it has named Dennis Bickmeier President of Richmond International Raceway ("RIR") effective immediately. Bickmeier accepts the role from his most recent position as Vice President of Consumer Sales and Marketing for Michigan International Speedway ("MIS"). Current RIR President Doug Fritz who has resigned to pursue other career opportunities, will transition out over the next several weeks.
    Joining MIS in 2007, Bickmeier, 44, was responsible for the oversight of three primary departments -- communications, corporate partnership sales, and ticket sales and operations. His career with ISC initially began in 1999 as the Public Relations Director at Auto Club Speedway, and he was promoted to Senior Director of Communications in 2004, a position he held until 2006. During his time at the Southern California-based speedway, Bickmeier became an adjunct faculty member in the University of San Francisco's Sports Management Program (2001-06), teaching the Strategic Communications and Sports Public Relations elective.
    Bickmeier served as the Manager of Community Relations for Disney-owned Anaheim Sports, Inc., (1997-99) the owners of the Major League Baseball team the Anaheim Angels, now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the National Hockey League's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He has also served as Information Director for the Big West Conference (1993-97), and started his professional sports administration career with the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams as the Assistant Director of Public Relations (1989-91) and Assistant Director of Sales and Promotions (1992-93).
    The native Ohioan received his bachelor's degree from the Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism and his master's from the Ohio University Sports Administration Program. Bickmeier will transition with his family to the Richmond area over the next few months.
    "Dennis is a well-respected sports management executive having spent his career working within motorsports as well as with other professional sport leagues," stated ISC's President, John Saunders. "Having spent the past 10 years at two of ISC's motorsports facilities, he is well prepared to take the helm of Richmond International Raceway. His proven management and leadership skills will facilitate a smooth transition from Michigan to Richmond. We congratulate him on his new position and look forward to his continued success within ISC. I would also like to thank Doug for his many years of service at both ISC and at Richmond. I wish him much success in his future endeavors."
    Commenting on the announcement, Dennis Bickmeier stated, "It has been a privilege and personally rewarding to be a part of Michigan International Speedway for the past three and half years. While I will miss all the wonderful people at Michigan, I am excited to be joining Richmond International Raceway. I am appreciative of this exciting opportunity and look forward to a great future with much enthusiasm."(RIR)(7-6-2011)

  • Richmond to Install SAFER barriers on Backstretch: SAFER barriers will be installed in time for the September "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The new SAFER barriers will cover the entire length of the inside backstretch wall, which is over 900 feet. "The safety of all who attend our events, including the drivers, is important at Richmond International Raceway," said track president Doug Fritz. "We will always be reviewing our facility and continue to look at ways to improve on the experience of our fans and the drivers." The walls are currently being fabricated by GT Grandstands, Inc., a Plant City, Florida company. Installation of the SAFER barriers will begin as soon as they arrive in Richmond. Cheaha Construction LLC of Munford, Alabama will oversee the installation process.(RIR)(7-2-2011)

  • Richmond tickets on sale Friday: One of the most anticipated weekends on the NASCAR schedule is coming to Richmond International Raceway September 9-10, and tickets for the two-day event go on sale Friday at 9:00 a.m. With a new Chase qualifying format and tempers always flaring at America's Premier Short Track, this is expected to be an intense weekend in Richmond. Tickets for "One Last Race to Make The Chase" start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223. Not only will fans enjoy the excitement on the track, but they'll be treated to a Video Scoring Tower that is viewable from every seat, as well as new-for-2011 amenities including wider seats, concourse televisions and even larger cooler sizes allowed, enabling fans to bring in more food and beverages than before.(RIR)(6-3-2011)

  • Need more SAFER at Richmond? #24-Jeff Gordon was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 302 at Richmond Saturday night and slammed into the inside wall, which had no SAFER barrier protecting the drivers, sone of Gordon's comments after the race:
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE:
    Gordon: "It knocked the wind out of me. I just saw the corner through my mirror, a car come into my left rear, and around I went in a hurry. I was hoping that I spun quick enough that I wasn't going to spin to the inside wall. And then I hit really, really hard. I'm just so proud of these guys on the DuPont Chevrolet. We had an awesome race car tonight. I don't know if we had a car capable of winning, but we were certainly going to give it a heck of a try and we certainly had a top-five car pretty easy. So, I hate it with the pit sequence and the pit strategy that was going on there that we lost all that track position. With 100 (laps) to go and everyone was just getting so impatient; you had to dive in there three-wide. I don't know what happened behind me but somebody shot up and got my left rear and around we went. I must have hit the corner of that inside wall. Again, I wish they had a Safer barrier there. I seem to be able to find the ones without the Safer barrier. But what a shame, man. That DuPont Chevrolet was so strong tonight. I'm so proud of Alan (Gustafson) and these guys. I hate that we lost that track position there, you know, with all the pit sequences and pit strategies that were going on there. You know, with 100 to go, everybody is losing their patience, including me. We were all three-wide. I don't know what happened. I just know that somebody got into my left rear and around I went."
    Q) YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO FIND THE SPOT WHERE THERE IS NO SAFER BARRIER:
    Gordon: "I know. I don't know what it is. I'm not trying to teach anybody anything. I really am not. I think it is pretty well known we need safer barriers everywhere. You think it is a short track and everything but man, I hit a ton and hit right on the corner where you don't want to hit. It definitely got my attention. That is for sure. It rang my bell
    AND Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz Statement on SAFER Barriers at America's Premier Short Track. "The safety of all who attend our events, including the drivers, is of the upmost importance at Richmond International Raceway. We along with NASCAR and the developer of the Safer Barrier at the University of Nebraska, review the performance of the barrier and its locations and have made improvements from time to time based on recommendations from the University of Nebraska, and will continue to look at being able to improve upon it."(RIR)(5-3-2011)

  • Wedding at Richmond: a marriage will take place at Richmond International Raceway prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. William Rodriguez and Buffie Richards will tie the knot in Gatorade Victory Lane at 3:00 p.m. The two met at Wal-Mart, where Richards works, and struck up a conversation that has led them to America's Premier Short Track. "We are getting married at Richmond International Raceway because we have always thought of it as our home track," said Richards. Both are hardcore NASCAR fans, with Rodriguez favoring the Fords and Richards preferring Chevrolets. The groomsmen will don Ford blue oval t-shirts and the bridesmaids will sport Chevy bowties. The happy couple will return to Spotsylvania, VA for what will hopefully be many years of happy marriage and racing rivalry. Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race are still available, and start at $45 in advance. For tickets and information, log on to www.rir.com, call 866-455-7223 or visit a ticket booth at the track this weekend.(RIR)(4-30-2011)

  • VA Governor proclaims April 2011 as Virginia Motorsports Month: Joined by Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz and Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell today declared April 2011 as Virginia Motorsports Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In his recognition, Gov. McDonnell cites Virginia's rich motorsports history and serving as home to more than 20 local speedways, raceways and motorsports parks, including Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway - both of which host two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events annually. Virginia is the only state to currently host four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each year. Virginia has also produced many contributors to NASCAR history, including Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and two current Sprint Cup drivers-Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin. Additionally, Wood Brothers Racing - the latest winner of the Daytona 500 - was founded in Virginia and was based in the Commonwealth for 53 years. It is the oldest continuously operating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. In total, the NASCAR weekends at both Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway generate annual economic benefit of $584 million for the Commonwealth.
    The governor's proclamation comes during race week at Richmond International Raceway, which begins Thursday with a doubleheader featuring the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, followed by the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Tickets for Thursday are $25; children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult. The weekend continues Friday when the NASCAR Nationwide Series returns for the BUBBA burger 250 race "under the lights." Friday's ticket includes Wawa Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as NBC12 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. Advance tickets start at $30; children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
    On Saturday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars hit the track as Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 "under the lights." Advance tickets for Saturday start at $45. All tickets can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(4-28-2011)

  • RIR adds more fan amenities: Richmond International Raceway continues to add more fan-friendly amenities for the 2011 season, highlighted by the addition of 42" televisions throughout the concourse under the grandstands and convenient payment options.
    Concourse Televisions
    More than twenty 42" televisions will be installed throughout the concourse, underneath the grandstands.
    PayPal
    Fans who purchase race tickets online at www.rir.com now have the option to submit payment via PayPal.
    Credit Card Payments
    Many concession stands at the track will accept major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Stands that accept credit cards will be marked.
    Additional fan-friendly amenities previously announced include:
    Larger Coolers Allowed
    Fans may continue to bring their own food and beverage inside the gates at Richmond International Raceway. The new maximum allowed cooler size is 14x14x14 inches - large enough for 36 12-oz beverages.
    Wider Seats
    Nearly all of the grandstand seats have been widened and now measure 22 inches wide.
    Backpack Policy
    Guests may carry in their items in backpacks or daypacks similar to those used by school kids. Each guest is allowed to carry in one backpack. The 2011 NASCAR season at Richmond International Raceway kicks off April 28-30 with four races in three nights! Tickets are on sale now for the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race "under the lights" on Saturday, April 30th. The weekend kicks off with a doubleheader on Thursday night, April 28th, beginning with the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, followed by the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Thursday's tickets are $25 and all seats are general admission. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult on Thursday. For tickets, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-7223.(RIR)(4-20-2011)

  • Drivers testing at Richmond for Denny Hamlin Showdown: Race fans in Richmond who can't wait for NASCAR to return are in luck. Several NASCAR drivers are making an early return to Richmond International Raceway this Wednesday, April 20, before the April 28-30 Spring NASCAR Race Weekend. They are testing in preparation for the Thursday, April 28 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Denny Hamlin, Hermie Sadler, Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell, Curtis Markham and Jason White are confirmed to hit the track Wednesday from noon to 6:00 p.m. Grandstands are free and open to the public by accessing Gate 70. The fourth annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown makes its debut at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday, April 28. The race features many NASCAR drivers, including Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, Travis Pastrana and Trevor Bayne, battling with some of the best Late Model drivers in the area.(RIR)(4-19-2011)

  • Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate Returns to Richmond: Miller Lite is bringing the ultimate tailgate party to fans at Richmond International Raceway prior to the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate features live music, tailgate games and great tasting Miller Lite and smoked barbecue on sale. Located near the Midway on the Amphitheater Hill, the Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate is the place to be for fans 21 years of age and older before the green flag drops Saturday night, April 30. This festive and enjoyable destination is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with a southern rock band performing from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., corn hole tournaments, a Miller Lite show car and mechanical bull riding.(RIR)(4-18-2001)

  • Henrico County, Virginia Issues Proclamation for NASCAR Week The Henrico County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation recognizing NASCAR Race Week April 24-30 in the county where Richmond International Raceway resides. Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz was on hand at the Board's meeting to accept the proclamation from Frank J. Thornton, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors and Fairfield District representative. "Now, therefore, be it proclaimed, that the Board of Supervisors of Henrico County, Virginia hereby recognizes April 24 - April 30, 2011 as NASCAR Race Week and calls this observance to the attention of all Henrico citizens," the proclamation concludes. NASCAR Race Week in Henrico County features the start of the 2011 race season at Richmond International Raceway April 28-30 with four races in three nights.(RIR)(4-17-2011)

  • Bayne, Patrana headline Party Zone fan hospitality at Richmond: If you want to watch NASCAR practice and pole qualifying from pit road and the opportunity to get up close and personal with NASCAR celebrities on Friday of race weekend, Richmond's Party Zone fan hospitality option is the ticket. The Party Zone fan hospitality on Friday, April 29 delivers a pre-race pit pass, full dinner buffet and question-and-answer sessions with NASCAR celebrities, including 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, motocross superstar Travis Pastrana and more. The Party Zone fan hospitality, available on Friday, April 29, prior to the BUBBA Burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is $65 per adult and includes an exclusive pre-race pit pass (2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.), as well as admission to the Party Zone. Kids pricing (12 years of age and younger) is available for $10. The Party Zone does not include a race ticket.(RIR)(4-15-2011)

  • Kenseth Headlines Green Flag Zone at Richmond: The Green Flag Zone fan hospitality, available on Saturday, April 30, prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is $90 per adult and includes an exclusive pre-race pit pass (2:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.), as well as admission to the Green Flag Zone, which offers: Appetizers (2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.), Dinner buffet (3:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.), Six adult beverage tickets for fans 21 and older (with a valid ID), Unlimited sodas and water, Question-and-answer sessions with Matt Kenseth, Rutledge Wood, Miss Sprint Cup, Hermie Sadler, Matthew Hansen and track president Doug Fritz, Live musical entertainment. Kids pricing (12 years of age and younger) is available for $45, which includes all of the above except the adult beverage tickets. Guests must have a ticket to the Saturday, April 30 race to purchase. The Green Flag Zone does not include a race ticket.(RIR)(4-14-2011)

  • Rodney Atkins having pre-race concert at Richmond: One can always find their fair share of Patriotism at a NASCAR event but when Rodney Atkins takes the stage in Richmond, it will be at an all-time high. Continuing his ongoing partnership with Crown Royal to salute those who proudly serve, country music artist Rodney Atkins will honor military hero United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Matthew Hansen, in an hour-long concert prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30th. Ticketholders who are 21 years of age and older will have the opportunity to view the concert on the frontstretch of America's Premier Short Track. To receive passes for on-track access, ticketholders are invited to visit a booth located in the white VIBE tent on the midway, adjacent to the Old Dominion Building on Saturday, April 30, where they will receive a Crown Royal t-shirt and a lanyard, providing them access to the stage area for the concert. Ticketholders who do not have on-track access passes can still experience the concert from the grandstands.(RIR)(4-13-2011)

  • Richmond to Host 2011 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: Richmond International Raceway and Chesterfield, Virginia's Denny Hamlin are joining forces to run the fourth annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown to benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation on Thursday night, April 28 at America's Premier Short Track. The event will feature several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and celebrities battling it out on the -mile track with some of the best local Late Model Stock Car drivers. The addition of the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway means the race weekend will now feature four events for race fans to enjoy. The charity race will be a one-day show, featuring practice and qualifying prior to the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown will run immediately following the Blue Ox 100, making for an exciting Thursday at Richmond International Raceway. Tickets are available now for the excitement on Thursday, April 28th. All seats are general admission and $25. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Tickets include the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.(RIR)(3-24-2011)

  • Pre-race pit passes available at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes for the upcoming Spring NASCAR Weekend. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. For the first time ever, America's Premier Short Track is offering fans individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes this season. For just $50 per person, you can enjoy pole qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.(RIR)(3-7-2011)

  • Richmond launces fan advisory board: Richmond International Raceway is taking its fan-friendly approach a step further by launching a Fan Advisory Board. The group of fans will represent the entire body of fans to assist the track in continuing to improve the overall fan experience, and ultimately, "Racing Perfection."
    "Many of the fan amenities and enhancements over the past decade are direct results of feedback received by the greatest fans in all of motorsports," said track president Doug Fritz. "The Video Scoring Tower, continuous tram route, larger coolers and widened seats are just a few of the enhancements that have been made at America's Premier Short Track in the last year. It is our hope that the Fan Advisory Board will give us even closer contact with a core group of fans who represent the entire body." Fans interested in joining the Fan Advisory Board may apply by explaining, in 100 words or less, why they would be a good representative of the fans. The application is available online at www.rir.com/FanAdvisoryBoard. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 11.
    Richmond International Raceway's Fan Advisory Board is an extension of its Richmond International Raceway RESPECT initiative launched last season. The creed encourages all of its fans to be respectful of everyone, be a good neighbor, be responsible, be attentive, take pride and have fun. The full Richmond International Raceway RESPECT awareness initiative can be found at rir.com.
    Track officials will compile a diverse collection of fans who will serve as a focus group for the overall population of fans at Richmond International Raceway. Fan Advisory Board members may participate in meetings and conference calls to share their thoughts and discuss concerns with track officials. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for a NASCAR Tripleheader April 28-30, highlighted by the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(3-4-2011)

  • American Hero & Fallen Twin Brother honored with race title at Richmond: Just days before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, American heroes were honored by Crown Royal and the NASCAR community during a patriotic ceremony where country music star Rodney Atkins unveiled United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Matthew Hansen as the grand-prize winner of the annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 program. Traditionally, the race at Richmond International Raceway has donned the first and last name of the grand-prize winner, but the April 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will not just recognize Matthew, but also his identical twin brother and fellow Marine, Daniel, who was killed in action Feb. 14th, 2009. Forty-three of NASCAR's finest drivers will compete for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 trophy.
    Award-winning artist Atkins performed his hit song "These are My People" during an acoustic set in front of hundreds of fans and members of the NASCAR community in the Daytona International Speedway FANZONE. When Atkins came to the end of his song, the Curb Records recording artist added in the Hansen brothers' names to unveil the winner, singing "Matthew and Daniel Hansen." Atkins will also appear at Richmond International Raceway for the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400.
    Matthew Hansen lives in San Marcos, Calif., and was chosen from a group of five military finalists who were all nominated by their friends and family for their ability to demonstrate the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that made them a hero. Matthew's godmother nominated him for amazing service during three deployments to Iraq and for continuing to serve with amazing courage and faith after losing his twin brother and best friend.
    "To have thousands of fans vote for me to receive this unbelievable experience leaves me nearly speechless," said Hansen. "I am so grateful for this opportunity to honor my brother Daniel and share his incredible story with millions of NASCAR fans. I came into this world with Daniel, joined the Marines with him, and never expected to be standing here today without him. My race is his race."
    Matthew and Daniel joined the Marines just weeks apart in 2002, and both quickly excelled in their training. Through his work in logistics, Matthew deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom three times and due to injury now works at the San Marcos base, but hopes to return overseas again. Daniel was handpicked to guard former President George W. Bush at Camp David in 2004 and later Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer while in Iraq. Daniel continued to proudly serve his country until he was killed in action by a roadside bomb while supporting combat operations in the Farah province of Afghanistan. For his service, Daniel was promoted posthumously to Staff Sergeant.
    "I can speak for the entire Crown Royal family when I say we are incredibly grateful for the dedication and courage displayed by all service members, and are so appreciative to those who nominated the thousands of military members for our 'Your Name Here' program," said Yvonne Briese, Crown Royal Brand Director. "We look forward to not only treating Matthew to a royal weekend, but also to help share his brother's story and the story of all fallen soldiers."
    "It is a privilege to host Matthew as he honors his brother at Richmond International Raceway on April 30th," said track president Doug Fritz. "We are thrilled to again team up with Crown Royal for the 'Your Name Here' program, recognizing members of our Armed Forces. The Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be a momentous event at America's Premier Short Track."
    In addition to Atkins, the ceremony to unveil Matthew Hansen as the winner included NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, along with representatives from Crown Royal, Richmond International Raceway and 4-Star Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, US Navy (Retired) with over 37 years of military service. The Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 will be incorporated into all official race logos, used for thousands of pieces of merchandise and recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. In addition, Matthew will take part in pre-race festivities at Richmond International Raceway and participate in the trophy presentation to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During the race weekend, he will receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest.
    Leading up to the big day in Richmond, Crown Royal will continue to remind fans to "Please Drink Responsibly." through its "Safe Rides Home" designated driver initiatives and other programming designed to reinforce the importance of drinking responsibly.
    Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30, start at $45 and can be purchased on www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(2-19-2011)

  • Virginia College Savings plan renews partnership with RIR: Richmond International Raceway officials announced the Virginia College Savings Plan has renewed its partnership with America's Premier Short Track. The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race kicks off the Fall NASCAR Doubleheader weekend "under the lights" on Friday night September 9. The Virginia College Savings Plan remains the Official College Savings Plan of the track and presenting sponsor of the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. The season-long Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 feature a special price on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for kids 12 and under and alcohol is prohibited in these sections. For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, tickets for kids 12 and under start at $25 when accompanied by a paying adult. You must call 866-455-RACE (7223) to purchase children's tickets in the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for a NASCAR Tripleheader April 28-30, highlighted by the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(2-1-2011)

  • RIR names John Moreland VP of Marketing: Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced the promotion of John Moreland to Vice President of Marketing for America's Premier Short Track. Moreland, who has more than eight years of experience in motorsports ticket sales and consumer marketing, joined Richmond International Raceway in December 2007 as the Director of Consumer Marketing. In his new role, he will oversee all aspects of the Marketing, Advertising and Promotions, Public Relations and Ticketing departments. Prior to joining the Richmond International Raceway team, Moreland served as the Sr. Director of Marketing and Sales for Michigan International Raceway, as well as the Venues Ticketing Manager for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.(RIR)(1-17-2011)

  • Tickets on sale for Richmond triple header: Tickets for Richmond International Raceway's April 28-30 NASCAR tripleheader weekend are available for purchase. To purchase seats, visit www.rir.com, call 866-455-RACE (7223) or visit the ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222. Ticket office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additionally, fans who purchase tickets Friday at the ticket office will receive a complimentary Richmond International Raceway souvenir from past race events.
    This season features three new policies:
    Larger Coolers Permitted: Fans are permitted to enter the grandstands with soft-sided coolers measuring up to 14 x 14 x 14 inches-six times the size of coolers that were previously allowed at America's Premier Short Track. Fans may continue to bring in their own food and beverages.
    Wider Seats: Nearly all of Richmond International Raceway's grandstand seats now measure 22 inches wide.
    Non-Smoking Grandstands: Smoking is not allowed in and in front of the grandstands, or in portals leading to seating. Smoking is permitted underneath and behind the grandstands, on the Midway, in all parking lots, among other areas.(RIR)(1-15-2011)

  • Richmond Grandstands Going Smoke-Free: Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz announced that Richmond International Raceway's grandstands will be smoke-free beginning this season. Fans who smoke may continue to do so, but in approved areas only. The new policy is in response to fan feedback. "Beginning this season, smoking will not be permitted in and in front of the grandstands or in portals leading to seating areas," said Fritz. "Additionally, restrooms, buildings and areas that were already smoke-free at Richmond International Raceway will continue to be smoke-free," said Fritz. "We are implementing this policy based on comments received from fans. Those who wish to smoke may continue to do so in designated areas." Grandstand ushers will monitor seating areas to ensure the grandstands remain smoke-free at America's Premier Short Track. Fans can notify an usher or use our text messaging service if they wish to report a violation of the non-smoking policy. Tickets for the Spring NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend at Richmond International Raceway go on sale this Friday [Jan 14] at 8:30 am. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Thursday and Friday. For tickets and additional information, go to rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(1-11-2011)

  • RIR announces New Fan-Friendlier Gate Policies for 2011: In the continuing effort to provide the best guest experience in motorsports, Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz announced enhancements to the carry-in policy for the 2011 season at America's Premier Short Track. One of the great traditions in NASCAR is the fans' ability to bring their own food and beverages to enjoy while watching the races. Also, race fans tend to stay in the facility for longer periods of time than in other sports. To help make the race day experience more enjoyable, fans may now carry in soft-sided coolers measuring up to 14 x 14 x 14 inches or 2,700 cubic inches - six times the size previously permitted. Coolers of this size typically have a removable plastic liner and are branded to hold 24 to 36 beverage cans. To ensure these items fit underneath grandstand seats and do not block walkways, coolers with telescoping handles and wheels will not be permitted. Hard-sided coolers will still be prohibited. In addition to the new soft-sided cooler policy, fans may now utilize lightweight backpacks or daypacks similar to those used by school students to carry in other items such as cameras, souvenirs purchased throughout the day and scanners. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway April 29-30, 2011. More info about tickets, go to www.rir.com.(12-6-2010)

  • Richmond accepting deposits for spring race tix: Richmond International Raceway is accepting deposits in advance of its on-sale date for the Saturday, April 30, 2011 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. For a $20 per ticket deposit, guests may reserve seats for the race at America's Premier Short Track. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, January 14, 2011. The Spring 2011 NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend begins with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Thursday, April 28, followed by the BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race "under the lights" on Friday, April 29. Friday's events include practice and pole qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series.To place your deposit on the best available seats for the Saturday, April 30, Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, please call the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223). For additional information on the April 28-30 NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend at Richmond International Raceway, log on to www.rir.com.(12-3-2010)

  • Country Star Rodney Atkins to announce RIR race naming rights in song: Last night Crown Royal announced country star Rodney Atkins' participation in its "Your Name Here" program. Atkins will reveal the namesake of the April 30, 2011, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway by performing a song that includes the name of the deserving serviceman or servicewoman in February at Daytona.
    Crown Royal, along with NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth and Country Star Rodney Atkins, last night revealed that Atkins will perform a song from Daytona International Speedway in February 2011 to reveal the winner of this year's Crown Royal "Your Name Here" program. The annual program awards naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Richmond International Raceway on April 30, 2011 to an adult serviceman or servicewoman.
    Designed to honor America's finest, this marks the second time throughout the five-year history of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 contest that only individuals serving our country can be nominated. Nominations will be accepted from now until Nov. 30th and can be submitted to www.nascar.com/crownroyal.(Crown Royal PR)(11-6-2010)

  • RIR offers boat storage: Last year, "Snowpocalypse" 2009-2010 hit Richmond like an ice-covered snowball on a January morning. Don't run the risk of leaving your boat in frigid temperatures and blustery weather this winter. Instead, you can "batten down the hatches" at Richmond Raceway Complex with our indoor boat storage. RIR is now accepting boats to be stored in one of our enclosed buildings for $375 per boat; space is limited. This service has been offered for several years and has proved to be a valuable offer among area boat owners. Boats are stored at Richmond Raceway Complex until April 8, 2011, upon which all boats must be removed. Boats may be removed prior to April 8. Customers must call 804-228-7504 to make an appointment when bringing in or picking up their boats. Please provide at least 24 hours notice for access to boats. All boats must be drained of gasoline and all flammable liquids. All LP gas tanks and batteries must be removed. Boats must be left on trailers with proper working hitches and wheels/tires. Additionally, chocks are required. More info at rir.com. Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race go on sale January 14, 2011. For information and to stay up to date, please log on to www.rir.com.(10-15-2010)

  • Crown Royal to honor military at Richmond again: Crown Royal takes pride in showcasing our country's finest heroes, and once again, the tradition will live on. The makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, a subsidiary of Diageo plc, announced it will award naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on April 30, 2011 to a serviceman or servicewoman. This marks the second time throughout the five-year history of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 contest that only individuals serving our country can be nominated. Nominations will be accepted from now until Nov. 30th and can be submitted to www.nascar.com/crownroyal. Once nominations are received, Crown Royal will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes for whose name they think should be incorporated into the annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. The grand prize winner will then be announced from Daytona in a patriotic ceremony among all the finalists, NASCAR's Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth and representatives from Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway. This past May the race was titled "Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400" in honor of retired serviceman Heath Calhoun. Calhoun was awarded the honor for his determination and ability to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their injuries. Prior to his race in Richmond, Calhoun also competed on the US Paralympics Team at the 2010 Paralympics Winter Games, where he scored an 8th-place finish in the Super-G and a 10th-place finish in the Men's Super Combined alpine skiing events. Those wishing to nominate one of their fellow soldiers (21 or older) to be the next Heath Calhoun, must write a brief essay, 50 words or less, on how that individual demonstrated the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that made them a hero.(Crown Royal PR)(9-12-2010)

  • Locked in Chase's painted on RIR wall: Much of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field may be set, but there will still be plenty of excitement surrounding Saturday night's Air Guard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, which is "One Last Race to Make The Chase," at Richmond International Raceway. Ten spots in The Chase field have been clinched, meaning Saturday night's showdown "under the lights" is the final race to secure those precious two remaining spots in the championship field.
    Points leader Kevin Harvick heads the list of drivers who have clinched, followed by Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin, respectively.
    So, Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz and Miss Sprint Cup Amanda Wright locked in the top 10 drivers eligible for The Chase by ceremoniously painting their car numbers on the backstretch at the -mile racetrack. And though the top 10 may be locked in, there is plenty at stake on Saturday night with the Air Guard 400 also serving as the last chance for drivers to gain bonus points for The Chase with a victory. Still, the painted 10-driver montage at Richmond International Raceway will serve as a constant reminder during "One Last Race to Make The Chase" that time is running out to secure the final two spots.
    Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer haven't clinched spots and sit in 11th and 12th place, respectively. Being outside the top 10, they need to race hard if they want a shot at the title. Tickets, starting at $40, include the Coca-Cola Pre-Race Concert and are on-sale and available now by calling 866-455-RACE (7223) or logging on to www.rir.com. A limited number of $40 seats remain.(RIR)(9-9-2010)

  • Richmond Pays Homage To 9/11 This Weekend: Richmond's NASCAR race weekend will have an Armed Services theme, in recognition of 9/11. The Post-9/11 GI Bill has partnered with RIR as presenting sponsor, including the Air Guard 400 on Saturday night and Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, passed by Congress in 2008, provides financial support for education and housing to veteran service men and women and allows every eligible veteran, service member, reservist and National Guard member an opportunity to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. As part of a host of pre-race activities to commemorate Sept. 11, RIR is providing all fans who enter the grandstand gates with an American flag to wave during the National Anthem. Boy Scouts, celebrating their organization's 100th anniversary, will distribute the flags, which are provided courtesy of Virginia 529 College Savings Plan.(RIR)(9-9-2010)

  • Night Ranger to rock RIR in pre-race concert: Night racing "under the lights" meets Night Ranger on Saturday, September 11, when rock icons - Night Ranger - perform a pre-race concert before the Air Guard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. The pre-race concert, presented by Coca-Cola, will take place at 5:45 pm/et at the start/finish line.
    Fans with tickets to the Air Guard 400 race can watch the Night Ranger concert from their seats and see the performance on Richmond International Raceway's state-of-the-art video scoring tower. The video scoring tower is the tallest in all of motorsports, featuring four giant LED screens visible to all grandstand seats. But, to "open happiness" with access to the concert area, fans must stop by the Coca-Cola display in The Midway to pick up a credential for the concert. Night Ranger has been rocking for nearly three decades, selling more than 17 million albums worldwide, performing more than 2,500 live shows and captivating an audience of more than 1 billion in radio airplay.
    Tickets, starting at $40, include the Coca-Cola Pre-Race Concert and are on-sale and available now by calling 866-455-RACE (7223) or logging on to www.rir.com. A limited number of $40 seats remain.(RIR)(9-8-2010)

  • Off-Site Parking & Shuttle offered at Richmond: Fans attending the Air Guard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 11 will once again be able to take advantage of the "Park and Ride" shuttle program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot and The Showplace parking lot on Mechanicsville Turnpike. The shuttle service, which is only available on Saturday, September 11, allows fans to park their vehicles at either location and use the free shuttle service to the main gate of America's Premier Short Track.
    The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond opens and begins offering free shuttle rides to fans at 1:00 pm/et on Saturday, September 11. The shuttle service back to the Coliseum parking area resumes immediately after the conclusion of the Air Guard 400 race from the track's main entrance. The shuttle is free, but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. The Richmond Coliseum parking area is conveniently located less than five minutes from the intersections of I-95 and I-64. To see a detailed map of the Richmond Coliseum area visit: www.rir.com.
    Fans can also park their cars and RVs at The Showplace and take a free shuttle ride to Richmond International Raceway. The Showplace is conveniently located less than three miles from Richmond International Raceway at 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike and is just -mile off of I-64 at exit 192.
    The cost for parking at The Showplace on Saturday, September 11 is $5 per car and $25 per RV. The complimentary shuttle to and from the track begins at Noon and operates continuously with pick-up and drop-off points at The Showplace and the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at Richmond-Henrico Turnpike.
    The Saturday, September 11, Air Guard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race headlines the Post-9/11 GI Bill NASCAR Weekend at Richmond. Tickets are on sale now, with a limited number of $40 tickets available, and can be purchased by calling 866-455-RACE (7223) or visiting www.rir.com.(RIR)(9-7-2010)

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill Named Presenting Sponsor for Richmond: Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz announced the Post-9/11 GI Bill has partnered with America's Premier Short Track as the presenting sponsor of the upcoming NASCAR Doubleheader weekend. Titled the Post-9/11 GI Bill NASCAR Weekend at Richmond, the September 10-11 event weekend will feature the Saturday night Air Guard 400 Sprint Cup Series race and the Friday night Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series race.
    The Post-9/11 GI Bill, passed by Congress in 2008, provides financial support for education and housing to veteran service men and women, and allows every eligible veteran, service member, reservist and National Guard member an opportunity to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as vocational and technical training. The program includes payments for tuition and fees; housing allowance; a books and supplies stipend; tutorial assistance; licensing and certification test reimbursement; and the Yellow Ribbon Program, a plan which allows private colleges the ability to match government funds. In addition to the presenting sponsorship, Veteran Affairs, Educational Services representatives will staff an informational display during race weekend in the Midway for anyone interested in learning more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill. For additional information, visit the Post-9/11 GI Bill online www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-442-4551. Tickets are on sale now, including a limited number of $40 seats, and can be purchased on www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(9-3-2010)

  • Richmond announces 2011 race dates: Richmond International Raceway officials announce America's Premier Short Track will once again host two doubleheader weekends, including the Spring season opener, as well as "One Last Race to Make The Chase" in September. And for the eighth consecutive year, the September NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race - scheduled for Saturday, September 10 - will set the field for next year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(RIR)(8-16-2010)

  • Richmond International Raceway announces Air Guard 400: In a historic skydiving stunt into Richmond International Raceway, track president Doug Fritz and Air Guard representative MSgt Matt Leas announced the Air Guard will hold the race entitlement for the September 11, 2010 Sprint Cup Series race at America's Premier Short Track. With the help of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Stremme, the trio unveiled the new Air Guard 400 race logo for the "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend, September 10 - 11. The Air Guard allows Americans to serve part-time, providing flexibility to live life on their terms while serving their community and country with honor and pride.(RIR)(8-5-2010)

  • Richmond Oct Tix on sale Tuesday: With the NASCAR world setting its sights on the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, fans will want to grab their seats for the Saturday, September 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway-"One Last Race to Make The Chase." Tickets, which start at $40, for the marquee event go on sale Tuesday, May 25 at 8:30am/et. To purchase seats, visit www.rir.com, call 866-455-RACE (7223) or visit the ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222, Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The September 10-11 NASCAR doubleheader weekend features the second operation of the new, state-of-the-art video scoring tower at Richmond International Raceway. A successful debut during the April 30-May 1 NASCAR weekend drew rave reviews from fans. Family Sections presented by Virginia 529, which are alcohol-free and smoke-free, continue for the September race weekend. Children 12 and under are admitted at half price in Family Sections for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and are admitted free with a ticketed adult for the Virginia 529 College Savings race. For tickets and information, please log on to www.rir.com or call the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(5-24-2010)

  • Richmond Configuration Years:
    Half-mile dirt 1953-68
    From its inaugural season until its first race in 1968, Richmond - then known as Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds, Atlantic Rural Exposition, and Virginia State Fairgrounds - was a half-mile dirt track. Victory Lane during these early years was a place for legends. David Pearson won five races during this period; Richard Petty and Joe Weatherly won three; and Speedy Thomas, Lee Petty and Cotton Owens won two.
    .625-mile paved 1968 (second race)
    Richard Petty won the first race on a paved Richmond surface. Only two drivers finished on the lead lap in the 300-lap event: Petty and David Pearson.
    Half-mile paved 1969 (first race)
    The track was re-measured to a half-mile for the first race of 1969. Pearson won the event.
    .5625-mile paved 1969 (second race)
    The track was once again re-measured, this time to a 9/16th-mile. Bobby Allison won.
    .542-mile paved 1970-1988
    Yet again, the track was re-measured - but this one lasted for more than one event. There were a couple name changes, too. During this 19-year period, Richmond was known as Virginia State Fairgrounds, Richmond Fairgrounds Speedway and Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. Petty was The King during this era, with nine of his 13 Richmond wins coming during this period.
    .75-mile paved 1988-Present
    The track was reconfigured to its current shape and length for the second race of 1988, won by Davey Allison. The track also changed its name to Richmond International Raceway for that second event of '88. Rusty Wallace is the wins leader on the 3/4-mile layout, with six victories. This era truly mirrors the evolution of the sport, itself. For one, the first season with both races under lights was 1999. Secondly, starting in 2004, race #26, held annually at Richmond, is the final race of the "regular" season. The top-12 drivers who will race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be decided in that event.(NASCAR)(5-1-2010)

  • Final judging for Bubba Burger contest at RIR: The votes have been tallied, and the top three vote-getters in the Signature BUBBA burger Contest will be vying for grand champion Friday at Richmond International Raceway. Fans are invited to catch the action, which starts at 2:30pm/et at the SPEED stage, located outside of Turn 4 on the midway. Trevor Bayne, Scott Lagasse, Jr. and Coleman Pressley will present their creations to a panel of judges to determine the winner. Bayne earned a berth into the final round with the "Cheese's BUBBA burger": Certified Angus BUBBA burger with three different cheeses (Swiss, American and cheddar), bacon, mayonnaise and ketchup. Lagasse Jr.'s unique creation put him in the finale with his "Fried Green Tomato BUBBA burger": Turkey BUBBA burger, fried green tomato slice, remoulade sauce, caramelized onion, arugula and mozzarella cheese. Pressley had-by far-the most exotic creation, which earned him the most votes. Pressley's creation consists of a Turkey BUBBA burger, topped with a Celebrity Dog, potato chips, Celebrity homemade chili, two peanut butter cups and thick cheddar cheese. The judges for the contest include Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz, SPEED personality Rutledge Wood and a BUBBA burger representative. All of this will precede the BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race "under the lights" at Richmond International Raceway Friday night. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com, calling 866-455-RACE (7223) or visiting a Richmond International Raceway ticket booth on track property. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday only.(RIR)(4-30-2010)

  • Who is Heath Calhoun? Race Namesake at RIR?: Heath Calhoun, a retired United States Army veteran, was announced as Crown Royal's "YOUR NAME HERE" contest winner this year. Friends and family of current and former military members were asked to submit their nomination for someone who serves or served in the military and exemplified their definition of a hero. Calhoun, a Purple Heart recipient and former member of the 101st Airborne unit, was nominated because of his bravery and heroism while serving the U.S. Army in Iraq. During a tour of duty, Calhoun lost both of his legs in an explosion. Calhoun, who was also honored with the George C. Lang Award for Courage, returned to his Tennessee home and, after many months of rehabilitation, began training for the United States Paralympics Team. Calhoun was selected as the flag bearer for opening ceremonies and competed in alpine skiing. Calhoun will take part in pre-race festivities as Grand Marshal, make numerous hospitality appearances and participate in the trophy presentation in Gatorade Victory Lane. The Heath Calhoun 400 brand was incorporated into all official race logos, used for thousands of pieces of merchandise and recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title.(RIR)(4-28-2010)

  • Fans Invited to Sneak Peek of Video Scoring Tower Tonight: Richmond International Raceway is hosting a Sneak Peek of its new, state-of-the-art Video Scoring Tower, which will officially debut at this weekend's April 30-May 1 NASCAR Doubleheader, featuring the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. At 7:30 pm/et on Tuesday, America's Premier Short Track will run showcase its prized offseason addition with video, graphics and racing timing and scoring, just like you'll see this weekend when NASCAR returns to Richmond. Fans may enter the property at the Main Gate, located at the corner of Laburnum Ave. and Meadowbridge Rd. Guests should proceed towards the track and enter the grandstands at Gate 70. The new Video Scoring Tower at Richmond International Raceway is the tallest in all of motorsports, standing 153-feet tall. It features four LED video screens at the top, measuring 38-feet wide by 24-feet high. They will feature live race action, highlights, replays, pre- produced video and graphics. The leaderboard stretches 67-feet high by 13-feet wide and provides real-time running order, lap times, point standings and Chase standings. Tickets are on sale now for this weekend's NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend, featuring Saturday night's Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Saturday's tickets start at $40 and can be purchased by going to rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(4-27-2010)

  • BUBBA burger to sponsor NNS race at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway announced that next month's NASCAR Nationwide Series race will officially be titled the BUBBA burger 250. Additionally, BUBBA burger is now the Official Burger of Richmond International Raceway and the juicy and delicious burgers will be available at select concession areas during race weekend. The BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 30 will be an old-school, short track shootout "under the lights," featuring all of the full-time Nationwide Series drivers, as well as many NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers running double-duty. For tickets to events at Richmond International Raceway, call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com online.(RIR)(3-22-2010)

  • Richmond race named Heath Calhoun 400: A special patriotic ceremony at Daytona International Speedway revealed Heath Calhoun, a retired member of the Army who lost both of his legs in an explosion in Iraq, as the grand-prize winner of the annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 program. Heath Calhoun lives in Clarksville, Tenn., and was chosen from a group of five military finalists who were all nominated by their friends, family and fellow soldiers for their ability to demonstrate the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that makes them a hero. Heath's nomination detailed his determination and ability to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their injuries. For his efforts in the military, Calhoun received a Purple Heart, as well as the George C. Lang Award for Courage. Once the finalists were selected, their stories were showcased on www.crownroyal.com, where, for the first time ever, adult fans were able to choose who they thought should receive naming rights to the May 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. All the finalists' stories showcased myriad selfless acts, from saving a boy from drowning to participating in the rescue of the Vice President and several Senators when their helicopter made an emergency landing. While all were deserving of the prize, Calhoun was selected as the grand-prize winner. The Heath Calhoun 400 will be incorporated into all official race logos, used for thousands of pieces of merchandise and recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. In addition, Calhoun will take part in pre-race festivities at Richmond International Raceway and participate in the trophy presentation to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During the race weekend, he will receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest. Known as the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400(RIR PR)(2-12-2010)

  • Five Military Heroes selected to claim naming rights for RIR race: While race fans gear up for one of the biggest spectacles of the season at Daytona International Speedway, the makers of Crown Royal Canadian whisky announced fans will also have the opportunity to choose one of America's true heroes to receive naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on May 1, 2010. As part of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 contest, five finalists from various branches of the armed services have been selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Daytona to participate in a special ceremony to unveil the grand-prize winner, as well as attend the historic Daytona 500. The finalists, in no specific order, are:
    * Heath Calhoun, Army (retired), Clarksville, Tenn.
    * Chris Dempsey, Army National Guard, Yuma, Ariz.
    * Rick Hudson, Navy, Gulfport, Miss.
    * Georgia Powell, Air National Guard, Harrisburg, Pa
    * Brian Speach, Army National Guard, Clifton Park, N.Y.
    Crown Royal begins the season as a primary sponsor of the #17 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion, driven by reigning Daytona 500 Champion Matt Kenseth. Along with all the activities surrounding the race in Richmond, Crown Royal will continue to fully integrate its "Please Drink Responsibly" messages into all of its NASCAR-themed initiatives, including its signature "Safe Rides Home" designated-driver event that has provided thousands of race fans rides home throughout the years.
    This marks the first time in the four-year history of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here" program that only military service members were chosen as finalists. It also signifies the first time ever that fans will be able to cast their votes on www.crownroyal.com for whose name they think should be incorporated into the annual Cup Series event in Richmond. All the finalists were nominated by their family, friends or fellow soldiers for their ability to demonstrate the core values of the military in performing a selfless act that made them a hero.
    Some of the selfless acts of this year's finalists include resuscitating a boy after drowning and helping to save a group of local nationals who were critically injured. Fans of legal drinking age are encouraged to visit www.crownroyal.com to read a complete background on the finalists and to cast a vote. Voting ends on February 10, 2010. Media are invited to submit their individual votes to representatives of Crown Royal so they have their own voice in determining the winner.
    The winner will be announced from Daytona on February 12 with all the finalists, NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth and representatives from Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway in attendance.
    RICK HUDSON
    Rick Hudson, 47, of Gulfport, Miss., has been on active duty U.S. Navy for the last 29 years - 12 of those years were spent at sea. Hudson was nominated by several of his fellow service members, along with his wife and brother, for his role in implementing and putting into operation a cash cage that cashed check and dispersed more than $3 million within 24 hours to hurricane victims. His innovative employment of resources and creative leadership helped Mobilize and demobilize more than 8,000 personnel. For his efforts he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal as the Officer in Charge of his detachment. Rick was just recently selected for promotion to CW05. There are currently only three CW05's of his designator in the entire Navy. Hudson has earned his NASCAR stripes the last 10 years during annual trips to the Spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. If Hudson took home the grand-prize, for him, the true reward would come in that he would be able to represent all the honorable individuals of the U.S. Navy during the race at Richmond International Raceway.
    CHRIS DEMPSEY
    As full-time member of the Army National Guard, Chris Dempsey, 44, of Yuma, Ariz., spends his days recruiting individuals to follow in his footsteps and enlist in the military. Nominated by several individuals from his unit, as well as his wife, Anna, SFC Dempsey has showcased the courage and dedication of the military numerous times throughout his four deployments. From saving the lives of 14 soldiers during a near ambush, to being a part of the unit that rescued the Vice President and several Senators when their helicopter made an emergency landing, Dempsey is truly an American hero. For his efforts, Dempsey has received a Bronze Star and the Army Commendation for Valor. In addition to a true passion for life, SFC Dempsey has an undying passion for NASCAR. Each season, Dempsey attends the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. If his name was chosen to go "under the lights" in Richmond, Dempsey looks forward to attending the driver's meeting and for first time in his life being able to sit in a room with the world's best 43 drivers
    BRIAN SPEACH
    Brian Speach, 43, of Clifton Park, N.Y., is a full-time member of the Army National Guard. SSG Speach was nominated by State Command Sergeant Robert Van Pelt for his role in resuscitating a young boy who drowned at a Saratoga Springs hotel during a military conference in September 2009. Since joining the U.S. Navy in 1986, he has deployed six times to both Afghanistan and Iraq. An avid NASCAR fan, Speach has attended races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. If selected as the grand-prize winner, Speach most looks forward to interacting with all the drivers and receiving a true behind-the-scenes look at America's fastest sport.
    GEORGIA POWELL
    After earning a teaching degree, Georgia Powell, 34, of Harrisburg, Pa., decided there were great opportunities in the military that she wanted to explore. Powell went on to become a medical technician for the Air National Guard. Throughout her tenure, Powell has made six deployments overseas, including visits to Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar. Each deployment has been a truly rewarding experience for Powell because she was able to help people in desperate need of medical support. Powell was nominated by another member of her unit for her efforts in saving the lives of two Iraqi nationals that in return for her medical support provided critical intelligence utilized in the capture of Saddam Hussein. While Powell has never attended a NASCAR race, she is incredibly honored to be nominated. She most looks forward to the entire experience both at Daytona and in Richmond if she were to take home the grand prize.
    HEATH CALHOUN
    Heath Calhoun, 30, of Clarksville, Tenn., retired from the Army when he lost both of his legs in an explosion in Iraq. For his efforts he received a Purple Heart, as well as the George C. Lang Award for Courage. Calhoun was nominated several times by various friends and family members for his determination and ability to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest despite their injuries. He works closely with the Wounded Warrior Project in an effort to help as many people as he can. Calhoun is currently training to compete in the Vancouver Paralympics for skiing. Growing up very close to Bristol Motor Speedway, Calhoun has always had a love for NASCAR and remembers listening to the races on the radio with his grandfather when he was young. Calhoun is completely taken aback by the entire experience of being selected as a Crown Royal finalist. While he would be truly honored to take home the grand-prize, he considers attending the Daytona 500 a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.(RIR/Crown Royal)(2-8-2010)

  • Tracks lose over 150,000 seats: Some race tacks are downsizing by either eliminating some seats for fan zones of widening seats. The result is a decrease of 115,599 seats, based on changes in seating capacity this year to last year as noted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup media guide. Richmond held 112,029 seats before making changes. Now, the track's seating capacity is listed in the media guide as 97,912.(Virginian-Pilot)(2-4-2010)

  • RIR Scoring Tower Ground Breaking: Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz, joined by NASCAR personality Hermie Sadler and representatives from Panasonic, officially broke ground today for the new state-of-the-art video scoring tower which will soar above the infield of America's Premier Short Track. The "larger than life" tower will support four giant video screens high above the infield of America's Premier Short Track beginning in 2010. The new leaderboard and video screens, which combined will be the largest in all of motorsports, will be visible from every seat in this modern-day coliseum and installed in time for the NASCAR Doubleheader weekend April 30-May 1. Designed by Panasonic, the entire structure will stand 153 feet tall and feature four LED (light-emitting diode) video screens at the peak. At 153-feet high, it will be the tallest in motorsports. Each enormous LED video screen will measure 38-feet wide by 24-feet high, and the four-sided design will provide spectacular views of video, including live race action, to fans in the grandstands at Richmond International Raceway. The LED video screens will display live race action, highlights and replays, pre-produced videos and other animations and graphics. Below the video screens, a four-sided LED leaderboard will stretch 67-feet high by 13-feet wide and provide real-time running order, lap times, points standings, including the current Chase standings during "One Last Race to Make the Chase," and other scoring functions during races. Combined, the video leaderboard and video screen portions of the structure will feature the largest amount of LED square footage in the motorsports industry. The new video scoring tower at Richmond International Raceway will stand more than 95 feet taller than the current scoring pylon, and the video screens alone will be over three times wider than the current pylon. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for a doubleheader weekend, featuring the Crown Royal 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race "under the lights" on Saturday night May 1. Tickets, starting at $40, are on sale now at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223). The Spring NASCAR Doubleheader weekend kicks off on Friday, April 30 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series 250.(RIR)(1-18-2010)

  • Sprint Cup Race at Richmond to Incorporate Name of Military Member, voting ends soon: There's only three days left to nominate a service member that you think is worthy of having his or her name incorporated in the title of the Crown Royal 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, May 1 at Richmond International Raceway. Nominations are being accepted through this Friday, January 15. For the past three years, Crown Royal has awarded naming rights to the May NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway to an adult NASCAR fan. Last season, two-time Purple Heart recipient and avid race fan, Russ Friedman of Huntington Station, NY, took home the grand prize and the race was subsequently named the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400. When awarded the race name, Friedman, a former U.S. Marine, thought it would be appropriate to honor all his fellow soldiers during the event. To keep the momentum going this year, Richmond International Raceway and Crown Royal are once again using the race as an opportunity to showcase all the men and women who serve our country. Fans are encouraged to visit www.crownroyalmilitary.com to nominate a service member who has demonstrated the core values of the military in performing a selfless act and should be awarded for their military accomplishments by having his or her name incorporated into the title of the Crown Royal 400 on Saturday, May 1 at Richmond International Raceway. Along with receiving naming rights, the winner will serve as race Grand Marshal, which includes shouting the most famous words in racing, "Gentlemen, start your engines!" on live national television, as well as conducting a series of TV, radio and print media interviews at Richmond International Raceway. Nominations will be accepted through this Friday, January 15, 2010 at www.crownroyalmilitary.com. Nominees must be 21 years of age or older and must be an active, reserve/National Guard or retired member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. Crown Royal will select up to five finalists who will experience an all expenses paid trip to Daytona, Florida where they will participate in a special ceremony at Daytona International Speedway prior to the historic Daytona 500, where the ultimate winner will be announced. For tickets and information, please log on to www.rir.com or call the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(1-12-2010)

  • New scoring tower & video screen at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway will install a state-of-the-art video scoring tower which will support four giant video screens high above the infield beginning in 2010. The new leaderboard and video screens, which combined will be the largest in all of motorsports, will be visible from every seat at Richmond International Raceway and installed in time for the NASCAR Doubleheader weekend April 30-May 1. "The new leaderboard and video screens mark a major upgrade and improvement to our facility and will enhance the overall guest experience at America's Premier Short Track," said track president Doug Fritz. Designed by Panasonic, the entire structure will stand 130 feet tall and feature four LED (Light-emitting diode) video screens at the peak. At 130-feet high, it will be the tallest in motorsports. Each enormous LED video screen will measure 38-feet wide by 24-feet high, and the four-sided design will provide spectacular views of the video, including live race action, to fans all around Richmond International Raceway. The LED video screens will display live race action, highlights and replays, pre-produced videos and other animations and graphics. Below the video screens, a four-sided LED leaderboard will stretch 67-feet high by 13-feet wide and provide real-time running order, lap times, points standings, including the current Chase standings during "One Last Race to Make the Chase," and other scoring functions during races. The new leaderboard and video screens at Richmond International Raceway will stand almost 72 feet taller than the current scoring pylon, and the video screens alone will be over three times wider than the current pylon.
    NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for a doubleheader weekend, featuring the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race "under the lights" on Saturday night May 1. Tickets, starting at $40, go on sale this Saturday, January 9, at 9 a.m and are available by calling 866-455-RACE (7223), logging on to www.rir.com or stopping by the Richmond International Raceway ticket office.(RIR)(1-6-2010)

  • Richmond making seats bigger, lessen seat count: hearing that many Richmond International Raceway ticket holders are being or have been contacted about moving current seat assignments as the track is expanding seat width 2" to 4" for the 2010 season. RIR is currently listed as having 112,029 total seats. No word how many seats will be re-sized or how it will affect the seat count.(12-16-2009)

  • Rachtman returns to Richmond: Throughout most of 2009 TV/Radio personality Riki Rachtman could be seen on numerous shows airing on VH1 more notably his feature spot on "Daisy of Love". Riki was the "voice of reason" as Daisy De La Hoya sifted through a houseful of men as she tried to find Mr. Right. In 2003 Rachtman was asked to host the inaugural Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Riki, a self proclaimed hardcore NASCAR fan jumped at the offer and has been invited back every year on behalf of Chevy. "I have always driven Chevrolets so to be associated with the bowtie makes me proud." This weekend he will return to Richmond International Raceway for the 7th consecutive year. As in the previous 6 years Rachtman's duties include a Q & A session with many of the top drivers in NASCAR at the Chevy fan fest. " Truth be told," says Rachtman "It is one of the events I look forward to every single year. I get up on stage hang out with race fans and talk to the superstars of NASCAR. It almost feels like I'm hanging out in my living room with Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart and 2000 of my friends" In addition to his many TV appearances Riki can be heard weekly on his highly rated nationally syndicated radio show "Racing Rocks with Riki Rachtman" which is currently heard on over 110 radio stations across America. On Saturday Riki Rachtman will also spend time talking to fans at Richmond International Raceway's Fan zone at 2:30pm/et then host Chevy Fan fest at 4:00pm/et with Tony STewart, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Richard Childress.(9-12-2009)

  • Pit Passes at Richmond: With a pre-race pit pass fans get to walk up and down pit road on race day and see the pageantry up close. The best way for fans to get a pit pass is to purchase the Scotts Miracle-Gro Green Flag Zone fan hospitality package, which includes a pre-race pit pass for Saturday. There is no age restriction or dress code for pit passes on Saturday. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Green Flag Zone package includes access to the exclusive fan hospitality area, where fans will have the opportunity to enjoy appearances by NASCAR drivers and personalities, an all-you-can-eat buffet, live musical entertainment, prizes and more. Tickets for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Green Flag Zone are $90 per person. Fans must have a ticket to Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Series race to purchase a Scotts Miracle-Gro Green Flag Zone pass. More info at RIR.com.(9-11-2009)

  • Car #'s for chase drivers to be displayed on RIR's walls: Recently, Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz placed the currently "locked in" drivers to the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship on the wall. In addition, after next week's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Fritz will finish out the decals with the remaining "locked in" drivers and those on the bubble leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond International Raceway. On race weekend, fans and drivers will notice the driver numbers on the track wall in Turns 1, 2 and 3, as well as on the frontstretch and backstretch aprons, reflecting who is in and who is on the bubble leading into the 26th race of the season. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup culminates at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12, at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400-"One Last Race to Make the Chase." Once the checkered flag flies, the field will be set for the series championship. Tickets, which start at $40, are on sale now and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(9-10-2009)

  • Value Priced Food Options at RIR: In a continuing effort to provide the best fan experience in motorsports, Richmond International Raceway announced an extensive list of new and unique concession items available to fans for the 2009 season. The list of new items includes several options that will be available exclusively to fans at Richmond International Raceway during the September Doubleheader Weekend, including the Richmond Raceway Dog, a Crabcake Sandwich and the Raceway Rib Sandwich. Additional new items rolled out in 2009 includes a two-piece fried chicken meal with a dinner roll and cole slaw, a catfish and hushpuppy basket with cole slaw, Boardwalk French Fries, and Famous Dave's Barbeque. Several value meals are available, as well, including a jumbo barbeque sandwich with cole slaw, chips and a drink; a cheeseburger meal with chips and a drink; the Boss Dog meal, featuring a 1/3-pound hot dog, chips and a drink; and a kids meal, featuring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Oreo cookies, a fruit cup and Capri Sun drink.(RIR)(9-10-2009)

  • Ride around RIR before race: Before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes to the track for "One Last Race to Make the Chase" at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12, ticket holders will have an opportunity to ride around the same -mile oval that will host the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. The Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) will bring 10 NASCAR-style stock cars to Richmond International Raceway for three-lap ride-alongs with professional drivers, reaching speeds up to 120 mph. Guests who have tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 will have the chance to speed around the track that will set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, just hours later. Ride-alongs with RPDE on Saturday, September 12, are $149 and reservations are required by calling 1-800-BE-PETTY (1-800-237-3889). Ride-alongs will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Additional information can be found by visiting www.1800bepetty.com. For tickets to the races and information, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(9-10-2009)

  • Richmond Tix still available: Tickets for the Saturday, September 12, Chevy Rock & Roll 400, start at $40 and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223). The weekend begins on Friday, September 11, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race "under the lights." Friday's ticket includes practice and Fas Mart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, as well as practice and WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 race. Friday's tickets are $45 (reserved) and $35 (general admission) in advance. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday only.(RIR)(9-9-2009)

  • Grand Marshal for Chevy Rock & Roll 400: Specialist (SPC) Anthony M. Landowski, who was wounded in the line of duty in Afghanistan on May 17, will be the grand marshal for Saturday's Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Landowski, a 22-year-old native of Ringgold, Ga., and a soldier from the Georgia Army National Guard, was serving as a combat medic with the 48th Brigade Combat Team from Calhoun, Ga., when he was injured by an IED blast. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat as well as the Combat Medic Badge for rendering aid while under hostile enemy fire. Landowski has been receiving care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the past four months and desires to return to his unit. He anticipates returning to Georgia, where he ultimately will finish his associate's degree and further pursue a career as a physician's assistant.(HMS)(9-9-2009)

  • The All-American Rejects headline Richmond pre-race concert: For the seventh straight year, the sounds of rock & roll and the intensity of NASCAR racing will merge at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. This year's event features a pre-race concert by The All-American Rejects. The chart-topping rock band will perform on the frontstretch of Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12, at 5:45 p.m., followed by the start of "One Last Race to Make the Chase"-the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. An American rock band formed in 2001 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, The All-American Rejects have released three studio albums that have garnered the band critical and mainstream success worldwide. Tickets for the NASCAR doubleheader weekend, September 11-12, at Richmond International Raceway, are on sale now. Tickets, which start at $40, can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(8-27-2009)

  • September RIR Sprint Cup Series Tix on sale: Tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, scheduled for Saturday, September 12, will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, May 16 at 8:00am. Guests can purchase tickets-which start at $40-by clicking here, calling the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) (Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 9:00pm and on weekends from 9:00am to 9:00pm), or stopping by the ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222, which will be open this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.(RIR)(5-16-2009)

  • New emergency texting available to race patrons: International Speedway Corporation (ISC) has partnered with InStadiumSolutions to implement a text-message based communication system at all of its 12 motorsports facilities. The service was introduced last weekend during the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway. The system allows fans to communicate with the racetrack's command post if assistance is needed inside the facility. The technology was tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November during the final weekend of the NASCAR season. Instructions will be posted throughout each racetrack and will be broadcast through audio and video public announcements. Besides Darlington and Homestead-Miami, ISC owns and/or operates Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, Richmond, Auto Club Speedway, Kansas, Phoenix, Chicago, Martinsville and Watkins Glen. The Fan Text Messaging Service is also being used by several professional and college teams, as well as at events such as the Super Bowl, BCS National Championship and World Baseball Classic.(Associated Press)(5-14-2009)

  • Pre-Race Ceremonies announced for Richmond: The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway is sure to feature plenty of on-track excitement and emotion, but it will all be preceded by spectacular pre-race ceremonies both Friday and Saturday nights. Prior to the Lipton Tea 250 Nationwide Series race, fans will want to check out the midway concert by The Charlie Daniels Band, scheduled for 5:15 p.m. at the Lipton display, near the flagpole. Things get started when the crowd is introduced to several VIPs from Lipton Tea. Michael Olsen, Assistant Director of the United States Border Patrol, will lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the presentation of colors by the 217th Military Police Detachment of Fort Lee. Then, it will be Charlie Daniels who delivers the National Anthem, culminating with Altus Air Force Base performing a flyover with a KC-135 aircraft. On Saturday night, the star of the show will make his way to the pre-race stage, as Russ Friedman is showcased, moments before the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. We'll meet the Chief Administrative Officer of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Jeff Painter, before Olsen again leads us for the Pledge of Allegiance. The colors will again be presented by Fort Lee on Saturday night, along with an unfurling of a large American flag. For the third consecutive year, "The Commandant's Own" Marine Drum and Bugle Corps will play the National Anthem, delivering one of the best renditions you'll ever hear. The U.S. Coast Guard will fly their C-130J from Elizabeth City, NC for the flyover. Friedman will prepare us for Racing Perfection and deliver the most famous words in racing: "Gentlemen, start your engines!"(RIR PR)(5-1-2009)

  • Race Fans Caution - Swine flu, Richmond safe: The swine flu outbreak has caused Henrico County Health Department officials to advise race fans to take precautions when attending events this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. "There is no reason for fans not to attend and enjoy the events this weekend," said acting Health Director Dr. Robert B. Stroube. "However, as with any large public event, there is a risk of spreading viruses, but there are very simple yet effective precautions you can take to avoid exposure." People who are sick, experiencing flu-like symptoms or have a fever should stay home. Other precautions include frequent hand washing and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing. There are no confirmed cases of swine flu reported in the state, according to the Virginia Department of Health.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-1-2009)

  • The Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Your Trip to RIR: 1) Plan to get here early on Race Day!
    2) What you can bring. What you can't bring
    3) Hungry? There are plenty of new food options on race weekend
    4) Get on Pit Road, and see drivers up close and personal in fan hospitality
    5) Good times and good tunes are on the way
    6) Experience the Midway! There's so much to do and see
    7) Let us show you the way! Download maps to get here and there quickly
    8) Getting here is easier than ever with free shuttle service
    9) Don't miss a thing! The weekend schedule of events
    10) Don't forget your Fan Guide and have a great time
    See the full list with explanations at rir.com.(4-29-2009)

  • RIR keeps focus on fan experience: Richmond International Raceway (RIR) is known for exciting night racing "under the lights," and fans can expect to once again see some of the best and most entertaining racing in all of motorsports during the upcoming NASCAR Doubleheader weekend May 1-2. But, the commitment to the fan experience is one of the main reasons why RIR is known as America's Premier Short Track. The track has continued to focus on improving the fan experience and fans can also expect the same great guest service during their upcoming visit. At Richmond International Raceway, it's all about the fans.
    After listening to its fans and due to the economic conditions, earlier this year RIR announced a ticket price restructuring for Sprint Cup Series tickets in the Henrico Grandstand. Tickets currently on sale for the May 2 Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start at $40. The $40 restructured price reflects a 50% decrease from the May 2008 price.
    RIR officials also worked with hotels in the region to promote special lodging rates and offers to race fans. Track officials reached out to area hotel owners and management and offered the opportunity to promote compelling lodging deals to race fans. The hotel offers for race weekend can be found online at: www.rir.com/hotelspecialoffers/. Some of the 2009 race weekend rates are 20-50% lower compared to 2008 race weekend prices, and many of the hotels on the list have reduced or eliminated the minimum stay requirement for the upcoming May race weekend.
    Additionally, for fans flying to Richmond from out of town, AirTran Airways is offering 10% off flights to Richmond International Airport for ticket holders to the NASCAR doubleheader weekend. Ticket holders received information about the reduced airfare with their tickets. For additional information on the AirTran program, please contact the RIR ticket office at 866-455-RACE.
    At the track, RIR recently announced an extensive list of new and unique concession options available to fans, as well as reduced prices on some traditional items. The list of new offers includes several options that will be available exclusively to fans at RIR, including the Richmond Raceway Dog, a Crabcake Sandwich and the Raceway Rib Sandwich. Additional new items to be rolled out in May include a two-piece fried chicken meal, a catfish and hushpuppy basket, Boardwalk French Fries, and Famous Dave's Barbeque. Several new value meals will be available as well, including a jumbo barbeque sandwich with cole slaw, chips and a drink; a cheeseburger meal with chips and a drink; and the Boss Dog meal, featuring an enormous 1/3 pound hot dog, chips and a drink. There is also now a kids meal, featuring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Oreo cookies, a fruit cup and a Capri Sun drink.
    On Friday, the Charlie Daniels Band will perform a free concert on the midway at 5:15 p.m. at the Lipton display area, located near the flag pole in the center of the Midway. The Charlie Daniels Band concert is just one of many great activities to enjoy during the NASCAR doubleheader weekend out in the Midway. In addition to the concert, the Midway features free interactive displays and games, give-aways, product samples and souvenir stands with RIR gear and driver merchandise. Additionally, Chevy Fan Fest will be taking place on the Midway with show cars, games and more all weekend.
    The Commandant's Own Marine Drum & Bugle Corps will perform their always-stunning rendition of the National Anthem prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 Sprint Cup Series race. And as always, automobile parking in all of the RIR parking lots is free to fans with race tickets, and fans can continue to bring their own food and drinks into RIR. Tickets are on sale now for the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(4-26-2009)

  • RIR offers options and lower food prices: In a continuing effort to provide the best fan experience in motorsports, Richmond International Raceway is proud to announce an extensive list of new and unique concession items available to fans at America's Premier Short Track during the NASCAR Doubleheader weekend May 1-2, as well as lower prices on some of the track's well known items. After listening to its fans, Richmond International Raceway has worked to provide fans more affordable and diverse menu items, including several packaged value meals and kid-friendly meal options, at the track. The list of new items includes several options that will be available exclusively to fans at Richmond International Raceway, including the introductions of the Richmond Raceway Dog, a Crabcake Sandwich and the Raceway Rib Sandwich. The Richmond Raceway Dog features a hot dog topped with chili, delicious Richmond Relish and spicy mustard. A staple in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the Crabcake Sandwich provides a great option for seafood lovers, and the Raceway Rib Sandwich, smothered in mouthwatering barbecue sauce and pickles, provides another unique alternative to the normal concession fare. Each of the three new exclusive items carries a great low price as well, with both the Richmond Raceway Dog and Raceway Rib Sandwich available for $3. For those fans who want to stick with the traditional hot dog, that price has been lowered to $3 as well. The Crabcake Sandwich is priced at $6.
    Additional new items to be rolled out in May include a two-piece fried chicken meal with a dinner roll and cole slaw, a catfish and hushpuppy basket with cole slaw, Boardwalk French Fries and Famous Dave's Barbeque. Several new value meals will be available as well, including a jumbo barbeque sandwich with cole slaw, chips and a drink, a cheeseburger meal with chips and a drink, the Boss Dog meal, featuring an enormous 1/3 pound hot dog, chips and a drink and a kids meal, featuring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Oreo cookies, a fruit cup and Capri Sun drink. The value meal options represent an average savings of $3, or 25%, per meal over the cost of the same items in 2008. Also, the Fast Franks program has been carried over to 2009, featuring four regular ready-to-eat hot dogs packaged together for $10. By offering improved and value-added concession items, Richmond International Raceway continues to work on enhancing the overall fan experience at the track. Tickets for both races can be purchased by calling 866-455-RACE (7223), by visiting www.rir.com or at the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Avenue.(RIR PR)(4-23-2009)

  • Charlie Daniels Band to perform at Richmond: Although the "Devil Went Down to Georgia," the band that performs that famous ditty will be in Virginia for the NASCAR doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway May 1-2, 2009. The Charlie Daniels Band will perform a free concert sponsored by Lipton Iced Tea on the midway Friday, May 1, at 5:15 p.m. at the Lipton display area, located near the flag pole in the center of the midway. The Charlie Daniels Band concert is just one of many free activities to enjoy at Richmond International Raceway May 1-2. While at the Lipton display, guests can try a free sample of Lipton iced tea, a sandwich made with Hellmann's mayonnaise and a Klondike bar. In addition to the concert, Chevy Fan Fest-which features show cars and games, interactive midway displays, product samples and parking-are all free on raceway property during the May 1-2 weekend. Guests will want to stick around after the band's performance because the night's main event-the Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race-is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. "under the lights" at America's Premier Short Track. Charlie Daniels is scheduled to perform the National Anthem during pre-race ceremonies. Please log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223) for tickets and information.(RIR PR)(4-8-2009)

  • RIR works with local hotels for reduced rates: Richmond International Raceway is working with hotels in the Richmond region to promote special lodging rates and offers to race fans for the NASCAR Doubleheader weekend May 1-2 at America's Premier Short Track. In conjunction with the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Richmond International Raceway is reaching out to area hotel owners and management and offering the opportunity to promote compelling lodging deals to race fans, which will include being listed on the track's official web site www.rir.com. On the initial list of hotels offering significant deals, some of the 2009 race weekend rates are 20-50% lower compared to 2008 race weekend prices, and many of the hotels on the list have reduced or eliminated the minimum stay requirement for the upcoming May race weekend. The hotel program is another way Richmond International Raceway is working to make race weekends at America's Premier Short Track more affordable and enjoyable for its fans. Please log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223) for tickets and information.(RIR PR)(3-30-2009)

  • RIR economic impact is $467 million: Richmond International Raceway generates an annual economic impact of $467 million, as evidenced by a study conducted by the Washington Economics Group, Inc. Included in the study are two NASCAR weekends, one IndyCar weekend and the ongoing operations of Richmond Raceway Complex. These economic activities create more than 7,700 permanent jobs in Virginia, resulting in $186 million in annual labor income. The economic study utilized the IMPLAN model, which quantifies the direct and indirect benefits of economic activity. The study, which analyzed operating and other expenditures made by Richmond International Raceway, as well as expenditures made by out-of-town visitors to the Commonwealth of Virginia shows that Richmond International Raceway:
    * Generates $467 million annually in total economic activity, with $278 million of that in direct economic benefit.
    * Operations result in more than 7,700 permanent jobs for Virginia residents, generating an annual income labor of $186 million, benefiting workers in all sectors of the state's economy.
    * Creates $286 million toward Virginia's gross state product each year. Referred to by economists as "added value," this is the portion of business revenues that provides compensation to workers and capital income.
    * Annually generates almost $85 million in tax revenues, made up of federal, state and local taxes.
    The only state to host four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (two at Richmond International Raceway and two at Martinsville Speedway), the Commonwealth of Virginia sees a combined annual economic impact of $637 million. Richmond International Raceway hosts two NASCAR doubleheader weekends and one IndyCar Series weekend each year. The track's property encompasses just over 1,000 acres and features 112,029 seats. During NASCAR event weekends, Richmond International Raceway hosts guests from all 50 states and more than a dozen foreign countries.(RIR PR)(3-29-2009)

  • Airtran Airways offer 10% off flights to Richmond: On the heels of Richmond-area hotels offering reduced lodging rates and reducing or eliminating minimum night stays, AirTran Airways will be offering 10% off flights to Richmond International Airport for the May 1-2 NASCAR doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway. As part of AirTran Airways' EventSavers program, travelers can receive 10% off their flight to Richmond by calling 866-68EVENT (866-683-8368) and using event code: RIC050109. With the EventSavers program, the airline known for everyday low fares is now offering a way to save even more on airfare. With one call, travelers can receive a 10% savings off the flight cost to Richmond for the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Richmond International Raceway, May 1-2. Additional benefits of EventSavers include: no overnight stay or minimum stay requirement, priority advance seat assignments at time of ticketing and special event rates from Hertz. For race tickets and information, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).(3-28-2009)

  • Crown Royal Presents the "Your Name Here" 400 contest announced: An elaborate ceremony Friday at Daytona International Speedway revealed Russell Friedman, a two-time Purple Heart recipient, as the grand-prize winner of the third annual Crown Royal Presents the "Your Name Here" 400 contest. When Friedman accepted the prize - naming rights to the May 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway - he spoke of how his efforts could not be recognized alone and that it was important to honor all the individuals who serve our country. Friedman lives in Huntington Station, NY, and was chosen from a group of seven finalists from around the country based on a submission that detailed his experience serving in Iraq. The race at Richmond International Raceway on May 2, 2009 will now be titled "Crown Royal Presents the Russell Friedman 400."
    "Winning the Crown Royal 'Your Name Here' 400 contest is absolutely amazing and truly an overwhelming experience," said Friedman. "Not only do I get to live out one of my dreams, but I get a chance to help recognize all the American soldiers who defend our freedoms on a day-to-day basis and definitely deserve a toast with Crown Royal." Throughout the contest, finalists submitted online or video entries describing an honorable act or achievement worthy of toasting with Crown Royal Canadian whisky. Nearly 5,000 entries were received, detailing a myriad of achievements from the heroics of firefighters to dedicated fathers going the extra mile. The ceremony to unveil Friedman as the winner included a 20-foot replica Crown Royal bottle featuring his name as part of the Richmond race logo and was draped with an oversized iconic purple bag for two days leading up to the announcement. A countdown clock ticked away while seven finalists waited with great anticipation as NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray and representatives from Crown Royal and Richmond International Raceway pulled down the bag to reveal the grand-prize winner's name.
    The Russell Friedman 400 will be incorporated into all official race logos, used for thousands of pieces of merchandise and recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. In addition, Friedman will take part in pre-race festivities at Richmond International Raceway, and participate in the trophy presentation to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During the race weekend he will receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest. Leading up to the big day in Richmond, Crown Royal will continue to remind fans to "Be A Champion. Drink Responsibly." through Safe Rides Home designated driver initiatives and other programming designed to reinforce the importance of drinking responsibly. For tickets to events at Richmond International Raceway, call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com online.(RIR PR)(2-14-2009)

  • Richmond restructures ticket prices in Henrico Grandstand: Richmond International Raceway announced a ticket price restructuring for the Henrico Grandstand at America's Premier Short Track. For the 2009 season, more than 18,000 Sprint Cup Series tickets will be affected in the restructuring. Tickets currently on sale for the May 2 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and for events for the foreseeable future will reflect the new ticket price restructuring. Rows 1-5 of the Henrico Grandstand are now $40 per ticket and rows 6-15 are now $55 per ticket. The restructured prices reflect a 50% and 25% decrease, respectively, from the May 2008 prices. Fans currently seated in these areas affected by the price restructuring have already been contacted by raceway officials. Fans seated in other areas of the facility who are interested in relocating to the Henrico Grandstand can do so by calling the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(1-11-2009)

  • Tix on sale at RIR on Sat.: It's that time of year when bargain hunters hit the shopping malls for holiday gifts. Well, skip the lines and get your NASCAR tickets at Richmond International Raceway on Green Flag Saturday-December 6. Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race go on sale Saturday, December 6, and are available online at www.rir.com, by calling the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or visiting the ticket office at 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA 23222. All seats are reserved and tickets start at $60.(RIR PR)(12-4-2008)

  • RIR Fifth Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Date Set: Everyone in the community is invited to join Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz for Richmond International Raceway's fifth annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, December 2 at 7:00pm. A festive way to kick off the holiday season, the ceremony features an illumination of the raceway's holiday tree, music and fun for the entire family. WRIC-TV8 meteorologist Matt DiNardo will serve as master of ceremonies. The ceremony will take place on Richmond International Raceway's front yard, located at 600 East Laburnum Avenue (corner of Laburnum Ave. and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Rd.). Students from Laburnum Elementary School will provide tree decorations and musical entertainment. Students from L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will also provide decorations. The Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warrior Band will perform, as well. Additionally, Henrico High School's football boosters will be serving complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. Attendees are also encouraged to bring items for the Central Virginia Foodbank food drive and the Marine Toys for Tots toy drive. Richmond International Raceway will match all food and toy donations received at the track, can-for-can and toy-for-toy.(RIR PR)(11-30-2008)

  • RIR funds two local classroom projects: In its continuing effort to support the needs of local public school classrooms in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area, Richmond International Raceway officials announced recently that they are continuing their donations to various classrooms in need in its community. With the 2008-2009 school year in full swing, Richmond International Raceway Cares-the track's charitable foundation-made its first two donations of the new school year to two local classrooms this week. In partnership with DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit website that connects classrooms in need with individuals and companies who want to make a difference through financial assistance, Richmond International Cares is funding a project at Arthur Ashe Jr. Elementary School in Henrico County and another project at Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School in the City of Richmond.
    The donation to Arthur Ashe Jr. Elementary School will support Ms. Chmil's second graders in their quest to master their reading, writing and phonics skills. The students will benefit from hands-on materials that will assist them in this endeavor.
    The donation to Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School will assist Ms. Booker's kindergarten through fifth grade math classes as they learn mathematical facts and concepts. The students will receive illustration books, enabling them to create stories that incorporate multiplication problems.
    DonorsChoose.org is dedicated to addressing the lack of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. All donors are able to select the specific projects that they feel will have the biggest impact. Each project proposal is screened by DonorsChoose.org.(RIR PR)(11-19-2008)

  • All RIR General Admission Seats for 2009 On Sale Now: General admission seats for the 2009 Nationwide Series, IndyCar Series and USAC races at Richmond International Raceway are on sale now. The 2009 racing season at Richmond International Raceway kicks off on Friday, May 1, when the Nationwide Series returns for the Lipton Tea 250 race. General admission seats are $35. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections only. The final race weekend of 2009 hits the track on Friday, September 11, when NASCAR returns for another doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Friday night's Nationwide Series race will feature all of the up and coming young guns, series veterans, as well as some Sprint Cup Series drivers all mixing it up on the -mile oval for a night of old school, short track action. General admission seats are $35. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections only. All remaining tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Sprint Cup Series race, which is set for May 2, 2009, will go on sale Saturday, December 6. Additionally, reserved seats for the Lipton Tea 250 will be available on December 6. For tickets and information, please call the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or log on to www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(10-30-2008)

  • Deadline for Tix Renewal for May Richmond Race approaching: Guests who wish to renew their tickets for the May 1-2, 2009 NASCAR doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway must do so before the October 31 deadline by calling the ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or logging on to the renewal information page at www.rir.com. After renewals have been processed, Richmond International Raceway will begin its seat relocation period, which runs from November 15 through November 21. During this time, all guests who have renewed their tickets by the October 31 deadline will have the opportunity to relocate their seats, if they choose to do so, by calling the ticket office. After November 21, no further relocation requests will be taken. Additionally, Richmond International Raceway has implemented a new-for-2009 Half Now, Half Later payment plan. Our flexible payment plan makes getting to the races this season even easier. With the Half Now, Half Later plan, only half of your total amount due will be charged on the renewal deadline-October 31, 2008. The remaining balance will be automatically charged February 2, 2009. The May 1-2 NASCAR doubleheader weekend includes the Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, May 1, and the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, May 2.(RIR PR)(10-26-2008)

  • Richmond's sellout streak ends at 33: Sunday's crowd at Ricmond International Raceway was estimated at 110,000 - about 2,000 short of capacity. It ended Richmond's streak of 33 consecutive sellouts.(Virginian-Pilot)(9-8-2008)

  • Richmond Race Tix Information for Sunday: Due to the postponement of both the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race - originally scheduled for Friday night - and the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race - originally scheduled for Saturday night - Richmond International Raceway will now host both races on Sunday, September 7. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 is scheduled for a 1pm/et start on Sunday and only Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 will be honored for admission. Following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race, all fans must exit the track. The grandstands will be cleared, then closed, between races.
    The Emerson Radio 250 Series race is scheduled for a 7pm/et start later on Sunday. The grandstands are scheduled to reopen at 6pm/et. and only Nationwide Series tickets for the Emerson Radio 250 will be honored for admission. Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race tickets will not be accepted for admission to the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race. Chevy Rock & Roll 400 ticket holders who also have tickets to the Emerson Radio 250 must also exit the track between races and reenter when the grandstands reopen at 6pm/et.
    Tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 - "One Last Race To Make The Chase"- are still available by calling 866-455-RACE (7223) or visiting www.rir.com. All seats are reserved and start at $80. Tickets are also available for the Emerson Radio 250 with general admission tickets priced at $40 and reserved seats price at $50. Children 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult in general admission sections for the Emerson Radio 250 race only.(RIR PR)(9-6-2008)

  • Traffic Alert for Sept 7th at RIR: Guests attending the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race on Sunday, September 7, scheduled for 7:00pm/et, are encouraged to arrive at Richmond International Raceway no later than 4:00pm/et, due to the egress of traffic following the 1:00pm/et start of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race.
    Track officials, working with Henrico County Police, are anticipating a heavy egress of traffic following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, which may cause lane modifications for guests entering Richmond International Raceway for the Emerson Radio 250.
    Additionally, track officials are encouraging guests attending the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 to arrive early to avoid anticipated heavy traffic. Richmond International Raceway's parking lots will open at 7:00am/et on Sunday. Guests are encouraged to avoid Wilkinson Road, due to the closure of one lane for bridge repair. Please note that travel routes are subject to change throughout the day by the Henrico County Police Department based on traffic conditions. As of 3:00pm/et [Sept 6th], there have been no road closures in Henrico County. Guests can stay tuned to WRVA 1140 AM for traffic updates. Track and county officials appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to efficiently get all guests in and out of Richmond International Raceway property in a safe and timely manner.(RIR PR)(9-6-2008)

  • Latest Statement from Richmond International Raceway about postponed races: Due to inclement weather from Tropical Storm Hanna, NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway officials have announced all weekend activities, including tonight's Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race, as well as tomorrow night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race have been postponed to Sunday. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled to start at 1:00pm/et. Sunday. The Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will follow the Sprint Cup Series race at 7:00pm/et.
    All Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race tickets will be honored at the gate Sunday for the 1:00pm Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
    All Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race tickets will be honored at the gate Sunday for the 7:00pm Emerson Radio 250.
    Track parking lots will open at 7:00am/et Sunday. The track credential office, NASCAR registration, media center and press box all will open at 7:30am/et. The Sprint Cup Series garage will open at 8:00am/et.
    Sprint Cup Series Hospitality, Suites, Pit Stop Club and Green Flag Zone will open at 8:00am. Sprint Cup Series TORQUE Club guests will also enter at 8:00am. Grandstand gates for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race will open at 10:00am. Sprint Cup Series Pre-Race pit pass access is from 8:00 - 11:45am/et.
    The Nationwide Series garage will open at 3:00pm/et. Nationwide Series TORQUE Club and Suite guests will enter at 5:00pm. Grandstand gates for the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will open at 6:00pm.
    The Three Days Grace concert is tentatively scheduled to run from 11:15 a.m. - Noon on the frontstretch on Sunday. Fans can obtain passes to view the concert from the track at the Chevy Fan Fest display on the Midway.
    The Richmond International Raceway ticket office will be open from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for both races can also be purchased at the main ticket office, Gate 40, Gate 80 and on the Commonwealth Mall, at the will call building, on Sunday. Sprint Cup Series tickets start at $80 and Nationwide Series tickets start at $40. Tickets for both races can also be purchased online by clicking here. More info about Park and Ride, Parking and more can be found at rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-5-2008)

  • Statement's from Richmond International Raceway about impact of Hanna UPDATE 4: "Given the projected path of Tropical Storm Hanna, we are working closely with NASCAR, as well as state and local government officials to monitor the path and potential impact of the storm. As always, the safety of our fans, competitors and the local community is of the utmost importance to Richmond International Raceway. This weekend's events are currently scheduled to run as planned but we will provide updates at www.rir.com and 877-251-7223, as to their status at least twice daily, or as needed. Fans who have purchased ticket insurance and have questions specific to the insurance can call World Access at 800-628-6188."(RIR PR)(9-2-2008)
    UPDATE: As of 11:00am/et Wednesday, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned. The Main and Laburnum campgrounds opened at 7:00am this morning (Wednesday) and the Specialty campground will open as scheduled at 7:00am tomorrow (Thursday). We [RIR] are continuing to work closely with NASCAR, as well as state and local government officials to monitor the path and potential impact of Tropical Storm Hanna. As always, the safety of our fans, competitors and the local community continues to be of the utmost importance to Richmond International Raceway. They will provide an update on our website [www.rir.com], as well as on the Richmond International Raceway information line at 877-251-7223 at 7:00pm/et tonight.(RIR PR)(9-3-2008)
    UPDATE 2: As of 6:00pm Wednesday, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned. The Specialty Campground will open as scheduled at 7:00am Thursday. As Tropical Storm Hanna's path continually changes, we will continue to work closely with NASCAR, as well as state and local government officials to monitor its path and potential impact. As always, the safety of our fans, competitors and the local community continues to be of the utmost importance to Richmond International Raceway. The next update will be at 11:00am Thursday morning on our website [www.rir.com] and at 877-251-7223.(RIR)(9-3-2008)
    UPDATE 3: As of 11:00am/et Thursday, based on the latest information about the projected path of Tropical Strom Hanna, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned. RIR is continuing to work closely with NASCAR, local government officials and meteorologists to monitor the path and potential impact of the storm. As always, the safety of fans, competitors and the local community is of the utmost importance to Richmond International Raceway. If you have already purchased ticket insurance and have questions specific to the insurance you have already purchased, please contact World Access at 800-628-6188. RIR's next update will come at 7:00pm/et Thursday at www.rir.com and at 877-251-7223.(RIR PR)(9-4-2008)
    UPDATE 4: "Richmond International Raceway is working hand-in-hand with the Governor's office, as well as other state and local officials, National Weather Service officials and NASCAR, to monitor the path and potential impact of Tropical Storm Hanna. As of 6:00pm/et. Thursday, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned, however, we will continue to provide updates at www.rir.com and 877-251-7223, as to their status every three hours beginning Friday morning at 9:00am/et/et. We are in constant communication with the Governor's office and will provide updates as they become available."(RIR PR)(9-4-2008)
    UPDATE 5 9/5 9am/et: "Richmond International Raceway officials are currently meeting with weather officials and NASCAR, to monitor the path and potential impact of Tropical Storm Hanna. As of 9:00am/et. Friday, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned, however, we will continue to provide updates at 877-251-7223 and at www.rir.com, as to their status every three hours. The next update is scheduled for 12noon/et.(9-5-2008)
    UPDATE 6 - 9/5 12pm/et: Richmond International Raceway officials met with weather officials and NASCAR this morning to monitor the path and potential impact of Tropical Storm Hanna. They are continuing to work closely with the Governor's office, as well as state and local officials as the storm continues moving Northeast. As of 12noon/et Friday, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned, however, they will continue to provide updates at 877-251-7223 and at www.rir.com, as to their status every three hours. The next update is scheduled for 3:00pm/et Friday.(RIR PR)(9-5-2008)
    UPDATE 7 - 9/5 3pm/et: Richmond International Raceway officials are currently meeting with Henrico County officials, weather officials and NASCAR to monitor the path and potential impact of Tropical Storm Hanna. They are continuing to work closely with the Governor's office as well, as the storm continues a Northwestern path. As of 3:00pm/et Friday, this weekend's events are scheduled to run as planned, however, they will continue to provide updates at 877-251-7223 and at www.rir.com, as to their status every three hours. The next update is scheduled for 6:00pm/et Friday.
    Should an event be postponed due to weather, it is NASCAR's policy to run the event on the next raceable day.(RIR PR)

  • Local Richmond GM dealer to wave green flag at RIR: J.Theodore "Ted" Linhart is known for giving away pawpaw plants and selling cars banged up by a tornado, but tomorrow he will take on a new role: race starter. Linhart will climb onto the flag stand above the start-finish line at Richmond International Raceway and wave the green flag to start tomorrow's Chevy Rock & Roll 400. For Linhart, owner of Dominion Auto Group, the role of honorary starter at a NASCAR race is a dream come true. "I feel like a little kid throwing the first pitch at Yankee Stadium," he said. Chevrolet, a GM brand, is the title sponsor of the Sprint Cup race and gets to choose the honorary starter. The honorary starter is introduced at the start of the race, gets to attend the pre-race drivers' meeting and waves the green flag, a RIR spokesman said.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-5-2008)

  • Grand Marshall at RIR: Giving the most famous command in motorsports - Craig Monahan, a retired New York City firefighter - will serve as Grand Marshal for the 6th annual Chevy Rock and Roll 400. Monahan was a first responder during the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He will spend the weekend as a Chevy VIP guest where he will be honored for his heroic contributions. "When Chevy extended this opportunity to me to be Grand Marshal for the race, I was elated. To get a behind the scenes look at America's fastest growing sport and have such an important duty at the race is exciting and a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Monahan. "I don't consider myself heroic. It was my day off, I heard the news, jumped in my Silverado, and headed from Staten Island to the scene. It is in my nature, on or off duty, working or retired, to help those in need."(GM Racing PR)(9-3-2008)


    The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Trophy

  • RIR trophy to feature working guitar: When Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 winner visits Gatorade Victory Lane at Richmond International Raceway, he'll not only receive a fervent celebration with his team and owner, but he will also accept a piece of hardware that took three months to construct and refine into the piece of artwork that it truly is. For the fourth consecutive year, collaboration among Chevrolet, Paul Reed Smith Guitars and metal sculptor Karl Saar will result in a trophy valued at more than $20,000. Since 2005, the award for winning the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race has been a four-foot tall trophy incorporating a custom, fully functional PRS guitar engulfed in polished aluminum flames. The guitar, which can be removed and played, sits atop a mahogany pedestal and is painted to exactly match the color of the Official Pace Car.
    The paint design is quite an elaborate process. The paint codes used for the Pace Car are obtained from Chevy and directly applied to the trophy. There are several colors, along with a urethane topcoat, just like that used on the car. A meticulous process from start to finish, the paint design project takes about two weeks to complete. The colors this year are Crystal Black, Volcanic Red, O' So Sexy Red, Performance Yellow, Orange Glow and Sterling Silver.
    The polished aluminum flames are manufactured by Baltimore metal sculptor Karl Saar. Along with the flames, the 2007 and 2008 trophies include an aluminum depiction of Richmond International Raceway's D-shaped oval. Approximately 35 pounds of aluminum is used for this part of the project, which takes approximately 230 hours to construct and polish.
    "As soon as I jumped out of the car in Victory Lane, I noticed the trophy and asked one of the race officials if that was the one I actually got to take home," said Kurt Busch, winner of the 2005 Chevy Rock & Roll 400. "I couldn't believe it. It's just a really cool trophy-very unique. It stands out from all the others." The trophy is going on a media tour this week before going on display Saturday, September 6, prior to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400-"One Last Race to Make The Chase." The race sets the field for the top 12 drivers who will battle it out over the final 10 races to determine the Sprint Cup Series champion. Tickets, which start at $80, can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 866-455-7223 or logging on to www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-3-2008)

  • Pre-Race Concert at Richmond: Chevrolet will once again merge the heart-pounding sounds of rock and roll with the breathtaking excitement of NASCAR action at Richmond International Raceway, prior to the Saturday, September 6, Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race at America's Premier Short Track. Before the anticipation of "One Last Race to Make The Chase," modern rock band Three Days Grace will perform a pre-race concert at 5:45pm/et on Richmond International Raceway's frontstretch, near the start-finish line. Three Days Grace, comprised of Adam Gontier, Brad Walst, Neil Sanderson and Barry Stock, originated in 1997 in Ontario, Canada.
    Individuals with tickets to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway can get an up-close view of the Three Days Grace concert by visiting Chevy Fan Fest on the midway at Richmond International Raceway on September 6. By participating in the Chevy Challenge, each individual will receive two free passes (while supplies last) to watch the Three Days Grace performance on the frontstretch of the track. Race fans who don't already have tickets to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway can see their favorite Chevy drivers "under the lights" on Saturday, September 6 by purchasing tickets at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(8-26-2008)

  • Cup Tix for Richmond on sale Saturday: All remaining tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, scheduled for Saturday, September 6, will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, May 24 at 8:00am/et. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway marks "One Last Race to Make The Chase." After the checkered flag drops on Saturday, September 6, the field will be set for this season's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. For tickets and information, log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(5-23-2008)

  • RIR Sells Out Cup race: Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced this afternoon all grandstand seats for tonight's Sprint Cup Series race, the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400, have been sold. "Ticket sales were steady and we remained optimistic leading into this weekend," said Fritz. "The hard work of our staff and our continued effort to provide a first class experience for our fans continues to pay off." Tickets go on sale May 24 for "One Last Race to Make the Chase," the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race "under the lights" on Saturday, September 6, 2008. Tickets start at $80 and can be purchased at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(5-3-2008)

  • Statement from Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz on the Tornados in Colonial Heights and Suffolk, Virginia: "While Richmond International Raceway was not affected by the recent tornados in nearby Colonial Heights and Suffolk, Virginia, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and businesses affected by this devastation. At-track activities will go on as planned for this weekend's NASCAR doubleheader, the Lipton Tea 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night and the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night.(RIR)(5-1-2008)

  • Tix still available at for Richmond races: Tickets are still available for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series for the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Tickets are also available for the Friday, May 2, Lipton Tea 250 Nationwide Series race, which also includes Wawa Pole Qualifying and practice for the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400. To purchase tickets contact the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or online at www.rir.com. Friday's reserved tickets are $45 (in advance) and $50 (on race day) and general admission tickets are $35 (in advance) and $40 (on race day). Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult in general admission sections on Friday only.(4-29-2008)

  • Blue Angels to perform fly-over at Richmond: The sky above America's Premier Short Track will be invaded by the roaring engines of the internationally known Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron on Saturday, May 3, prior to the Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400 Sprint Cup Series race. In addition to the fly-by performance, some of the Blue Angels team members will be making appearances at America's Premier Short Track throughout the weekend. Several of the Blue Angels will visit the Green Flag Zone fan hospitality on Saturday, May 3, and the Party Zone fan hospitality on Friday, May 2. They will participate in question and answer sessions and sign autographs (time permitting).(RIR PR)(4-24-2008)

  • Crown Royal Awards Fan Naming Rights to Cup Race at RIR: In the second installment of the ground breaking "Your Name Here" contest, in which one fan will receive official naming rights to the 2008 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on May 3, 2008, Crown Royal announced Dan Lowry as the grand prize winner. From this point forward, the race will officially be entitled "Crown Royal Presents The Dan Lowry 400." As part of Crown Royal's first ever press conference from the sky, Dan Lowry, 29, of New Waterford, Ohio, took part in an elaborate unveiling ceremony in which several helicopters flew high above the Las Vegas Strip to a 10,000-square-foot desert mosaic featuring Lowry's name as part of the official race logo to be used at Richmond International Raceway. Lowry was one of two winners of the contest that were flown to Las Vegas to participate in the ceremony. While Lowry was awarded the grand prize, Tim Weiland, the first-prize winner of De Pere, Wisconsin, received a custom Stage 1 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang. Crown Royal selected the winners from approximately 10,000 written submissions chronicling consumers' fondest Crown Royal memories that were enjoyed in a responsible manner. In his winning entry, Lowry recalled a moment when he was working thousands of miles away from home in Venezuela. He wandered into a local restaurant where he didn't recognize any of the labels behind the bar until he caught sight of the iconic purple and gold Crown Royal bag that immediately reminded him of the fond memories of home. Lowry's name will be incorporated into all official race logos, used for thousands of pieces of merchandise and recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. In addition, Lowry will take part in pre-race festivities at Richmond International Raceway, and participate in the trophy presentation to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During the race weekend he will receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest.(RIR PR)(2-29-2008)

  • RIR to make monthly donation to classrooms: Recognizing the needs of local public school classrooms in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area, Richmond International Raceway officials announced that they will be making a monthly donation to a different classroom in need in its community. Working through DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit website that connects classrooms in need with individuals and companies who want to make a difference through financial assistance, Richmond International Raceway will fund various classroom projects throughout the school year. In December 2007, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine announced Virginia's participation in DonorsChoose.org, a website that links teachers' class project wish lists with citizen philanthropists. Nearly 300 state teachers' projects had been added to the site before the expansion to Virginia was officially named. Richmond International Raceway begins its campaign to further enhance local public school classrooms by funding the "Building Vocabulary That Lasts a Lifetime" project at Glen Lea Elementary School in Henrico County. The project will benefit a third-grade classroom of students who have demonstrated a desire to increase their vocabulary. Each student will be provided with their own personal vocabulary tool kit to further develop their vocabularies. DonorsChoose.org was pioneered by teachers at a Bronx, New York public high school in 2000. DonorsChoose.org is dedicated to addressing the lack of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. All donors are able to select the specific projects that they feel will have the biggest impact. Each project proposal is screened by DonorsChoose.org. Richmond International Raceway's 2008 season is just around the corner. Tickets are available by calling 866-455-7223 or visiting www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(2-27-2008)

  • Limited Number of Commonwealth Mezzanine Tickets Available at RIR: Richmond International Raceway's new front stretch escalator system is progressing at a rapid pace, now that two of the six escalators have been installed in the Commonwealth Grandstand. In order to enhance the experience for those fans seated in the Commonwealth Mezzanine and Tower sections, a new escalator system will be in place in time for the May 2-3 NASCAR doubleheader weekend there. The escalator system will take fans from the ground level to the Commonwealth Mezzanine and the first row of the Commonwealth Tower, which will allow fans in these sections to access their seats easier and quicker than ever. The first two escalators, running from the ground to a platform below the Commonwealth Mezzanine, were installed January 25. The third and fourth escalators, which will run from the platform to the Commonwealth Mezzanine, are on track to be completed by February 9. The fifth and sixth escalators, which will run from the Commonwealth Mezzanine to the first row of the Commonwealth Tower, are projected to be completed by the end of February. Following the installation of the escalators, crews will begin work on cosmetics, which will be complete in time for the NASCAR Nationwide Series 250 and Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races May 2-3. Although tickets are sold out in the Commonwealth Tower, there is a unique and great way to grab a seat in the Commonwealth Mezzanine. The Cintas Pit Stop Club, an all-inclusive package for groups of eight, includes eight tickets in the Commonwealth Mezzanine for the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 race, as well as indoor, climate-controlled hospitality for each group on race day. The hospitality area includes a full dinner buffet and beverages, pit passes, souvenir programs and more for each person in the group. The Cintas Pit Stop Club package, which includes a reserved table for eight, is available for $2,400 per group. These packages can be purchased by calling 804-228-7611 or going to rir.com.(RIR PR)(2-11-2008)

  • Cup tix on sale at Richmond on Saturday: Tickets for the Saturday, May 3, Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, January 5, at 8:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.rir.com, by calling 1-866-455-7223 or 1-888-472-2849 or in person at the Richmond International Raceway ticket office located at 600 East Laburnum Avenue; Richmond, VA 23222. Additionally, tickets are currently available for the Friday, May 2, Nationwide Series 250 race. Tickets to Friday's race include practice and pole qualifying for both the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name here 400 and Nationwide Series 250 races.(RIR PR)(1-4-2008)

  • Richmond fans help RIR give back: With the holiday season in full swing, Richmond International Raceway is proud to announce the results of its successful campaign to benefit two area charities and ultimately, citizens in Henrico County and the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area. Starting Monday, November 19, and ending this past Friday, December 14, the Richmond International Raceway ticket office served as a drop-off point to donate new, unwrapped toys for the Marine Toys for Tots program and canned goods to help the Central Virginia Foodbank. With track president Doug Fritz pledging to match all donations at the track, toy-for-toy and can-for-can, area residents and race fans responded with incredible generosity. All told, nearly 700 new, unwrapped toys will find their way into the hands of area children through the Marine Toys for Tots program and hundreds of pounds of food will help Richmond-area residents during a time of need. In addition, Richmond International Raceway held its fourth annual Community Tree Lighting on Tuesday, December 4. Hundreds attended the event, which was highlighted by musical performances by Laburnum Elementary School students and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Through its more than 550 partner agencies, the Central Virginia Foodbank serves the hunger needs of 31 counties and six cities in the Central Virginia area.(RIR PR)(12-20-2007)

  • Richmond International Raceway to Host Community Tree Lighting December 4: Everyone in the community is invited to join Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz for Richmond International Raceway's fourth annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. A festive way to kick off the holiday season, the ceremony features an illumination of the raceway's 40-foot holiday tree, music and fun for the entire family. WRIC-TV8 meteorologist Matt DiNardo will serve as master of ceremonies. The ceremony will take place on Richmond International Raceway's front yard, located at 600 East Laburnum Avenue (corner of Laburnum Ave. and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Rd.).(RIR PR)(12-3-2007)

  • Commonwealth Grandstand Escalator Construction Begins; Seats Available: Richmond International Raceway took racing fans to new heights in 2007 and will do so even faster in 2008 with a new escalator system. Your opportunity to grab a seat in the Commonwealth Tower is just around the corner. Construction crews recently began work on a new escalator system for the frontstretch Commonwealth Mezzanine and Tower Grandstands, which is great news not only for current ticket holders in these grandstands, but also for those fans wishing to experience "Racing Perfection" for the first time in the best seats in the house. The construction will be complete in time for Richmond International Raceway's 2008 season-opening NASCAR doubleheader May 2-3. The project will include three escalators, which will take fans from the ground to the Commonwealth Mezzanine, as well as the first row of the Commonwealth Tower. The Commonwealth Grandstand escalators will allow fans seated in these sections to access their seats easier and quicker than ever. Richmond International Raceway officials are pleased to announce that a limited number of tickets will be available in the Commonwealth Tower, which offers an unprecedented view of the -mile track. The view from any seat in the Commonwealth Tower is one of the best in all of motorsports. These tickets are available only as season tickets, which includes all three race weekend at Richmond International Raceway in 2008. Tickets in the Commonwealth Tower will first be offered to current renewable ticket holders wishing to relocate their seats, beginning November 26 and extending through November 30. During this time, current renewable ticket holders wishing to relocate should call 1-866-455-7223 (from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday or 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET on weekends) or visit the Richmond International Raceway ticket office, located at 600 East Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA (from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday). Beginning December 1, customers on the ticket wait list will be given an opportunity to purchase tickets to Richmond International Raceway events, including seats in the Commonwealth Tower. Anyone on the wait list should call 1-866-455-7223 (from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday or 9:00am to 9:00pm/et on weekends) or visit the Richmond International Raceway ticket office, located at 600 East Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA (from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday). All remaining tickets for the May NASCAR doubleheader May 2-3 go on sale January 5. For more information on seats in the Commonwealth Tower, please call our ticket office at 1-866-455-7223, visit www.rir.com or stop by the ticket office at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike/Meadowbridge Road.(RIR PR)(11-26-2007)

  • Congrats: Richmond International Raceway's extended family grew a little larger Thursday. Jillian Margaret Turner-daughter of the track's Director of Public Relations, Aimee Turner, and her husband, Matthew Turner-entered into the world October 4, 2007, at 11:36 a.m. Jillian tips the scales at 6 lbs., 12 oz. and stretches 18-1/2 inches. Jillian is the Turners' first child.(RIR PR)(10-5-2007)

  • Richmond Cup race sold out: The Nextel Cup Series consecutive sellout streak at Richmond International Raceway has reached 32. All grandstand seats for the Saturday, September 8, Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race, the final race before the Chase for the Nextel Cup, are sold out, raceway officials announced today. The sellout mark's 16 season of consecutive Nextel Cup Series sellouts at America's Premier Short Track. While all the grandstand seats are sold out for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, fans can still purchase tickets for the Friday, September 7, Emerson Radio 250 Busch Series race. Reserved tickets for Friday's events are $45 (in advance) and $50 (on race day). General admission seats are $35 (in advance) and $40 (on race day). Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission sections with a ticketed adult on Friday. For tickets and information, please visit www.rir.com or call 1-866-455-7223.(RIR PR)(9-6-2007)

  • Only 1000 seats left at RIR for Cup race: Fewer than 96 hours before Nextel Cup invades Richmond International Raceway for Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400, there still are tickets remaining. RIR has sold out 31 consecutive races, and Director of Public Relations Aimee Turner expects this weekend to be no different. "We're quickly selling them now," Turner said. "We're going to sell out. It's not a question of, 'Are we,' but just which day we make the announcement. It will be very soon." Turner said fewer than 1,000 tickets remain, with most of them being scattered single seats.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-5-2007)

  • PRS Guitars' to provide trophy for Richmond: Over the past two years, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 trophy has become a celebrity in its own right. Posing for numerous photos with fans, getting plenty of attention from Nextel Cup Series drivers and participating in its own media tour, the one-of-a-kind award is becoming as recognizable as some of the most sought-after trophies in all of sports. Manufactured for the third consecutive year by PRS Guitars, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 trophy weighs in at about 75 pounds and features a custom PRS guitar engulfed in polished aluminum flames and is embedded within a 3-D polished aluminum rendition of Richmond International Raceway. The guitar, which is painted to match the paint scheme of the Chevrolet Impala SS Pace Car, sits atop a mahogany and maple pedestal.(RIR PR)(9-4-2007)

  • Daughtry to perform concert at Richmond: For the fifth straight year Chevrolet will bring together the sounds of rock and roll and the intensity of NASCAR racing during the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 8, with this year's event featuring a pre-race concert by Daughtry. The triple-platinum selling rock band will perform on the frontstretch near the start/finish line of Richmond International Raceway on September 8 at 5:45 p.m., prior to the start of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. Individuals with tickets to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway can get an up-close view of the Daughtry concert by visiting Chevy Fan Fest on the midway at RIR on September 8. By participating in the Chevy Challenge, each individual will receive two free passes to watch the Daughtry performance on the frontstretch of the track. Tickets can be purchased at www.rir.com or by calling the RIR ticket office at 1-866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(9-1-2007)

  • Tix still available for Richmond: Fans looking to be a part of one of the most prestigious events on the NASCAR schedule still have the opportunity to do so. A limited number of tickets remain for the Saturday, September 8, Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. As the 26th race on the schedule, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 marks the final race before The Chase for the Nextel Cup. After the checkered flag waves, the field will be set for The Chase. Only the top 12 drivers in the point standings will be eligible for the series championship. Tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race on Saturday, September 8, can be purchased by calling 1-866-455-7223 or visiting www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(8-31-2007)

  • Richmond Cup Tix on sale: Tickets for the Saturday, September 8, Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway are now on sale to the general public. Tickets can be purchased at www.rir.com or by calling 1-866-455-7223 or 1-888-472-2849 or in person at the Richmond International Raceway ticket office located at 600 East Laburnum Avenue; Richmond, VA 23222. Additionally, tickets are available for the Friday, September 7, Emerson Radio 250 Busch Series race.(RIR PR)(5-22-2007)

  • RIR Prez responds to Dale Jr. commnets about track surface: Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz was surprised as anyone to hear the comments from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. yesterday regarding his concerns about the track surface. "This is completely out of left field," said Fritz. "All of the comments I have heard about our track surface from the drivers have been overwhelmingly positive since we repaved it before the 2004 season. Between our two-day test session in early April and our races this past weekend, I did not hear one comment or concern regarding our track surface from Dale Earnhardt, Jr. or any other driver," said Fritz. "I'm always available and accessible to the drivers and I have received feedback from many of them over the years on a number of issues. I was in the garage frequently this past weekend and talked to many of the drivers, and there was no mention of any issues with the track surface. In fact, we've made numerous changes and enhancements at the drivers' request over the years, including concreting our pit stalls, taking out a kink in the backstretch wall, relocating the spotters' stand to a better location and many other improvements related to the competition side," continued Fritz. "Certainly, if there is a consensus among the drivers and NASCAR that we need to do something with this issue or any other, we will certainly take a look at it. Obviously, the drivers are busy today testing, but we have reached out to a number of them, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to talk about this." During testing Monday at Lowe's Motor Speedway Earnhardt told reporters, "The thing about Richmond, now honestly-they need to start sealing that track again. You ain't gonna have a second and third groove at Richmond if the sealer ain't up there to use. I don't know why that ain't registered in anybody's brain. I mean, when that track was good is when they were sealing it ever year...You know-hello?" Track officials have not applied any sealer to the asphalt after it was resurfaced prior to the 2004 season. Since it was repaved, the track has received rave reviews from the drivers-including Earnhardt-on the quality of the repaving job and the quality of the racing. "Considering his positive comments about our track and the repaving job during our test session last month and after his victory in last May's Crown Royal 400, I'm even more surprised at his statement," said Fritz. NASCAR has also not heard any complaints from any of the drivers. "Neither (Vice President, Competition) Robin Pemberton or (Nextel Cup Series Director) John Darby has heard anything from any of the drivers on this," said Kerry Tharp, Director of Communications, Competition, for NASCAR. This past weekend's Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400 featured more of the great side-by-side action Richmond International Raceway is known for. The race tied the track record for the most lead drivers (12) and fell one short of the record for the most lead changes (25), which has happened twice, most recently in March 1996.(RIR PR)(5-9-2007)

  • NASCAR donates $160,000 to Virginia Tech memorial fund: For the last three weeks, NASCAR's Nextel Cup cars have all displayed a Virginia Tech logo with a black background in a show of support for the victims and families of the massacre that left 33 dead in Blacksburg on April 16. On Saturday night the decals were just a symbol, and the support was something more tangible: money. In prerace introductions, Virginia drivers Jeff and Ward Burton, Elliott Sadler and Denny Hamlin presented Hokies football coach Frank Beamer with a check for $120,000 for the Hokies Spirit Memorial Fund. And Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz presented him with a check for $40,000, also for the memorial fund, that he said was given by RIR and some sister tracks also owned by International Speedway Corp.(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-6-2007)

  • Richmond Race Postponed: The Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 Nextel Cup Series race scheduled for this evening has been postponed due to inclement weather. The sold out race is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow and be broadcast live on FOX. All tickets for the race will be honored at the gate tomorrow. The grandstand gates, along with suites and the TORQUE Club, will open at 10:00 a.m. The parking lots will open at 6:30 a.m. Fans who held pre-race pit passes will be able to take pit tours from 10:00 to 11:45 a.m. The track credential office, NASCAR registration, media center and press box all will open at 9:00 a.m. The Nextel Cup Series garage will open at 10:00 a.m.(RIR PR)(5-6-2007)

  • Richmond Will Prosecute Fans Who Throw Objects: In lieu of incidents involving race fans last week at Talladega Superspeedway, Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz is reminding fans today that anyone throwing or attempting to throw any object on the track will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. "Behavior of this type displayed by any individual will not be tolerated at Richmond International Raceway. Those 14 fans from Talladega will not be permitted to ever purchase our tickets. While we do not expect that type of behavior at Richmond International Raceway, we are prepared as always with track security and Henrico County police officers positioned throughout the grandstands. We also have added security surveillance measures throughout the facility as another way to help ensure the safety of our fans, the drivers and NASCAR officials."(RIR PR)(5-5-2007)

  • Cup race at RIR is sold out, 31st consecutive: After adding nearly 8,000 additional seats to Richmond International Raceway's frontstretch during the off-season, track President Doug Fritz announced today all grandstand seats for the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 set for Saturday, May 5 "under the lights" have been sold. During the sellout streak, more than 2.4 million fans from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries have attended Nextel Cup Series events at RIR. The sellout marks the 31st straight Nextel Cup Series race that the grandstands will be full. The sellout streak at Richmond International Raceway reaches back 16 seasons to March 8, 1992 when Bill Elliott edged Alan Kulwicki for the win. Tickets for Friday night's Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI Busch Series race are available at www.rir.com or by calling the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(5-3-2007)

  • RIR offers another parking option: Following the successful launch of the "Park and Ride" program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot, fans attending Nextel Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway will now have another off-site option to park their cars and RVs. Starting with the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 on Saturday, May 5, fans can also park their cars and RV's at The Showplace and take a free shuttle ride to Richmond International Raceway. The Showplace is conveniently located less than three miles from Richmond International Raceway at 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike and is just -mile off of I-64 at exit 192. The cost for parking at The Showplace on Saturday, May 5 is just $5 per car and $25 per RV. The Showplace parking lot will open at 11:00 a.m. and offer a complimentary shuttle to and from the track beginning at Noon until after the checkered flag. The shuttle will operate continuously on Saturday with pick-up at the Showplace lot and drop-off at the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. Throughout the day and after the checkered flag, the shuttle service will have pick-up service back at the main entrance of Richmond International Raceway at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond will also continue to be open and offer free shuttle rides to fans on Nextel Cup Series race days. The shuttle service back to the Coliseum parking area resumes immediately after the conclusion of the Saturday, May 5 race from the track's main entrance. The shuttle is free but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. For a detailed map of the area, fans can visit www.richmondcoliseum.net/visitor_parking.asp.(RIR)(5-1-2007)

  • New Club and Grandstand at RIR Ready for Grand Opening: The new state-of-the-art TORQUE Club, part of the new Commonwealth Grandstand at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), is ready for business. With an incredible view of RIR and a breathtaking view of downtown Richmond, TORQUE and the new Commonwealth Grandstand will open to the public for the May 4-5 NASCAR doubleheader. The TORQUE Club, seats 700 people outside as part of the new Commonwealth Grandstand, while the inside of TORQUE has two full-service bars, buffet stations, a carving station, private restrooms and more than 60 FUNAI TV's as part of its 16,000-square feet of indoor, climate-controlled space. TORQUE is located on the middle level of RIR's new Commonwealth Grandstand, which is the cornerstone of the track's latest expansion project. The Commonwealth Grandstand is a 7,843-person, three-tiered structure that is two feet higher than the tower at Richmond International Airport, making it the tallest structure in Henrico County at 180-feet. In addition to the new Commonwealth Grandstand, construction crews removed 2,911 low-row seats in turns three and four. The net gain for 2007 is 4,932 seats, bringing the track's new capacity for 2007 to 112,029. A limited number of grandstand tickets are still available for the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 Nextel Cup Series race (Saturday, May 5). Tickets are also still available for the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI Busch Series race (Friday, May 4). Additionally, fan hospitality passes are available for Saturday's Green Flag Zone and Friday's Party Zone. Tickets and information are available by calling the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 1-866-455-7223 or visiting www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(4-27-2007)

  • RIR to remain an impound race: Nextel Cup teams better make good use of their car of tomorrow test April 3-4 at Richmond International Raceway because they won't get separate qualifying and race practice when they go there for the May 4-5 race weekend. Richmond remains an impound race, just as it was for both races last year, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Friday. The Friday-Saturday schedule of the Richmond weekend allows for the impound procedure - where there is no practice between qualifying and the race - to make the schedule a little less hectic. While Richmond remains an impound race, when the teams go the following week to Darlington Raceway, they will not have their cars impounded. Darlington was not an impound race last year. Darlington also will be a COT race, and that will be the first COT race at a track longer than a mile [1.36miles].(SceneDaily.com)(3-25-2007)

  • COT Test at Richmond open to public: Fans will have an opportunity to catch virtually all of the Busch and Nextel Cup Series drivers at Richmond International Raceway March 27-28 and April 3-4 during official test sessions-which are free and open to the public-in preparation for the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI (Friday, May 4) and The Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 (Saturday, May 5) at America's Premier Short Track. For Busch Series fans, their favorite drivers from America's number two motorsports series will test on Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 28 from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The following week, Nextel Cup Series drivers will test the Car of Tomorrow [by then it will be the Car of Today] on Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4 from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Nextel Cup Series test will be the drivers' first official opportunity to drive the Car of Tomorrow (COT) at Richmond International Raceway. Both 2007 Nextel Cup Series races at America's Premier Short Track-the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 and Chevy Rock & Roll 400-will feature the Car of Tomorrow. The Grandstands will be open all four days from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and there is no charge for admission. While these test sessions are open and free to the public, tickets are still available for both NASCAR races at Richmond International Raceway May 4-5. A limited amount of tickets remain for the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 Nextel Cup Series race (Saturday, May 5) and the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch Series race (Friday, May 4)-both "under the lights." For tickets and information, please call 1-866-455-7223 or visit www.rir.com(RIR PR)(3-15-2007)

  • Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400 at RIR: For the first time in history, a major sporting event will depict the name of a fan. As part of a ceremony held today, Fri., Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway, Crown Royal awarded Jim Stewart from Houma, La., the naming rights to the spring Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), which will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2007. As part of the Crown Royal "Your Name Here 400" promotion, Stewart's name will shine "under the lights" at RIR and will forever be engraved into the archives of sports history as the race's official title - "Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400." Much like other race entitlement sponsorships, Stewart's name will be recognized by broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. As guest of honor, Stewart will wave the green flag to start the race, as well as participate in the check and trophy presentations to the race winner in Victory Lane. Crown Royal judged the finalists based on written and video submissions chronicling consumers' favorite "Crown-Worthy" moments, which is defined as a memorable moment or occasion deemed "worthy" of toasting with a Crown Royal cocktail in a responsible manner (i.e., big promotion at work, bowling the perfect game, etc.). Stewart's winning entry chronicled his moments growing up fishing with his father and later christening his own fishing boat with a toast to his father. Much like other race entitlement sponsorships, Stewart's name will be recognized by NASCAR's broadcast and media partners as the race's official title. As guest of honor at RIR, Stewart will take part in pre-race festivities, as well as participate in the check and trophy presentations to the race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. During race weekend he will also receive VIP accommodations for himself and a guest. In total, Crown Royal received nearly 15,000 entries to the "Your Name Here 400" contest between May 6 and November 23, 2006, and the nine finalists were selected by a panel of judges on the basis of originality, relevance, appeal and clarity of their submissions. Each finalist received a prize package that included: race tickets, infield access, pre-race row tour of the garage, air travel and hotel accommodations to the 2007 Daytona 500. In its continuous efforts to utilize national platforms to promote responsible drinking, Crown Royal also made a donation of $50,000 to RADD (Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving) - based on total submissions received - to help the organization's fight against drunk driving. Furthermore, Crown Royal announced that the "Your Name Here 400" contest will continue in 2007, where the official name of the spring 2008 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond will be awarded to another adult fan.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(2-16-2007)

  • Crown Royal to announce winner of RIR named race at Daytona: Crown Royal Championship Racing will fill in the blanks next month during a unique, first-of-its-kind ceremony at Daytona International Speedway. Currently, Richmond International Raceway's spring Nextel Cup Series race is dubbed the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400. During the week leading up to the Daytona 500, which is set for Sunday, February 18, one of 10 lucky finalists will put his or her name in the "Your Name" slot. Crown Royal announced the "Your Name Here 400" promotion at last year's Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Since then, Crown Royal has judged written and video submissions chronicling consumers' favorite "Crown-Worthy" moments. A "Crown-Worthy" moment is defined as a memorable moment or occasion deemed "worthy" of toasting with a Crown Royal cocktail in a responsible manner. The grand prize winner's name will be recognized by broadcast and media partners as the race's official title (i.e., Crown Royal Presents The Joe Smith 400). As guest of honor at Richmond International Raceway, the winner will participate in several raceday activities and receive VIP accommodations. In total, more than 30,000 entries were submitted to the "Your Name Here 400" contest between May 6 and November 23, 2006, and the 10 finalists were selected by a panel of judges on the basis of originality, relevance, appeal and clarity of their submissions. Each finalist receives a prize package which includes race tickets, infield access, pre-race tour of the garage, air travel and hotel accommodations to this year's Daytona 500.(RIR PR)(1-31-2007)

  • Nextel Cup Series Tickets on Sale this Saturday at Richmond: Nextel Cup Series Tickets on Sale this Saturday: For those fans who don't already have tickets to the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Nextel Cup Series race on Saturday, May 5 at Richmond International Raceway, their opportunity to purchase tickets is just around the corner! What few tickets may remain for the Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 at Richmond International Raceway will go on sale to the general public this Saturday, January 27 at 8:00am/et. Tickets can be purchased on www.rir.com or by calling 1-866-455-7223 or 1-888-472-2849 or in person at the Richmond International Raceway ticket office. Also, children 12 years of age and under are admitted free in general admission sections only with a ticketed adult for RIR's Busch Series races.(RIR PR)(1-25-2007)

  • Richmond's new tower 75% complete: With Richmond International Raceway's Commonwealth Grandstand approximately 75% complete, local media members recently received a sneak preview of the ongoing construction project that will add nearly 5,000 seats for the 2007 season. The tour included a visit to the highest level of the new grandstand, the Commonwealth Tower, which provides an incredible birds-eye view of the track and a breathtaking, panoramic view of downtown Richmond and the surrounding counties. The Commonwealth Grandstand, which is on schedule to be completed in time for the May 4-5 NASCAR doubleheader at Richmond International Raceway, will feature three new levels: the Lower Mezzanine, the 700-person TORQUE club and the Commonwealth Tower. Over the past 45 days, construction crews have installed all of the seats in the Commonwealth Tower and Lower Mezzanine levels and extensive progress has been made in TORQUE, including the installation of electrical, plumbing and HVAC equipment. The project team will begin to hang dry wall in TORQUE by February 5 and begin interior work by March 1. The 180-foot grandstand is the tallest structure in Henrico County and is approximately two feet higher than the tower at Richmond International Airport. Towns and landmarks more than 30 miles away are visible from the top of the grandstand. Once completed, the new capacity of Richmond International Raceway will rise from 107,097 to 112,029. Included in the project will be 7,843 seats in the new Commonwealth Grandstand and the removal of 2,911 seats in turns three and four. Although seats in the new Commonwealth Grandstand are already sold out, there is good news for fans who have been on the waiting list for Richmond International Raceway tickets. Because existing season ticket holders upgraded to the now sold-out Commonwealth Grandstand, other seats have been vacated, which means many fans on the waiting list will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to see the non-stop excitement at America's Premier Short Track. Those fans who are already on the waiting list can expect notification of how to purchase tickets by next week. Fans who missed the waiting list deadline can still register for future events by calling 1-866-455-7223 or logging on to www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(1-13-2007)

  • Work Completed for Fuel Change at Richmond: With NASCAR switching to unleaded fuel for the 2007 season, workers drained and cleaned the fuel tanks in the Richmond International Raceway infield last week. After the Daytona 500, all teams will switch to an unleaded fuel with a 98 octane rating. Several Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series races in 2006 successfully used the unleaded fuel. The leaded fuel used in past seasons had a 112 octane rating. In addition, the IndyCar Series will switch to 100% fuel-grade ethanol for the 2007 season. Last year, the series used fuel enriched with 10% ethanol. Ethanol, which is made from renewable agricultural products such as corn, is environmentally friendly while maintaining superior performance.(RIR PR)(12-22-2006)

  • Richmond's New Grandstand one step closer to completion: The construction of Richmond International Raceway's (RIR) Commonwealth Grandstand-a three-tiered, 18-story grandstand addition-reached a new milestone this week, as the final beam of the framework was installed at the top of the tower's elevator shaft. The occasion was marked with a celebration known in the construction world as a "Topping Out" ceremony. RIR's staff, representatives from Henrico County, construction crew members and media members all signed the final beam before it was hoisted more than 180 feet atop the grandstand. Construction of the Commonwealth Grandstand at RIR is on schedule to be finished in time for the 2007 season. Once construction is complete, the new grandstand addition will feature three new levels, including a state-of-the-art 16,000-square foot Club Level. Nearly 5,000 seats will be added (approximately 7,800 seats in the new grandstand minus approximately 3,000 lower row seats which are being removed in turns three and four) to bring RIR's total capacity to 112,029. Now that the final beam is in place, construction crews will begin work on framing in the grandstand and working on the interior. All seats in the Commonwealth Grandstand addition will include seatbacks and cup holders. The highest seat will be twice as high as the current highest seat at RIR. The Club Level includes access to the indoor, air-conditioned lounge; multiple buffets and fully-stocked bars; outdoor, reserved stadium seating with in-seat service; reserved parking; private elevator and restroom access; a pre-race pit pass; a souvenir event program and a limited edition appreciation gift. For more information on the Club Level, please call 804-228-7636. Tickets for the 2007 season at Richmond International Raceway are available now, call 1-866-455-7223 log on to www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(11-30-2006)

  • Construction for New RIR Grandstands Right On Track: Construction of the new Commonwealth Mezzanine, Club and Commonwealth Tower is right on track, as crews completed the first half of the concrete pour for all three levels. More than 60% of the steel for the nearly 8,000-seat grandstand expansion is complete. By the beginning of December, construction crews hope to have all the steel completed and finalize the other half of the concrete pour. The next step in the massive construction effort on Richmond International Raceway's frontstretch includes the completion of an elevator shaft and roughed in plumbing and electricity. Seats will begin to be installed in early December. The project is right on track to be completed prior to the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI and Crown Royal presents The Your Name Here 400 race weekend May 4-5, 2007.(RIR PR)(11-7-2006)

  • Congrats: Richmond International Raceway is proud to announce its latest addition to the family. Gavin David Green, son of Keith Green, Director of Public Relations and wife Donna, joined the Richmond International Raceway family Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 8:27 p.m. Gavin weighed in at 7 lbs. 15 oz. and was 21 inches long. Mom, dad and baby are all doing well. Well-wishes can be sent to Richmond International Raceway at 600 E. Laburnum Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222.(RIR PR)(10-21-2006)

  • Richmond Construction Update - New Grandstand Taking Shape: Construction crews are hard at work adding to Richmond's skyline, as nearly 1/3 of the framework for Richmond International Raceway's new 7,800-seat, 18-story frontstretch grandstand is now complete. Beams for the lower mezzanine seats and for the stairs leading to the lower mezzanine and club levels are also in place. Workers have also poured the concrete for the elevator shaft and kitchen floors. According to David Wright of Taylor and Parrish, Inc., the lead construction and design company for the project, close to 40 workers are working full-time during this phase. As the work intensifies and the framework nears completion, the workforce will double to nearly 80, as contractors for specialties like electricity and plumbing will be needed.
    Some upcoming key milestones and their approximate completion dates include:
    November 25: Begin framework of elevator shaft.
    November 30: Framework for entire grandstand completed.
    December 15: New light poles erected.
    The project will be finished in time for the track's NASCAR doubleheader weekend May 4-5, which will include the Crown Royal presents Your Name Here 400 Nextel Cup Series race and the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch Series race. More updates will be provided in the coming weeks.(RIR PR)(10-17-2006)

  • PRS Guitars Builds Custom Trophy for Chevy Rock & Roll 400: Richmond International Raceway and Chevrolet officials announced that Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Ltd. has built a custom guitar trophy for the winner of the 2006 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on Saturday, September 9 "under the lights" at Richmond International Raceway. Saturday night's Nextel Cup Series Chevy Rock & Roll 400 marks the second year that Richmond International Raceway and Chevrolet have partnered with PRS Guitars to offer a unique, highly appointed trophy featuring a fully functional PRS guitar. Last year, PRS Guitars enlivened the Rock & Roll theme of the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway as they enthusiastically handcrafted a race trophy, unlike any other. The 2006 Chevy Rock & Roll trophy is even more appointed than last year's, taking more than three months to complete. Designed and painted to match this year's pace car, the trophy measures over four feet tall and incorporates a custom PRS Chevy guitar engulfed in polished aluminum flames, seated atop a mahogany and maple pedestal. In collaboration with Baltimore metal sculptor Karl Saar, the PRS design team (Paul Miles, Bill Oertel and Don Close) have put forth countless hours to bring the trophy to life. Its estimated retail value is $20,000. Richmond International Raceway, PRS Guitars and Chevrolet will unveil the trophy on Friday, September 8 in the Kenneth Campbell Infield Media Center.(RIR PR)(9-8-2006)

  • Richmond RV Parking Update: For the upcoming NASCAR races September 8-9 at Richmond International Raceway, all races fans should be aware that there will be no RV parking or parking of any kind in the warehouse parking lots and IRS building along Carolina Avenue, near the race track. Carolina Avenue is a short road on the northeast side of the race track that connects Meadowbridge Road to Laburnum Avenue. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that any fans who do not hold a reserved space for their RVs, or who are accustomed to parking their cars in one of these lots, please access the Richmond International Raceway property via Meadowbridge Road to park their vehicles.(RIR PR)(9-7-2006)

  • Kahne to help sell tickets at RIR: On Wednesday, August 16 #9-Kasey Kahne will visit the Richmond International Raceway ticket office to lend a helping hand as the ticket office prepares for one of the busiest and most popular weekends on the NASCAR schedule: the September 8-9 Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series doubleheader at America's Premier Short Track. Although the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race is sold out, Kahne will help the staff of the Richmond International Raceway ticket office sell tickets for Friday's activities, which include FasMart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 and the Emerson Radio 250 Busch Series race. Kahne will be front and center in the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike from 8:30am to 9:45am to help sell tickets to Friday's events. He will personally sign each ticket he sells on Wednesday and all fans who purchase a ticket that day (either in person or over the phone) will receive a limited edition "One Last Race to Make the Chase" poster. Kahne will then meet the Richmond area media at 9:45am/et to help preview the race weekend. He will then fly to Washington D.C. to meet the media at the Hard Rock Caf in downtown Washington D.C. at 12:30pm/et. Tickets for Friday, Sept 8th are $45 (reserved) and $35 (general admission) in advance and $50 (reserved) and $40 (general admission) on race day. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission sections with a ticketed adult. For tickets visit www.rir.com or call 1-866-455-7223.(RIR)(8-15-2006)

  • RIR: Taking Racing To A 'New Level': Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz announced the details of a wide-ranging, fan-friendly seat expansion project that will help keep pace for the demand of one of the most coveted tickets in all of sports. The highlight of the multi-million dollar capital improvement project is the addition of 7,843 seats in a new, state-of-the-art, 18-story structure located in Turn One behind the current Commonwealth Grandstand. The new, three-tiered grandstand will also include a luxurious 700-person, members-only Club for individual fans looking to enjoy a race weekend in style or businesses seeking to entertain clients. The Club will also serve as a unique and trendy place for special events on non-race weekends throughout the year. The project, which will be completed in time for the track's Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series doubleheader weekend in May 2007, also has a fan-friendly flavor to it, as each seat in the new grandstand will be an individual chair with arm rests. Additionally, in response to the thousands of requests by fans over the years, workers will remove a total of 2,911 obstructed view seats in two different grandstands: the first eight rows of obstructed view seats in each section of the Old Dominion grandstand (Turn three) and the first ten rows of the "A" and "B" sections of the Colonial grandstand (Turn four). Those seats were originally built during the 1988 expansion and track reconfiguration project. In total the project will net 4,932 additional seats, raising the capacity to 112,029: [107,097 (current capacity) + 7,843 (new grandstand seats) minus 2,911 (removal of obstructed view seats) = 112,029]. The new grandstand will be comprised of three separate levels, the Commonwealth Mezzanine, the Club Level and the Commonwealth Tower. The 180-foot structure will be twice as high as the current grandstand and will become one of the tallest structures in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area. Construction on the new grandstand has begun. Amenities will include six new, ADA-compliant restrooms and five new concession stands. Key construction milestones include the completion of footings and foundation, (August 31) structure erected (December 31) and seats installed (March 31). The dates are tentative and subject to change due to weather conditions. Current ticket holders will begin to receive information in the mail about how to upgrade into the new grandstand. In addition, fans who have been waiting patiently on the track's extensive waiting list will receive information about how to purchase tickets once the upgrade process is completed. Fans who would like to be added to the waiting list can visit rir.com or call 1-866-455-RACE (7223) for details.(RIR PR/Site)(8-10-2006)

  • RIR to add more seats 5000..not 1400: Richmond International Raceway officials will announce that the track's capacity will expand by 1,400 seats. A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday. The added seats, which will be located in Turn 1, are part of a long-term expansion plan. Current capacity is 107,097. Henrico County officials have given track owner, Daytona Beach, Fla.-based International Speedway Corp. permission to add as many as 43,000 seats. That allows for a capacity of about 150,000. "We don't want to add that many in one season," said Keith Green, RIR's director of public relations. "You have to understand what your market is going to dictate. "It's the first in what we hope will be several expansion projects." Green added that the expansion is necessary because of a long waiting list of fans vying for tickets to attend one of the track's Cup races in May and September. Both races have been sold out the past 15 years, a streak of 30 races. "There are some incredible sight lines associated with this process," said Green, who added that this will be the first expansion since the start of the 2004 season.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
    AND Richmond International Raceway will make a formal announcement Wednesday, August 9 that the track will expand its seating capacity for the 2007 season, adding nearly 5,000 seats. The Commonwealth Tower will feature three new levels-the Lower Mezzanine, a Club Level and an Upper Mezzanine. The capital improvement project, which is already underway, will mark the first seating expansion the track has undergone since 2004, when 1,400 seats were added. The expanded Commonwealth Tower will rise 180 feet, which is twice as high as the current highest seat at Richmond International Raceway. With the new configuration, America's Premier Short Track will increase from 107,097 seats to more than 112,000. Current season ticket holders will receive information in the mail on how to upgrade to the new Commonwealth Tower. Fans on the waiting list will receive information in the coming weeks.(RIR Site)(8-8-2006)

  • Barenaked Ladies to perform at Richmond in Sept: Chevrolet and Richmond International Raceway announced that Barenaked Ladies [a huge Jayski fave] will perform a pre-race concert prior to the sold-out Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup Series race at America's Premier Short Track, set for Saturday, September 9 "under the lights." Additionally, NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick's #29 GM Goodwrench Chevy will feature a special paint scheme depicting images of the band. Barenaked Ladies will showcase a mix of new and classic hits on the frontstretch at Richmond International Raceway, moments before the final race before the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Once the checkered flag drops, the field will be set for who is in and who is out for a chance at the championship. Barenaked Ladies, who is no stranger to sell out crowds, will release its first original album in three years-Barenaked Ladies Are Me-on September 12 on their own imprint label, Desperation Records. The concert will be simulcast on XM Satellite Radio. "We're really excited about being involved," said Barenaked Ladies lead vocalist Ed Robertson. "It's an exciting time for us. We have a new record coming out just a few days later. We'll be performing at the start/finish line, playing some new material and some old material. We know that we and NASCAR share a lot of fans and it will be a great day, and we hope we bring Kevin Harvick some good luck." Additional musical/artist-themed Chevrolets that will be participating in the event will be announced later.(RIR PR)(7-15-2006)

  • Richmond Sept. Cup race sold out: Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 race on Saturday night, September 9 will mark the 30th consecutive Nextel Cup Series sellout at the track, a streak that has now lasted 15 years. That means all 107,097 seats will once again be filled. The sellout streak started with the Pontiac Excitement 400 on March 8, 1992 and has continued through each Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for the last 15 years. The track has hosted two Nextel Cup Series races each year since 1959. Nearly 2.5 million fans from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries have attended Nextel Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway during that time. In addition to hosting the 30th consecutive sellout and the final race that will set the field for the Chase for the Nextel Cup, the entire race weekend will again have a Rock & Roll theme. Chevrolet and track officials will also announce this week a Rock & Roll concert and driver/band partnerships that will be part of race weekend. Tickets for the Busch Series Emerson Radio 250 on Friday, September 8 are available online at www.rir.com or by calling 1-866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(7-12-2006)

  • Richmond Pre-Race Ceremonies: Two of Virginia's most notable leaders will participate in pre-race ceremonies prior to the Crown Royal 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, May 6. Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine and Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer will each serve in honorary capacities at America's Premier Short Track. Gov. Kaine has attended races at Richmond International Raceway previously, but this will be his first race serving in an honorary capacity. Gov. Kaine, who was inaugurated as the 70th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on January 14, will serve as Grand Marshal and will deliver the most famous words in racing: "Gentleman, start your engines!" The Governor also is continuing efforts to leverage Virginia's rich motorsports legacy into increased tourism, economic development and employment.
    Virginia Tech's biggest man on campus will drop the whistle and pick up the Green Flag to start the Crown Royal 400 as the Honorary Starter. Beamer is entering his 20th season as the Hokies' head coach. Also adding a Virginia flavor to the festivities will be the soldiers from the U.S. Army Quartermaster Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Lee, VA, who will proudly carry the nation's colors. Additionally, the Virginia Air National Guard 192d Fighter Wing will bring four F-16 jets for a flyby at the conclusion of the National Anthem, performed by "The Commandant's Own" The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. The Green Flag is scheduled to drop at 7:30pm/et.(RIR PR)(5-2-2006)

  • May Cup race at Richmond sold out; Race #100: Richmond International Raceway officials announced its 29th straight Nextel Cup Series race sellout on Wednesday. Track President Doug Fritz announced all 107,097 seats for the newly named Crown Royal 400 set for Saturday, May 6 "under the lights" have been sold. During the sellout streak, more than 2.2 million fans from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries have attended Nextel Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway.
    When NASCAR's top drivers return to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, May 6, the track will reach a milestone shared by only three other facilities in NASCAR's long and storied history. The Crown Royal 400 will be Richmond International Raceway's 100th Nextel Cup Series race. Heading into this weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway, only Daytona International Speedway, (118) Martinsville Speedway, (115) and Darlington Raceway (104) have hosted more series races.
    Fans who missed out on the popular Crown Royal 400 tickets can still see great short-track racing when their favorite NEXTEL Cup Series drivers compete in the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, May 5. Friday's ticket includes NBC 12 Pole Qualifying for the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI, as well as WaWa Pole Qualifying for the sold out Crown Royal 400 and Nextel Cup Series practice.(RIR PR)(4-20-2006)

  • New sponsor for May Richmond race: Fewer than three weeks before its May 6 race, Richmond International Raceway has inked a deal with a new sponsor for naming rights to the event. The race will be called the Crown Royal 400 after Crown Royal Championship Racing reached a multi-year agreement for the spring race. An official announcement is expected to come today. RIR President Doug Fritz declined to say how long the deal will run. Pontiac had sponsored the spring race from 1988 to 2003 before leaving the sport. Chevrolet sponsored the race the past two years. Fritz said while the race is right around the corner, the timing of the deal is misleading. Because of the state's liquor laws, working out an agreement with a whiskey brand made things more complex. The Crown Royal 400 will be the 100th Nextel Cup race at RIR, which has sold out 28 consecutive Cup races. Only three tracks have hosted more races than RIR: Daytona, Martinsville and Darlington.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-17-2006)

  • Richmond Testing Speeds/Notes Page.(4-14-2006)

  • Richmond NEXTEL Cup Series Testing, April 11-13: the Nextel Cup Series drivers will take their turn for three consecutive days of testing starting Tuesday, April 11. Below is the tentative schedule of when the drivers expect to test at Richmond International Raceway. Testing each day will run from 9:00am to 9:00pm/et and the grandstands will be open for fans each day. Admission and parking are free and concessions will be available from 9:00am to 8:30pm/et each day.
    Scheduled to test April 11-12:
    #01-Joe Nemechek, #09-Mike Wallace, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #2-Kurt Busch, #6-Mark Martin, #7-Robby Gordon, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #9-Kasey Kahne, #11-Denny Hamlin, #12-Ryan Newman, #14-Sterling Marlin, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth, #18-J.J. Yeley, #19-Jeremy Mayfield, #20-Tony Stewart, #21-Ken Schrader, #22-Dave Blaney, #24-Jeff Gordon, #26-Jamie McMurray, #40-David Stremme, #41-Reed Sorenson, #42-Casey Mears, #45-Kyle Petty, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #66-Jeff Green, #89-Morgan Shepherd, #96-Tony Raines, #99-Carl Edwards;
    Scheduled to test April 12-13:
    #07-Clint Bowyer, #4-Scott Wimmer, #5-Kyle Busch, #10-Scott Riggs, #25-Brian Vickers, #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton, #38-Elliott Sadler, #43-Bobby Labonte, #49-Brent Sherman, #51-Mike Garvey, #61-Kevin Lepage, #78-Kenny Wallace, #88-Dale Jarrett, #92-Chad Blount.(RIR PR)(4-10-2006)

  • Memorial Service for Campbell at RIR Today: The family of Kenneth Campbell will hold a memorial service for him today, Friday, March 31 at 5:00 p.m. The service for the longtime VP of Public Relations at Richmond International Raceway who passed away last Friday will be open to friends, family and business associates of Mr. Campbell and his family, and not the general public. The service will take place in the media center in the Richmond International Raceway infield. Upon Mr. Campbell's retirement in 2001, the building was renamed the Kenneth Campbell Media Center in his honor. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in his name to the Victory Junction Gang Camp at 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, NC 27317.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(3-31-2006)

  • Sad News - Kenneth Campbell Sr.: Former Richmond International Raceway Vice President of Public Relations Robert "Kenneth" Campbell Sr., who helped promote racing for nearly 60 years in Richmond, passed away late last night. He was 83 and resided in Chesterfield County, Virginia at the time of his passing. Known as "Kenneth" to his friends and co-workers, Mr. Campbell helped promote races in Richmond starting in 1948 when Nelson Royall built the facility that is now know as Southside Speedway. Fourteen years later, he joined former Richmond International Raceway owner Paul Sawyer as a partner to help promote races at the -mile dirt track known at the Virginia State Fairgrounds. That track, of course, was later reconfigured into a -mile paved oval and today is known as Richmond International Raceway. Before retiring in 2001, Mr. Campbell was known for being a tireless and innovative promoter. Decades ago, he organized a group of fans, government officials and civic leaders from Richmond to take a train to Darlington to help them understand how big NASCAR was becoming in other cities throughout the south. The plan worked, as the fares were sold out and fans were left at the platform.
    He also helped start the big business of sponsorships in NASCAR. Before decals on cars were commonplace, he once brokered a deal to put a logo from a Richmond car dealer on Richard Petty's car. Long before NASCAR was a mainstream sport, he helped bring ABC's "Wide World of Sports" to Richmond to tape a race segment. Mr. Campbell also drove the NASCAR pace car at most major tracks throughout the country and he worked for CBS at NASCAR races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lois Gronlund Campbell; daughter, Deborah "Dodie" Campbell Ortland; son, Robert Kenneth Campbell, Jr.; sister Wanda Campbell Brinkley and brother Garland Campbell. He was preceded in death by his parents John Harding Campbell and Era Atkins Campbell. The family will hold a private burial. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in his name to the Victory Junction Gang Camp at 4500 Adam's Way, Randleman, NC 27317. Upon Mr. Campbell's retirement, the Richmond International Raceway media center was named after him. A memorial service will be held at the Kenneth Campbell Media Center located in the Richmond International Raceway infield on Friday, March 31 at 5:00pm/et.(RIR)(3-25-2006)

  • Busch testing open to the fans: Race fans in the Richmond area are in for a special treat as more than 40 NASCAR Busch Series drivers are expected to test for three consecutive days staring next Tuesday, March 28 in preparation for the Circuit City 250 presented by FUNAI on Friday, May 5. The test sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. each day, giving fans the unique opportunity to watch testing "under the lights." Admission and parking are free and concession stands will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. each day. The -mile facility will also host a Nextel Cup Series test April 11-13. For more information on purchasing tickets for either the Circuit City 250 presented by FUNAI or the Richmond 400 Nextel Cup race on Saturday, May 6 fans can visit www.rir.com or call 1-888-472-2849. Both races, like all events at Richmond International Raceway, will be held "under the lights."(RIR)(3-26-2006)

  • Richmond Testing dates set: Nearly all Busch Series and NEXTEL Cup Series drivers are expected to participate in important test sessions leading into the May 5-6 doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Busch Series drivers will visit Richmond's 3/4-mile oval on March 28-30, while NEXTEL Cup Series drivers will test on April 11-13. Under NASCAR's new testing guidelines set for this season, Richmond is the only short track where NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series drivers are permitted to test. Overall, only six NEXEL Cup Series tracks and four Busch Series venues will host official test sessions. Teams are still permitted to test at tracks that are not part of their respective series schedules. The tests will be crucial for the teams, especially since Richmond International Raceway hosts two NASCAR weekends each season, including the 26th race of the NEXTEL Cup Series season, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. After that race on Saturday, September 9, only the top 10 drivers and those within 400 points of the series leader will be eligible to win the NEXTEL Cup Series championship. Those drivers will battle it out against a full field each week over the last 10 races in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup." Details regarding the grandstand hours for fans will be announced shortly.(RIR PR)(2-7-2006)

  • RIR, Race Fans Give to Community: With the holiday season in full swing, Richmond International Raceway is proud to announce the results of its successful campaign to benefit two area charities and ultimately, citizens in Henrico County and the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area. Starting Monday, November 14, and ending this past Friday, December 16, the Richmond International Raceway ticket office served as a drop-off point to donate new, unwrapped toys for the Marines Toys for Tots program and canned goods to help the Central Virginia Foodbank. With track president Doug Fritz pledging to supplement the toy numbers with a shopping spree by staff members and with a monetary donation to the Foodbank, area residents and race fans responded with incredible generosity. All told, 1,123 new, unwrapped toys will find their way into the hands of area children through the Marines Toys for Tots program and 711 pounds of canned food will help Richmond-area residents during a time of need. Since 1947, U.S. Marines have been looking after America's needy children at Christmas through their Toys for Tots program.(RIR PR)(12-23-2005)

  • Tree Lighting at Richmond tonight: Due to inclement weather in Henrico County [VA], the Community Tree Lighting at Richmond International Raceway, originally scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, will now take place Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00pm/et and is open to the public. By rescheduling, the Laburnum Elementary School students will be able to participate with the scheduled events, providing tree decorations and musical entertainment. Complimentary cookies and hot chocolate will be provided. The tree will remain lit through Christmas Day. Community members are encouraged to donate to the Marine's Toys for Tots and Central Virginia Foodbank. There will be drop-off boxes at the event and at the track's ticket office from now until December 16. For every new, unwrapped toy or five food items contributed at the track, donors receive a free Richmond International Raceway souvenir. In addition, Richmond International Raceway will also match each toy and canned food item donated by the general public.(RIR PR)(12-14-2005)

  • No IROC at Richmond in 2006: International Race of Champions [IROC] officials said yesterday the series won't return to Richmond International Raceway next season. The all-star circuit raced in tandem with the Craftsman Truck Series on Thursdays the past two Septembers. RIR is cutting Thursday from its fall weekend and squeezing an IROC event into a two-day Busch-Cup schedule isn't feasible. Richmond was the shortest track to hold an IROC race in the series' 31-year history.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-28-2005)

  • Richmond Traffic Update: Repairs are still being made to the damage on the Laburnum Avenue bridge caused by Tropical Storm Gaston last summer. As a result, traffic will be limited to two lanes heading westbound and one lane heading eastbound on Laburnum Avenue, near the intersection of Carolina and Laburnum Avenues prior to the start of each race, starting with Thursday night's Crown Royal IROC/Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. Please remember that only two lanes will be open heading eastbound, towards route 360 (Mechanicsville Turnpike) after Friday night's Emerson Radio 250 NASCAR Busch Series race and three lanes will be open heading eastbound after Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. Track officials are encouraging fans to leave extra time if they plan to drive to the races heading westbound towards Richmond International Raceway.(RIR PR)(9-8-2005)

  • RIR Hosts Weddings: On Friday, Sept 9th, Richmond International Raceway will take on a new persona, serving as a one-of-a-kind wedding venue, prior to the Emersion Radio 250 NASCAR Busch Series race. Three couples will tie the knot, along with another couple renewing their vows in Victory Lane. One couple will make their way from Ridgeley, West Virginia. Ed Murray met his bride-to-be at a NASCAR race, so it is only fitting they join in marriage at a NASCAR track. Jennifer Fezekas and her soon-to-be husband are heading south from Illinois to get hitched at Richmond International Raceway. And don't forget about Richard Phillips and Mary Ann Saltisiak. Mary Ann is coming from Pennsylvania to join Richard in Chesapeake, Virginia.(RIR)(9-8-2005)

  • 2006 RIR Sched out, no trucks: Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced the track's race lineup for 2006. The season begins with a doubleheader that includes a Busch Series race on Friday, May 5 and a NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday, May 6. The IRL IndyCar Series returns for its sixth annual race on Saturday, June 24. Also part of that all open-wheel weekend will be a USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series race on Friday, June 23 and a USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series race on Saturday prior to the SunTrust Indy Challenge.
    The season concludes with a new look for the track's September weekend. The schedule will mirror the track's May schedule of events, as the Busch Series will race on Friday, September 8 and NEXTEL Cup Series will conclude the season schedule on Saturday, September 9.
    The track will not host a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in 2006, as the traditional Thursday night event will move to Saturday, October 7 at Talladega Superspeedway-also part of International Speedway Corporation's portfolio of tracks. The inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway will be part of tripleheader weekend at that track, including NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and ARCA races.
    Once again, all races at Richmond International Raceway will be held at night "Under the Lights." Fans who hold permanent, renewable tickets for the May weekend will receive their invoices starting next week. In addition, those fans who would like to add their names to the waiting list for Richmond International Raceway NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series tickets should visit www.rir.com or call 1-866-455-RACE (7223). The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race set for Saturday, September 10 will mark the track's 28th straight series sellout.(RIR PR)
    and see my 2006 UNOFFICIAL Tentative Nextel Cup Series Schedule page for what 2006 is likely to be.(9-3-2005)

  • Richmond Cup Race Sold Out: Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced today that all 107,097 seats will once again be filled for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, set for Saturday, September 10 "under the lights." The race marks the final opportunity for drivers to gain a spot in the second "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." Last year, Jeremy Mayfield made history when he won at Richmond and earned a berth in "The Chase." The track's sellout streak of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events is now at 28, spanning 14 years. Nearly 2.5 million fans from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries have attended NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway during that time. In addition to hosting the final race that will set the field for the second "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup," the entire race weekend will again have a Rock & Roll theme, with artists like legendary rockers KISS, Green Day, Three Doors Down, Nickelback, Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich appearing on specially designed Chevy racecars. Chevrolet and track officials will also announce in the coming weeks a Rock & Roll concert that will be part of race weekend. Although tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 are no longer available, fans still have the opportunity to catch the always-exciting NASCAR Busch Series Emerson Radio 250, set for Friday, September 9. Fans won't want to miss the doubleheader Thursday, September 8 at Richmond International Raceway. First, the Crown Royal IROC Series takes to the track for the third of its four races this season. The night continues with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200. Tickets are on sale now for the action-packed Crown Royal IROC Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 doubleheader on Thursday, September 8. All seats are general admission and are only $30. Tickets for the thrilling NASCAR Busch Series Emerson Radio 250, which includes FasMart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on Friday, September 9 are also available. Reserved seats are just $45 and general admission seating is $35. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admission seating with a ticketed adult Thursday and Friday nights. Tickets are available online at www.rir.com or by calling 1-866-455-RACE (7223).(Richmond International Raceway)(8-2-2005)

  • Richmond a week earlier in 2006: Richmond International Raceway apparently will be welcoming the Nextel Cup Series a week early next spring. RIR officials have had discussions with NASCAR about the 2006 schedule, and all indications are Richmond's first Busch-Cup weekend will fall on May 5-6. The Chevy American Revolution 400 at RIR has been held the second weekend in May the past two years. Richmond will swap spots with Darlington Raceway, which will retain the Mother's Day weekend date after a 75,000-seat sellout on May 7 in its first Saturday night race the day before the holiday. Darlington recently was approved by parent company International Speedway Corp. to begin selling tickets for May 13, 2006. NASCAR won't release its full '06 schedule until later this summer, but no major changes (such as tracks losing races) are expected.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-9-2005)

  • Traffic at Richmond: As you begin to gather your favorite driver's paraphernalia and pack your coolers for the FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series and Chevy American Revolution 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races on Friday and Saturday nights, May 13-14, remember to head out to Richmond International Raceway a little earlier than you may have in the past. Please be aware that repairs are still being made to the damage on the Laburnum Avenue bridge caused by Tropical Storm Gaston. As a result, traffic will be limited to two lanes heading westbound and one lane heading eastbound on Laburnum Avenue, near the intersection of Carolina and Laburnum Avenues prior to the start of each race. Please remember that only two lanes will be open heading eastbound, towards route 360, after Friday night's FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race and three lanes will be open heading eastbound after Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.
    Henrico County officers will be on hand to direct traffic in and out of Richmond International Raceway. Also, please be aware that the IRS building on Carolina Avenue will not be available for parking throughout the entire race weekend. So, be sure to leave early to avoid heavy traffic prior to the start of the race. We have lots of exciting events going on in the Midway, Chevy Fan Fest and on the track to keep you busy from 9:00 a.m. until the checkered flag waves both Friday and Saturday nights.
    Below are routes that the Henrico Division of Police recommend motorists follow when heading to Richmond International Raceway on Friday, May 13 or Saturday, May 14:
    From the East (Hampton Roads area) - Follow Interstate 64 west to Interstate 295 north (Exit 200). Follow Interstate 295 south and exit onto Meadowbridge Road west (Exit 38B). Follow Meadowbridge Road (Richmond-Henrico Turnpike) and proceed to the raceway.
    From the East (Route 360) - Approach Richmond on Route 360 west (Mechanicsville Turnpike), cross Interstate 295, and continue west to Laburnum Avenue. Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
    From the East (Local Traffic) - Follow Interstate 64 west and take the Laburnum Avenue Exit (Exit 195). Turn right and proceed to the raceway.
    From the North - Follow Interstate 95 south to the Interstate 295 east interchange (marked To Norfolk - Williamsburg). Follow Interstate 295 east and exit onto Chamberlayne Road South/Route 301 (Exit 41B). Follow Chamberlayne Road south to Azalea Avenue. Turn left onto Azalea Avenue and proceed to the raceway.
    From the North (Local Traffic) - Use Route 1 (Brook Road) to Azalea Avenue.
    From the West - Follow Interstate 64 east to the Powhite Parkway/Laburnum Avenue exit. Take the Laburnum Avenue exit (Exit 186), turn left and proceed to the raceway.
    From the South - Follow Interstate 95 north to the Chamberlayne Road/Route 301 exit (Exit 82). Follow Chamberlayne Road south to Azalea Avenue. Turn left onto Azalea Avenue and proceed to the raceway.(RIR)(5-13-2005)

  • Richmond May Cup Race Sold Out, 27th Time: Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz announced that every seat-all 107,097 of them-will be filled for the Chevy American Revolution 400, set for Saturday, May 14 "under the lights." The track's sellout streak of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events is now at 27, spanning nearly 14 years. Nearly 2.5 million fans from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries have attended NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway during that time. Although tickets for the Chevy American Revolution 400 are no longer available, fans still have the opportunity to catch the always-exciting NASCAR Busch Series FUNAI 250, set for Friday, May 13th. Those who attend Friday night's FUNAI 250 can also see Wawa Pole Qualifying for the Chevy American Revolution 400, as well as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice. Tickets are on sale now for the action-packed NASCAR Busch Series FUNAI 250 and Wawa Pole Qualifying for the Chevy American Revolution 400 on Friday, May 13 "under the lights" at Richmond International Raceway. Tickets are available online or by calling 1-866-455-RACE (7223).(Richmond International Raceway)(4-15-2005)

  • "Ukrop's Richmond Race Fest" . is coming in May! The Inaugural "Ukrop's Richmond Race Fest" is scheduled for Thursday, May 12th. The event will be held in downtown Richmond, VA in the "Shockoe Slip" area on Cary Street, between 9th and 14th streets from 6:30 to 8:30pm/et. Ukrop's Super Markets is sponsoring the event, which is a fund-raiser for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a facility for critically ill children, and a proud charity of NASCAR. The event is also being supported by Kleenex, Duke's, and Kellogg's brands, along with a number of other vendors that have made donations to Victory Junction Gang in exchange for rights to pass out product samples to the patrons attending the event. The Race Fest is being structured as a family friendly street party, and best of all it is FREE! It will incorporate live music and entertainment on 3 separate stages. Bands scheduled include. "The Taters" and "Vanishing Point", along with the "Whitlock's" of Radio Disney. Cary Street will be full of vendor sampling booths; show cars from some of your favorite Nextel Cup and Busch Series Teams; racing simulators; interactive displays and games. A NASCAR driver autograph session will also be held in the lobby of the James Center during this time, along with a silent auction benefiting the kids of Victory Junction Gang.(SMC 500)(4-13-2005)

  • RIR's Fritz up for Award: Doug Fritz, president of Richmond International Raceway, has been nominated for the 2005 Henrico Business Council Business Leader of the Year award. A business leader is nominated based on his contributions to the Henrico County community. Fritz has spent the last five years working to improve the quality of life not only for the neighborhoods surrounding Richmond International Raceway, but also the entire Henrico County community. With the help of the Neighborhood Committee, Fritz has worked to plan the Neighborhood Picnic, which takes place on National Night Out; the Tree Lighting Ceremony, which involves local school children who provide musical entertainment and tree decorations; and has provided financial assistance to local schools and organizations. All nominees will be honored at a gala awards celebration on Wednesday, April 27th at the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen. There, the Henrico Business Council will announce the winner of the 2005 Henrico Business Council Business Leader of the Year.(NASCAR PR)(4-9-2005)

  • Richmond, Homestead, Phoenix expansion? An International Speedway Corp. official said during a conference call with investor analysts this week that Richmond International Raceway might add more seats soon. Susan Schandel, senior vice president and chief financial officer of ISC, said the company will consider seating expansion at some tracks. "I know we've got quite a bit of demand at Miami, Richmond and Phoenix, so those would be tentative for next year," she said. Richmond seats 107,097.(Roanoke Times)(4-8-2005)

  • NASCAR.com survey vote Richmond #1: Which track is the favorite among NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series insiders according to a NASCAR.com survey? It's America's Premiere Short Track, Richmond International Raceway. A groundswell of support has steadily grown among many drivers, fans and industry insiders who say that the best track is Richmond International Raceway. The -mile, semi-banked layout features the perfect blend of short track "beating and banging" to go along with speeds and passing normally seen at some larger tracks. Richmond International Raceway received 26% of the vote for the "What is your favorite track" question, followed by Daytona International Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway, all of which received 13%.(RIR PR)(3-11-2004)

  • Sad News: Former Richmond International Raceway owner Paul C. Sawyer, whose vision for a unique motorsports facility helped make the track into one of the most popular stops on the NASCAR circuit, passed away late yesterday. He was 88. Mr. Sawyer, who promoted NASCAR races in Richmond since 1955, helped modernize Richmond International Raceway with several visionary projects, beginning with paving the once-dirt facility in 1968. As the sport continued to grow and competition increased, Mr. Sawyer rebuilt the .542-mile track into a modern, -mile facility during the middle of the 1988 season. Three years later, lights were added to the facility and today, Richmond International Raceway holds two key distinctions that set it apart from any other major motorsports facility in the country that hosts all three major NASCAR touring series and the IRL IndyCar Series: it is the only -mile track and it is also the only facility to hold all of its events "under the lights." Mr. Sawyer was born June 26, 1916 in Norfolk, VA, where he later worked at the Naval Air Station from 1939 until his early retirement in 1965. He also served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Along with racetracks in Wilson, NC and Virginia Beach, VA, Mr. Sawyer invested in Richmond International Raceway-then known as "Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds"- with Virginia native and legendary racer Joe Weatherly in 1955. Mr. Sawyer bought Weatherly out of his interest in the tracks and took control of the facility in Richmond in 1956. After the Wilson, NC facility burned down on Easter Sunday in 1958, Mr. Sawyer turned his attention solely to promoting races in Richmond.
    Mr. Sawyer ran Richmond International Raceway until he sold the track, along with the surrounding property, to International Speedway Corporation in 1999. He remained the track's Chairman of the Board until his death. Mr. Sawyer received many accolades for his contribution to motorsports. He is a member of the 2003 class of the Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame and the 2002 class of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored with the NASCAR Founder's Award as part of NASCAR's 50th anniversary celebration in Hollywood, CA in 1998 and in 1997, he received both the Pocono Raceway Bill France Award of Excellence and the Buddy Shuman Award, which has been presented annually since 1957 to the person or persons who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to NASCAR's top series. He also received the Meyers Brothers Award from the National Motorsports Press Association in 1996. In addition, Mr. Sawyer received an honorary doctorate in commercial science from the University of Richmond in 2001.
    Mr. Sawyer is survived by his two sons, Wayne and Billy, three grandsons, one granddaughter and four great grandchildren. Mr. Sawyer was married in 1939 to the former Virginia Weaver of Norfolk, who passed away in 2003. Funeral arrangements are pending.(RIR PR)
    NASCAR Statement: NASCAR Vice Chairman Bill France issued the following statement regarding the passing of Paul Sawyer, Chairman of the Board at Richmond International Raceway. Sawyer passed away Saturday night (Feb. 26). "As NASCAR continues to grow in popularity and potential, all of us are continually reminded of our sport's roots, and the many people who were so important to laying the foundation for what we enjoy today. Paul Sawyer was one of those people. He was most certainly an important part of NASCAR's history. Paul took Richmond's race track and created one of the most modern facilities in all of NASCAR. Richmond International Raceway today is considered one of our fans' favorite facilities. Paul made his mark, without a doubt. The racing world, starting with NASCAR, will miss him."(NASCAR PR)(2-27-2005)
    ARRANGEMENTS FOR PAUL SAWYER
    Arrangements for Paul C. Sawyer, former owner of Richmond International Raceway who passed away yesterday at the age of 88 are as follows:
    Visitation will be Monday, February 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Bennett's Funeral Home, 8014 Lee Davis Road, Mechanicsville, Virginia, 804-746-8665.
    A service will be held on Tuesday, March 1 at 11:00 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church, 9614 River Road, Richmond, Virginia, 804-740-7101. The family is planning a private burial.(RIR PR)(2-27-2005)
    UPDATE: The family of Paul C. Sawyer announced today that donations in Mr. Sawyer's memory may be made to one of two organizations:
    Victory Junction Gang Camp
    4500 Adam's Way
    Randleman, NC 27317
    -and-
    American Cancer Society
    4240 Park Place Ct.
    Glen Allen, Virginia 23060
    (RIR 3-1-2005)

  • Richmond May cuts down to 2-days for May races: In a cost-cutting measure for Busch Series teams, Richmond International Raceway is shortening the NASCAR schedule for its May weekend from three days to two. Both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series will practice and qualify Friday, May 13, followed by the FUNAI 250 Busch Series race that night. Under new NASCAR rules, each series will be limited to one practice. Busch and Cup cars will be impounded after qualifying to prevent teams from spending extra money and effort on special setups. Busch practice and qualifying previously was held Thursdays during RIR's May race weekend. The schedule for RIR's second race weekend, which will feature the IROC, Craftsman Truck, Busch and Nextel Cup series Sept 8-10, will remain unchanged.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(12-22-2004)

  • Richmond International Raceway Lights Up the Night: Richmond International Raceway lit up the night Tuesday night, with the first annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony. Members of the community, as well as students from Laburnum Elementary School attended the event, which proved to be a great success. WRIC-TV 8's meteorologist Matt DiNardo served as the master of ceremonies and NASCAR Busch Series driver and Virginia native, Ashton Lewis, Jr. and Vice Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors Fairfield District, Frank Thornton were the honored speakers for the night. Lewis assisted track president Doug Fritz in the countdown and grand illumination. He also encouraged everyone who attended to assist Richmond International Raceway in the Toys for Tots toy drive spearheaded by the U.S. Marine Corps. Lewis, who finished eighth in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series championship, will drive the No. 25 U.S. Marine Corps. NASCAR Busch Series car in 2005. Laburnum Elementary School students provided ornaments to decorate the 30-foot tree and the fifth grade choir provided musical entertainment for the night. The track collected more than 200 toys Tuesday night and will continue to be a Toys for Tots drop location until Friday, December 17. New, unwrapped toys can be delivered to the Richmond International Raceway ticket office from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The tree, located at the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at the intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike, will remain lit each night through the Christmas holiday for all of the community to enjoy.(RIR PR)(12-16-2004)

  • Richmond Lights up the Tree tonight: On Tuesday December 14, Richmond International Raceway will host the Henrico and Richmond communities to light its inaugural Community Tree. NASCAR Busch Series driver and Chesapeake, Virginia native, Ashton Lewis, Jr. will help Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz light the Community Tree at the end of the night. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. and will be hosted by WRIC-TV 8 Meteorologist Matt DiNardo. Students from Laburnum Elementary School will provide ornaments for the tree and the fifth grade choir will provide musical entertainment. Lewis, who will sign free autographs for fans at the event, will drive the #25 U.S. Marine Corp car in the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series. Richmond International Raceway is a Toys for Tot's partner with the Marines and WRIC-TV 8 and will be a drop location for the program through December 17. New, unwrapped toys can be delivered to the Richmond International Raceway ticket office from 8:30am -4:30pm Monday through Friday and at the tree lighting tomorrow evening.(RIR PR)(12-14-2004)

  • Poles at RIR: There have been ten different Bud Pole winners in the last ten races at Richmond.
    Rusty Wallace and Jeff Burton in 2000; Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon in 2001; Ward Burton and Jimmie Johnson in 2002; Terry Labonte and Mike Skinner in 2003 and Brian Vickers and Ryan Newman in May 2004.(9-11-2004)

  • RIR Kicks off holiday season on Sat: Richmond International Raceway will kick-off the holiday season this weekend, as the Official Pace Car of Richmond International Raceway leads the way for the 21st annual Richmond Christmas Parade in downtown Richmond on Saturday, December 4. This year's parade will be broadcast live on CBS through the Richmond, Hampton and Roanoke markets and rebroadcast in Richmond on Christmas morning. The parade starts at 10:15 a.m. at the Department of Motor Vehicles on West Broad Street, with the route continuing east and ending on Seventh Street. More than 250,000 spectators are expected to attend the parade. Then, on Sunday, December 5, the Official Pace Car of Richmond International Raceway will take another parade route, as it hits the streets in the Mechanicsville Rotary/Ruritan Christmas Parade. The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Hanover Green Drive, circle through to Atlee Road and Mechanicsville Turnpike, ending at Elm Drive with a tree lighting ceremony.
    Richmond International Raceway will team up with Hermie and Elliott Sadler and the Henrico County Economic Development Authority on Sunday, December 12 for a day of racing and bowling to benefit The Faison School for Autism and the Henrico County Christmas Mother. The full day of excitement runs from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at G-Force Karts (behind Richmond International Raceway) and 2:00-5:00 p.m. at AMF Hanover Lanes (in Mechanicsville). Both Hermie and Elliott Sadler will be on hand for the events and plan to sign autographs at each location. To register for the event, visit the Richmond International Raceway website at www.rir.com or the Sadler Fan Club website at www.sadlerfanclub.com or contact Leigh Herring at Richmond International Raceway at 804-228-7507. The holiday spirit continues on Tuesday night, December 14, when the track will host the Henrico and Richmond communities to light its inaugural Community Tree. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. and WRIC-TV 8 will be on hand to broadcast the lighting of the tree. Students from Laburnum Elementary School will provide ornaments for the tree and the fifth grade choir will provide musical entertainment. NASCAR Busch Series driver and Virginia native, Ashton Lewis, Jr. will help Richmond International Raceway track president Doug Fritz light the Community Tree at the end of the night. Lewis will be sponsored by the U.S. Marines in 2005 and is encouraging the community to participate in the Toy's for Tot's program by bringing a new, unwrapped toy to Richmond International Raceway Tuesday night for the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony. Richmond International Raceway is a Toy's for Tot's partner with the Marines and WRIC-TV 8 and will be a drop location for the program through December 17. New, unwrapped toys can be delivered to the Richmond International Raceway ticket office from 8:30am - 4:30pm/et Monday through Friday.(RIR PR)(12-3-2004)

  • Richmond Needs a Christmas Tree: Richmond International Raceway will hold a Christmas lighting ceremony Dec. 14, and the track is seeking someone to donate a tree 25 feet or higher for the community event. The winner will help RIR President Doug Fritz light the tree and be interviewed on Channel 8. Those interested can e-mail a photo of the tree, its approximate height and the owner's daytime phone number to RIR Holiday Tree Lighting, P.O. Box 9257, Richmond 23227 or see RIR.com. The deadline is Nov. 22.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-6-2004)

  • Traffic Alert for Richmond: Although traffic is moving in both directions on Laburnum Avenue between Carolina Avenue and Vawter Avenue near Richmond International Raceway, Henrico County officials are encouraging fans to allow for extra time when attending thisweekend's NASCAR races at the track.
    Henrico County crews have been working constantly to repair the damage on Laburnum Avenue since Tropical Storm Gaston hit last week. The right lane in each direction is still closed, leaving only two lanes for vehicles to pass. Henrico County officials are hoping to have a third lane open by Saturday's sold out Chevy Rock & Roll 400, where more than 107,000 fans are expected for the race.
    "Since we have so many access routes to and from the track, Laburnum Avenue is generally one of the areas that we ask people to avoid anyway since the majority of our parking is on the north side of our property and not on the east side near where we have these challenges with the roadways" said track president Doug Fritz. "We are asking fans who must come in or leave the track via Laburnum Avenue to allow for extra time."
    Fans are encouraged to take other routes to the track, including Richmond-Henrico Turnpike (Meadowbridge Road) and Chamberlayne Avenue (Rt. 301). Additional updates will be provided throughout the weekend at www.rir.com.(9-9-2004)

  • Concerts at RIR: Officials from Richmond International Raceway, General Motors and Action Performance Companies announced recently that race fans attending the upcoming Chevy Rock & Roll 400 weekend September 9-11 will be treated to two free concerts surrounding the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races. Fans who hold race tickets for the Emerson Radio 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, September 10 will be able to see rising country music artist Big & Rich, while Collective Soul-holder of eight number one rock hits- will perform a track side show prior to the sold out Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on Saturday, September 11.(RIR PR)(9-9-2004)

  • Rumsfeld will attend RIR Cup race: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be attending the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Nextel Cup event and participating in prerace ceremonies at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. RIR officials confirmed a formal announcement will be made today concerning the race, which is being held on the third anniversary of Sept. 11. Rumsfeld, who is attending his first NASCAR race, will become the second member of the Bush administration welcomed at a Cup race this year. President Bush gave the command to start engines at the season-opening Daytona 500.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-8-2004)

  • Four Major Races in Three Nights at RIR: One of the most anticipated weekends of NASCAR racing is quickly approaching Richmond International Raceway. A quadruple header of Racing Perfection "under the lights" kicks off on Thursday, September 9, with the inaugural Crown Royal IROC Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200. The NASCAR Busch Series cars drop the green flag Friday night for part three of this exciting weekend. And the moment fans across the country have been waiting for-the final race to determine which ten drivers make the cut for the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup"-will be decided in Saturday's Chevy Rock & Roll 400.(more at the RIR site)(9-7-2004)

  • RIR Truck Race gets a sponsor: Kroger, one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, announced it will be the title sponsor of the upcoming NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Richmond International Raceway. The Kroger 200 will run Thursday night, September 9 as part of a double header with the inaugural Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) Series. Kroger, which sponsored the 2000 and 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events at Richmond International Raceway, is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kroger, which has more than 65 retail stores in the commonwealth of Virginia, partners with Richmond International Raceway as the track celebrates the running of their 10th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. The Kroger 200 is set to run "under the lights" with the green flag drop scheduled for 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 9. Race tickets, which are only $30, include the inaugural short track event for the Crown Royal IROC Series, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and information, fans can call 1-866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-7-2004)

  • President Bush at RIR? UPDATE - No?: hearing President Bush will attend the Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on 9/11/2004 and that security for the race will be heightened even more since the race falls on 9/11, the three year anniversary of the attacks.(7-5-2004)
    UPDATE - No? Denied: Rumors persist inside the NASCAR traveling show that President George W. Bush will be at Richmond for the 9/11 race, going there straight from Ground Zero in New York. Officials keep denying it or hedging, but the grapevine has it that the denials are all to keep the Secret Service happy by stifling advance notice.(Orlando Sentinel)
    AND Flat out No: Contrary to previous reports from other news outlets, President George Bush will not visit the Richmond International Speedway next weekend on September 11th.(Motorsport.com)(9-4-2004)

  • Richmond dries out/Daytona getting ready UPDATE 2 on RIR: As work crews deal with flooding at and around Richmond International Raceway in the wake of Tropical Storm Gaston, crews at Daytona International Speedway are "battening down the hatches" as Hurricane Frances approaches. Gaston dumped a foot of rain on Richmond, Va., on Monday, forcing local officials to condemn several blocks of the downtown area. At the speedway, there was flooding and a loss of power for about a day. "We're surviving," said Keith Green, the track's director of public relations. "We had no power and there was some flooding. Those pictures you saw of cars floating in the flooding was less than six blocks from here. We were lucky, track-wise. But it's still an absolute mess, an absolute mess." Green said many of the roadways leading into the speedway were still closed Wednesday as the raceway continued to prepare for next week's Busch and Nextel Cup series races. Also, many of the buildings in the infield of the three-quarter-mile speedway were flooded during the storm. While the speedway was without power Tuesday, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Terry Labonte still managed to complete a test session for the Chevy Rock N Roll 400 on Sept. 11. Daytona International Speedway was spared major damage from Hurricane Charley three weeks ago, but the racetrack wasn't dropping its guard as Frances looms. If the storm continues on its current track, it should make landfall in Florida between Vero Beach and Jacksonville on Saturday morning. That puts Daytona Beach in the middle of the projected path.(Augusta Chronicle)
    AND an update frpm RIR's PR folks - the cars floating down the street happened six blocks from the PR person's house, not the track. RIR did have minor flooding in their office, but not in the track infield. Lastly, in addition to the Busch and Cup races at RIR are hosting next week. they are also hosting a Truck race and the first ever IROC race on a short track. More info on these races can be found at www.rir.com.(9-2-2004)
    UPDATE 2; The Richmond International Raceway property survived Tropical Storm Gaston's devastating, intense rainfall that dumped as much as 14 inches of rain in some areas of Richmond this past Monday night. The track's administrative offices and a few other buildings on the property sustained minor water damage and the entire facility lost power for the majority of the day on Tuesday. Several NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series teams still managed to test on Tuesday, as back-up generator power supplied the electricity for the gas pumps. The other damage to the property was part of a tram road that was washed out by the storm and some fencing that was knocked down. Those repairs will be completed before on-track activity starts on Thursday, September 9. "If we had to race tomorrow, we would be ready," said track president Doug Fritz. "We do not anticipate any disruption in our race events due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston. After assessing our entire property, including our parking lots, over the last couple of days and again this morning, we have held up very, very well. It's been a challenging few days for the entire Richmond community, but Richmond International Raceway will be ready for the biggest race weekend in our history. Honestly, we were lucky," Fritz continued. "There are other individuals and businesses in Richmond that are not as fortunate, including one of our own employees, who had extensive damage to his home and lost just about everything in it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to family members who lost loved ones or those who have lost their homes or other property."
    Tropical Storm Gaston is responsible for at least five deaths, has caused an estimated $15 million in damage and has forced more than 100 sections of roads to close. Portions of two moderately-traveled roads leading to the track are currently closed, including U.S. Highway 301 (in nearby Hanover County at Kersey Creek) and Creighton Road (between Dabbs House Road and Gordon Lane). Both of those roads are northeast of Richmond International Raceway and while they are not part of the normal race-day traffic pattern, race fans should remember that these roads will probably not be passable in those areas and they should seek alternate routes.
    "We do not anticipate significant changes to our traffic pattern related to these weather issues, but we do want our fans to be as prepared as possible when they leave their homes for the races," Fritz continued. "Right now, these road closures are a minor inconvenience and we are hoping there is no further damage to these or other roads. But if we have more storms or road conditions deteriorate for some reason, it may make things more challenging for people driving to the track. So we are asking our fans to please double check our website before they leave home and to tune into the traffic reports on the radio as they reach the Richmond area."
    NOTE Next week, before they leave home, fans should continue to check www.rir.com and the Richmond Times-Dispatch for the latest updates on road conditions and any potential changes to the track's traffic pattern. Once fans arrive in the Richmond area for the races, they can tune into the following Clear Channel radio stations for the latest traffic updates:
    For Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10 only:
    Radio Station Traffic ReportTimes
    98.1 FM Lite 98 4:17 p.m. to 5:47 p.m. 910 AM WRNL 3:18 p.m. to 6:18 p.m.
    1140 AM WRVA 12:05 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    For Saturday, September 11 only:
    Radio Station Traffic Report Times
    102.1 FM The X Noon-7:00 p.m., :20 and :50 minutes past the hour
    910 AM WRNL Noon-7:00 p.m., :20 and :50 minutes past the hour
    For tickets and information, fans can call 1-866-455-RACE (7223) or log onto www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(9-3-2004)

  • RIR Tix up for sale today: What few tickets remain for the most anticipated race in the history of Richmond International Raceway will go on sale Saturday, July 17 at 8:30am/et. The race will also be the final event that will set the field in NASCAR's new "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." After the Chevy Rock & Roll 400, the top 10 drivers and any other drivers within 400 points of the series leader will compete for the inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup over the final 10 events of the season. Tickets are also now available to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series/Crown Royal IROC doubleheader on Thursday, September 9 and the Emerson Radio 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, September 10. Friday's ticket also includes FasMart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400. For tickets, fans can call starting at 8:30am/et to 1-866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com. (RIR Site)(7-17-2004)

  • Air Force Activities at Richmond: Air Force involvement at the Richmond International Raceway on 15 May includes:
    1) Flyover by four F-16's from the 192 Fighter Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, Richmond, VA.
    2) Senior Air Force representative will be Lt Gen Steven Polk, Inspector General of the Air Force. He oversees Air Force inspection policy, criminal investigations, counterintelligence operations, intelligence oversight, complaints, and fraud, waste and abuse programs.
    3) Air Force recruiting booth includes the Cross Into The Blue display featuring an actual F-16 aircraft. Recruiters at the display are from the 367th Recruiting squadron, Richmond, VA.(PR)(5-13-2004)

  • Fans to wins prizes at RIR: For 58 years, fans have come to Richmond International Raceway to watch their favorite NASCAR heroes. Since 1992- a span of 25 races- every NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event has been a sell out, representing more than 2.3 million fans that have attended races during that time at Richmond International Raceway. Prior to the sold out Chevy American Revolution 400 race "under the lights" on Saturday, May 15, Richmond International Raceway will give out some fantastic prizes to its loyal fans. The special pre-race ceremony is being held to celebrate the track's 25th straight "silver anniversary" sellout. "This promotion is a great way for us to say 'thank you' to the best fans in motorsports," said track president Doug Fritz. "We will give away some really cool prizes and the grand prize that the track is giving away, while I'm not going to reveal it just yet, is one that will make millions of race fans very jealous." Among the prizes are Funai DVD recorders, a year's supply of Pepsi, box sets from Warner Music Group and Rhino Records, a trip to the Chevy American Revolution 400 victory lane, hotel room night stays, Richmond International Raceway merchandise gift packs, gift certificates from Fas Mart and much, much more. The grand prize will be given away to the lucky winner during the pre-race ceremonies, while the other prizes will be revealed on the Nextel Vision during pre-race. The winners announced on the Nextel Vision will be contacted by phone or mail, while the grand prize winner will receive his or her prize from Fritz at pre-race stage.(RIR PR)(5-12-2004)

  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation named Grand Marshal at RIR: Norman Mineta, United States Secretary of Transportation, will utter the most famous words in racing-"Gentleman, start your engines!"-as Grand Marshal of the sold out NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Chevy American Revolution 400 Saturday, May 15 at Richmond International Raceway. "I'm very excited to give the command to start the Chevy American Revolution 400," Secretary Mineta said. "Richmond International Raceway is the 'home' track for all of the race fans in the Washington D.C. area, so there is no better place for me to see a NASCAR race. I have heard there is nothing like watching a Richmond night race under the lights, so I am really looking forward to the experience." The 14th U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Mineta administers an agency comprised of 60,000 employees and a $56.3 billion budget. The U.S. transportation system includes 3.9 million miles of public roads and 2 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines. Mineta oversees more than 5,000 public airports, 25,000 miles of waterways and 120,000 miles of major railroads, as well as 300 ports on the coasts, Great Lakes and inland waterways. Mineta previously served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton, becoming the first Asian Pacific American to serve in the cabinet. He represented the heart of Silicon Valley in California as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 years and co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The Chevy American Revolution 400 is sold out but tickets are still available for the NASCAR Busch Series FUNAI 250 Friday, May 14. Both races will be held "under the lights." Reserved tickets for the FUNAI 250, which also include Wawa Pole Qualifying for the Chevy American Revolution 400, are just $40 and general admission seats are only $35. All tickets for NBC12 NASCAR Busch Series Pole Qualifying Day on Thursday, May 13 are only $5. Children 12 and under are admitted free Thursday and Friday in the general admission sections with a paying adult. Fans can call 1-866-455-RACE or log on to www.rir.com for more information.(RIR PR)(5-7-2004)

  • Tire concerns? Goodyear's decision to use its Las Vegas-Bristol-Nashville tire for the upcoming Richmond race is being criticized as too conservative a choice by some NASCAR crews who want softer, more aggressive tires for the just-repaved track. Others say that Goodyear's original choice turned out to be too soft. Teams say that this season's tires in general aren't nearly as soft as they had originally expected, and they point to this week's Sears Point test as one example: "The last laps were faster than the first laps," one crew chief said. "How can that be a softer tire?"(Winston Salem Journal)
    HOWEVER: Nextel Cup Director John Darby said the reviews were positive from Goodyear's test of Richmond International Raceway's repaved surface. "It's got a tremendous amount of grip, a lot like we saw at Homestead last year," Darby said. "Typically, it takes a couple of years for the asphalt to get to where we [get what] we want out of it."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-1-2004)

  • IROC Test at Richmond, may have to shorten the race: The International Race of Champions will hold a critical test at Richmond International Raceway on May 17-19 to determine car setups and a race length for the all-star circuit's first event on a short track. IROC events, which match drivers from the IRL, NASCAR and World of Outlaws in identically prepared stock cars, typically are 100 miles. Series President Jay Signore expects the Sept. 9 race at RIR probably won't top 75 miles, or about 100 laps around the 0.75-mile oval. "We've got a one-hour TV program," Signore said. "We can't go more than 45 minutes of racing, so we probably can't go 100 miles. We'll factor in the fuel mileage, tire life and TV time and see how it all works out." Richmond is the third of four stops on the IROC schedule. The series will hold its second race of 2004 - and its first at Texas Motor Speedway - at 9 p.m. today. SPEED will telecast the race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-2-2004)

  • 2nd Texas Race for All-Star Race Trade? Bruton Smith is reported to be on the verge of getting NASCAR to agree to grant him a long-awaited second Nextel Cup date at Texas Motor Speedway, through the purchase of North Carolina Speedway, according to sources. But then it gets complicated, according to those sources. In turn NASCAR wants Smith to let Richmond International Raceway take the May all-star race from Smith's Lowe's Motor Speedway. For that, Smith wants a second Cup date for his Las Vegas track. If all that happens, Darlington Raceway could lose one of its two Cup races. Smith has considerable support at the moment, from teams and sponsors and TV networks, for his Las Vegas pitch.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-26-2004)

  • Richmond May Race = Sold Out: Richmond International Raceway announced all of its 107,097 grandstand seats have been sold for the Chevy American Revolution 400 on May 15. The sellout is the track's 25th consecutive - dating to the March 1992 race when the capacity of the 0.75-mile oval was 64,000. During the streak, more than 2.2 million fans from every state and dozens of countries have attended Cup races at RIR. The track is planning a special fan appreciation to mark its "silver anniversary" sellout with race-day prizes for ticket holders. Tickets still are available for Nextel Cup qualifying and the FUNAI 250 Busch Series race May 14 and Busch qualifying May 13. For more information, call (866) 455-7223 or visit www.rir.com.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-5-2004)

  • Special Airline Packages to RIR: Richmond International Airport has started a promotional partnership with Richmond International Raceway, a unique pact designed to jack up local air travel on big race weekends. Early this year, the airport's marketing department delivered about 34,000 promotional fliers to RIR, including airline discount offers. The raceway plans to include the airline offers and airport information in its ticket packages. Airport spokesman Troy Bell said five out of six of the major airlines serving Richmond now offer group discounts to race fans. Fans can get discounts of 5 percent to 15 percent from published fares. The best deals will likely go to fans who book flights at least two months in advance of coming to Richmond, Bell said.(more at the Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-1-2004)

  • Cup tickets on sale today at RIR: Tickets remaining for the Chevy American Revolution 400 Nextel Cup race May 15 at Richmond International Raceway will go on sale today [Sat, Feb 28th] at 8:30am/et. Tickets can be purchased at the track ticket office, online at www.rir.com or by calling (866) 455-7223. Tickets also are on sale for pole qualifying and the Funai 250 Busch Series race May 14. Tickets for the Sept. 11 Cup race at RIR will go on sale July 17. Fans who register at www.rir.com will be allowed to purchase tickets a few days early.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-28-2004)

  • Richmond for the All-Star Challenge? NASCAR announced yesterday [see story below] the format of its all-star race likely won't be overhauled, but its location could change. In a news conference to promote the May 22 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne said the future of the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge will be considered on a year-to-year basis. "There are a lot of tracks and a lot of cities that want this race," Pyne said. A prime candidate would seem to be Richmond International Raceway because of NASCAR's new title sponsor, Nextel. When the all-star event was known as The Winston, Lowe's was a natural host because the Concord, N.C., track is located 60 miles from previous title sponsor R.J. Reynolds' headquarters in Winston-Salem. RIR is the closest Cup track to Nextel's headquarters in Reston, Va., about 100 miles north of Richmond. Michael Robichaud, Nextel's director of sports marketing, said the wireless communications company would be interested in considering other locations for the showcase race. RIR spokesman Keith Green said his track would be very interested in the event, which has been held at the 1.5-mile oval north of Charlotte for 18 of the past 19 years. "If the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge is moved and Richmond is considered, it would be an incredible event here," Green said. "Drivers have long considered Richmond to be the ideal racetrack, and we would love nothing more than to bring this event here. It would be an electric atmosphere with no-holds-barred, short-track racing on a Saturday night under the lights." Pyne praised Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler yesterday for promoting the event, which drew a record crowd of more than 140,000 last year. But Pyne also said the continued support of the Charlotte, N.C., area would be a major factor in its future. "Other sports have facilities that were funded by taxpayers," Pyne said. "Our sport has never been treated the same way. What Humpy and NASCAR would like to see is our sport treated in an equivalent fashion when we place an all-star event in a community, the same way it would if Charlotte had an opportunity to host an NBA All-Star Game or an NCAA Final Four."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-25-2004)

  • New Name for RIR May race: Richmond International Raceway's May 15 race has been renamed the Chevy American Revolution 400 to highlight a new advertising campaign by the manufacturer. "The campaign is a product renaissance bringing 10 all-new brands to the showroom that will arrive in a 20-month period," said Terry Dolan, Chevrolet's NASCAR marketing manager. "The theme is founded in an American car company revitalizing our product showroom." The Sept. 11 race at RIR, which also is sponsored by Chevrolet, likely will retain its rock and roll theme from 2003 and again will feature a lineup of bands playing before and after the races.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-15-2004)

  • RIR to expand parking: Keeping pace with its grandstand expansion, RIR is developing 55 acres of additional parking. The new lot will be located on the north side of Azalea Avenue and will be connected to Lot H through a tunnel underneath Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. A driver-owner RV lot outside the backstretch also is scheduled for completion for the May 13-15 NASCAR weekend.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(see above in this story why Vickers won't be in it.(1-16-2004)

  • RIR Exposed: The Joyce Julius Sponsors Report, considered an auto racing standard for measuring sponsorship value, calculated that Virginia, Richmond and Henrico County received nearly two hours of exposure during 21 hours of broadcasts at Richmond International Raceway in 2003. The report estimated an exposure value of more than $9 million for the state, city and county from the seven NASCAR, IRL and USAC races that were televised nationally. The figures are derived from graphics, mentions and in-focus camera shots on signs at RIR.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-11-2004)

  • RIR Gift certificates available: Richmond International Raceway has a creative alternative to the sweater and tie of year's past. Gift certificates are currently on sale and can be used for Richmond International Raceway racing events, merchandise and fan hospitality packages that include the popular Party Zone and All American Indy Bar-B-Que. The Richmond International Raceway Ticket Office is open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm/et, through Tuesday, December 23. Their Raceway "elves" will be more than happy to assist in making your Action Track holiday gift the perfect present for the race fans in your life.
    NASCAR racing returns to Richmond for The Action Track's season opening weekend featuring the NASCAR Busch Series 250 on Friday, May 14 and the Chevy Racing 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on Saturday, May 15. The Extreme Speed, Extreme Excitement Weekend returns to Richmond International Raceway on June 25 and 26 with the USAC National Sprint Car Series, the Dominic's of New York 100 USAC Silver Crown Championship Series and the 4th annual SunTrust Indy Challenge. The season concludes with a NASCAR triple-header weekend featuring the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 on Thursday, September 9, the FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, September 10 and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in the Chevy Racing 400 on Saturday, September 11. To purchase Richmond International Raceway gift certificates by phone, please call the Ticket Office at (804) 345-RACE (7223).(RIR PR)(12-19-2003)

  • New On Line Feature Allows Fans A 3D View of Richmond: Richmond International Raceway has added a new on line, 3D virtual tour of the race track from the grandstands and luxury suites. Fans who purchase tickets to races at Richmond International Raceway via the internet at www.rir.com will now be able to observe the view from all grandstand sections and rows from the convenience of their own home or office. Tickets are currently on sale for the NASCAR Busch Series 250 on Friday, May 14 and the SunTrust Indy Challenge on Saturday, June 26. Tickets to the always sold-out Chevy Racing 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on Saturday, May 15 will go on sale February 28, 2004. Fans who visit www.rir.com and register for a free membership on the "Members Only" section of the track's website will have the chance to purchase NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series tickets starting on February 25, three days prior to the on sale date to the general public.(RIR PR)(12-18-2003)

  • Fundraiser Results: Richmond International Raceway and Henrico County [VA] joined forces with the Hermie and Elliott Sadler Foundation on Saturday, November 22 for a fundraising event to benefit The Faison School for Autism and the Henrico County Christmas Mother program. More than $35,000 was raised from the all-day event that featured go-kart racing, bowling, a silent auction and a raffle. Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz and Fred Agostino, Executive Director of the Economic Development Authority of Henrico County presented Renea Johnston, the 2003 Henrico County Christmas Mother with a portion of the proceeds at the December 9 Henrico County Board of Supervisors meeting. The Henrico County Christmas Mother program was initiated in 1942 by a local schoolteacher who encouraged her students to bring in a canned good for needy families in the County. Currently, the program provides food, clothing, toys, books and household goods to deserving families, the elderly and disabled during the holiday season. Each year, hundreds of volunteers share their time, money and materials to bring the warmth and wonder of Christmas to more than 4,000 Henrico County residents.
    The Faison School for Autism is located in Richmond and is committed to the individual progress of the children it serves. Autism is a developmental, neurological disability that affects one out of every 250 children. The Faison School relies solely on donations and grants and its goal is to be able to accommodate up to 40 children from the age of 18 months to five years.
    The event was also sponsored by local Clear Channel stations WRVQ 94.5 FM, WBTJ 106.5 FM, WRXL 102.1 FM The X, WRNL Sports Radio 910, WRVA 1140 AM Newsradio and WTVR Lite 98. Each station provided live mentions, conducted on air interviews with Hermie and Angie Sadler to help promote the event and was on-site for the bowling portion of the fundraiser.(RIR PR)(12-16-2003)

  • RIR Re-paving Update: The repaving of Richmond International Raceway is one step from completion. For the first time in the 15-year history of the 0.75-mile oval, the surface was demolished in October to install a new drainage system and new asphalt. The bulk of the work is finished, but the last layer of pavement will be applied when the temperatures increase. The asphalt will cure better with warmer weather. RIR President Doug Fritz said there was no timetable for finishing the job. "There's no need to risk putting the asphalt down with the cold temperatures, so we'll just wait until the first good stretch of warm days and warm nights in the spring," he said.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-14-2003)

  • Richmond and Pontiac: GM Racing officials announced that the company will focus its future NASCAR resources exclusively on the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, effectively eliminating support for the Pontiac Grand Prix race car. General Motors has sponsored Richmond International Raceway's spring NASCAR Winston Cup Series race through its Pontiac brand since 1988 and the track's fall NASCAR Winston Cup Series race through its Chevy brand since 2000. In addition, Pontiac has served as the official car and official pace car and Chevrolet as the official truck and official pace truck for the track. Earlier this season, General Motors and Richmond International Raceway agreed to a three-year contract extension through 2005 for the General Motors to continue those official entitlements and sponsorships. GM's decision will end Pontiac's 16 year relationship with Richmond International Raceway and one of the longest continually sponsored events in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing. However, the General Motors Chevy brand, in addition to sponsoring the track's September event, will now also sponsor the track's spring NASCAR Winston Cup Series event (to be known as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2004). General Motors and Richmond International Raceway officials will determine a new name and logo for the event in the near future. Richmond International Raceway has sold out 24 consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup Series races. Included in that sell out streak is every General Motors entitled event since 1992, spanning 16 races.(RIR PR)(10-29-2003)

  • RIR to Expand: Richmond International Raceway is embarking on another round of expansion and upgrades as part of its ongoing commitment to fans who visit "The Action Track" three times each season for some of the best side by side racing in all of motor sports. More than 1,400 seats will be added for the 2004 season, bringing the track's capacity to 107,097. The project includes new seats in the Veranda Grandstand in turn one, development of 55 new acres of parking on the north side of the track's property and the addition of a second spectator care center outside of turn two next to the amphitheater. The amphitheater, which is used for Speed Channel and QVC shows on race weekends as well as concerts and special events on non-race weekends, is being remodeled. Gravel roads are also being added to several parking lots which will help with traffic ingress and egress, especially during inclement weather. Including this round of projects, the track has spent more than $40 million on improving the facility over the last few seasons. Priority will be given to fans on the waiting list who wish to purchase a full-season ticket package. Fans who would like to be added to the waiting list can visit www.rir.com for details. All races at "The Action Track" are "Under the Lights." For more information, contact the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 804-345-RACE (7223).(Richmond International Raceway PR)(10-10-2003)

  • Richmond Repaving Project Underway: Richmond International Raceway will undergo a facelift for 2004 with the first repaving of the 0.75-mile track since its 1988 reconfiguration. The multimillion-dollar project, which began this week with the demolition of the existing asphalt, also will include the installation of a state-of-the-art sub-surface underdrain system. The new surface should be completed in about six weeks. The asphalt will need about three to four months to cure, allowing cars on the track by April - when teams normally begin spring testing. RIR will play host to its first NASCAR weekend next season May 13-15.
    RIR President Doug Frtiz said the new drainage system was the impetus for tearing up the asphalt. In May, Busch Series qualifying was delayed for several hours because of "weepers," accumulated water beneath the track seeping through cracks in Turns 1 and 2. Several grooves were cut into the asphalt to help drain the water as a short-term fix. Engineers will survey the project to ensure the D-shaped oval's banking - 14 degrees in the turns, 8 degrees on the frontstretch and 2 degrees on the backstretch - isn't altered during construction. RIR also is constructing a 170-space motorhome lot behind the backstretch for NASCAR drivers and car owners. The SAFER wall, which made its RIR debut in all four turns for the NASCAR tripleheader Sept. 4-6, has been removed temporarily for repaving. Fritz said repaving hasn't ruled out a possible expansion of the track's 105,000-seat capacity for next year. RIR added a few thousand seats in the fall of 2002.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-3-2003)

  • RIR Distributes 2200 Bags of Ice to Folks Devestated by Hurricane and Tornado: Last week, Hurricane Isabel devastated many residents near Richmond International Raceway and many more were affected by a severe tornado that touched down less than a mile from the track on Tuesday. Many homes near the track were destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people are still without power in Virginia as a result of the two natural disasters. On Friday, 15 Richmond International Raceway employees distributed 2,200 20 lb. bags of ice to area residents. Here, track president Doug Fritz loads bags of ice into a car of a local resident. Henrico County officials determined after the disasters that ice was one of the biggest needs of area residents, so the track worked quickly to help its neighbors.
    "We hope in some small way this helps our neighbors get back on their feet," Fritz said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who have lost loved ones, had their homes or property destroyed or are still struggling to live normally with no electricity."(Richmond International Raceway PR)(9-28-2003)

  • Richmond OK: Richmond International Raceway sustained only minor damage in Thursday's storm. Track spokesman Keith Green said there was a small amount of flooding in RIR's main office and a few trees down around the property. "There was cosmetic damage to a few of our buildings, but not that much," Green said.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-20-2003)

  • Richmond Shorter Now? The SAFER barriers might force NASCAR to re-measure Richmond International Raceway. A track's distance is measured five feet [actually been told it is 15 feet, not 5, per my Racing FAQ page] from the outside wall and Richmond is advertised to be three-quarters of a mile in distance. The SAFER barriers, however, extend two-and-a-half feet into the turns. That should make Richmond a little shorter in distance.(Augusta Chroncile)(9-7-2003)

  • RIR to honor RJR: As R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. prepares to end a 33-year relationship with NASCAR's premier circuit, Richmond International Raceway officials have decided to honor the longtime supporter in a prerace ceremony before tonight's Winston Cup Chevy Rock & Roll 400. The tribute will include a photo presentation by track President Doug Fritz to Ned Leary, the president of sports marketing for RJR. "They really helped bring a lot to the sport, and they continued to do so even though they were hindered by certain laws," RIR spokesman Keith Green said. "I think it will take awhile for people to stop saying Winston Cup." But for some garage dwellers, the company's impact has been about more than name recognition. In 1971, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based cigarette provider, which was looking for national exposure, entered the union after former Winston Cup/Grand National driver Junior Johnson recommended the company to NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. The venture paid huge dividends. Over the next 30 years, NASCAR's popularity reached new heights after the high-speed organization reached speedways in California, Texas, Kansas, Illinois, New Hampshire and Arizona, and programs such as the Winston Million and No Bull 5 made Sunday drives worth watching, as well. In the end, it wasn't enough to save RJR from hitting a dead end. Nextel, the Reston-based maker of cellular phones, will take over as the sanctioning body's official backer in 2004, but only small alterations to logos and decals are expected. Roush Racing driver Mark Martin said change isn't a bad thing.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-6-2003)

  • Concerts at RIR: Richmond International Raceway will feature two post-race concerts after Friday's FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race (Sugar Ray and Franky Perez) and three pre-race concerts before Saturday's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race (Trapt, Uncle Kracker and Hootie & the Blowfish). The program is an unprecedented collaboration among Chevy, Richmond International Raceway, Warner Music Group, Action Performance Companies, AOL/Time.(Check out the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Mini Site on the RIR site)

  • RIR News: Warner Music Group, Chevrolet and Action Performance Companies Inc. announced a series of concerts to be featured during the NASCAR triple-header weekend, September 4-6 at Richmond International Raceway. The weekend will be highlighted by the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event on Saturday, September 6 that will include pre-race, trackside musical performances by Hootie & The Blowfish, Uncle Kracker and Trapt. On Friday, September 5, Sugar Ray and Franky Perez will kick things off with a trackside concert as part of the FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race. Both Richmond concerts are free for fans who purchase tickets to the respective races. In addition to the concerts, seven Chevrolet Monte Carlo race cars will carry special paint schemes featuring different WMG artists. These paint schemes will sparkle under the lights on Richmond's famous three-quarter mile "Action Track." The artist and driver paint scheme pairings for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 weekend can be seen on my Paint Schemes Gallery. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 weekend begins with the Virginia is for Lovers 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Thursday, September 4, followed by the FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, September 5. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, September 6 is the final race of the season at Richmond International Raceway. All races are under the lights. For tickets and information, call the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 804-345-RACE.(RIR PR)(9-2-2003)

  • SAFER done at RIR: Richmond International Raceway completed installation yesterday of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier, which is expected to reduce the forces absorbed by drivers in crashes at the 0.75-mile oval. Mounting the system, which consists of 20-foot modules of rectangular steel tubing backed by foam blocks, on the outside walls in all four turns was done Monday, a week after construction began. The 2,394-foot addition then was painted white to match the concrete walls. The last coat was applied yesterday. The project was finished in 10 days, which was right on schedule for RIR President Doug Fritz. RIR will become the first short track to have the SAFER barrier in place for an event when it plays host to a NASCAR tripleheader of the Craftsman Truck, Busch and Winston Cup series Sept. 4-6. A staff member from the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, which created the barrier, found no flaws during its implementation at RIR. The Richmond barrier has been modified slightly from the original version that made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2002. The improved design was tested two weeks ago at the facility's headquarters in Lincoln, Neb.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-28-2003)

  • SAFER Halfway done at RIR: After starting the project Monday, Richmond International Raceway is near the halfway mark of installation of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barriers [SAFER]. More than 1,000 feet of rectangular steel tubing had been attached to the walls in Turns 3 and 4 by yesterday afternoon, and workers were preparing Turns 1 and 2. Once the tubes are mounted on the wall, foam blocks will be placed at roughly 10-foot intervals between the 28-foot sections of the barrier and the outside wall. RIR President Doug Fritz said the system would be finished by the end of the month. Once installed, the barrier will be painted white to match the exterior walls and will be adorned by sponsor logos. "The completion date is next week, and they're on target," Fritz said. "We started exactly the day we expected, and we've already got [Turns] 3 and 4 done. Some time next week, they'll be complete. Then we'll just paint the walls and be ready for racing." RIR's tripleheader NASCAR weekend will begin Sept. 4 with the Virginia is for Lovers 200 Craftsman Truck Series race, followed by the FUNAI 250 Busch Series event Sept.5 and the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Winston Cup race Sept.6.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-22-2003)

  • The Virginia Motorsports Initiative: Gov. Mark R. Warner announced Wenesday, a program to transform the state's NASCAR venues and other motor sport centers into engines for job creation and tourism, especially in economically depressed Southside and southwest Virginia. Standing in the pit of the 88,000-seat Martinsville Speedway, Warner (D) announced the launch of the Virginia Motorsports Initiative, a public-private partnership that he said will help "grow" jobs from the state's far southwestern tip to its midsection, a region where recent unemployment rates have climbed as high as 14 percent. Warner said several state agencies will help promote popular racing locales such as Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond as magnets for engine builders, component makers, race car teams and other sectors of an industry that has grown dramatically as a spectator sport -- and even boosted the Democrat's own 2001 campaign for governor. (see full story at the Washington Post)(8-14-2003)

  • Richmond Cup race sold out: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 scheduled for Saturday, September 6 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway history is sold out, announced track president Doug Fritz today. The race will feature pre-race concerts and special driver/artist paint schemes in an unprecedented collaboration of two of America's favorite pastimes. Prior to the race, Warner Music Group artists Hootie & the Blowfish, Uncle Kracker and Trapt will each perform trackside to a sold out crowd of 105,000 fans. The Rock & Roll theme will begin on Friday night after the FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race when Sugar Ray and Franky Perez will each perform trackside. The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 will be the 24th consecutive sellout of a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. Chevrolet drivers Ron Hornaday of the NASCAR Busch Series, along with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Michael Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon, Joe Nemechek and Steve Park of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, will each carry a special paint scheme featuring a different Warner Music Group artist. There still tickets avaialble for the Virginia is for Lovers 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Thursday, September 4 and FUNAI 250 Busch Series race. more info at www.rir.com. In addition, kids 12 and under are free in the general admission sections on Thursday and Friday when accompanied by a paying adult and all military personnel receive $5 off with a valid military I.D.(RIR PR)(8-13-2003)

  • Richmond Busch/Truck Series Sponsors Renew: RIR also announced sponsorship extensions yesterday for its September support races. FUNAI has signed a two-year agreement to sponsor the track's 250-lap Busch race, which recently added Winston Cup veterans Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Michael Waltrip, on Sept. 5. The Virginia Tourism Corporation will back the Virginia is For Lovers 200 Craftsman Truck event, which will feature defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, on Sept. 4.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-7-2003)

  • SAFER at Richmond in Sept: A major safety upgrade awaits Richmond International Raceway, which will become the first short track fitted with the energy-absorbing Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier in the coming weeks. The 0.75-mile oval, where a handful of NASCAR's most violent crashes have occurred the past two years, will have the SAFER system in place for its NASCAR tripleheader Sept. 4-6 [Cup,Busch,Trucks]. The barrier, which relies on steel tubes and foam to absorb the impact of a crash, will be attached to the outside walls in two 1,100-foot sections that will cover the track's four turns. RIR President Doug Fritz said construction would begin a few weeks before the race weekend, which will feature NASCAR's top three touring series. "We're proud to be one of the first tracks to have the system installed," Fritz said. "The installation of this state-of-the-art safety system is an example of Richmond International Raceway and International Speedway Corp.'s ongoing commitment to driver safety." The "soft wall technology" has proved highly effective since being installed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2002. Several Indy Racing League and Winston Cup drivers have endured hard collisions at IMS in the past year, but there have been no serious injuries. Because the barrier originally was designed for Indianapolis' 2.5-mile oval, months of testing were required to adapt SAFER for shorter tracks. Dr. Dean Sicking, who was commissioned by the IRL in 1998 to build the barrier, led a team of researchers that conducted several tests on a replica of an RIR wall at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility in Lincoln, Neb. NASCAR President Mike Helton recently said the goal is to erect the SAFER barrier at several tracks by next spring. New Hampshire International Speedway, a 1-mile oval where Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr. were killed in separate crashes in 2000, likely is next to implement the SAFER barrier, possibly for its Sept. 15 Winston Cup race.(Richmond Times Dispatch) and more about SAFER on my Softwalls/SAFER page.(7-3-2003)

  • RIR Partners with Airport: Richmond International Raceway officials have announced a sponsorship agreement with Richmond International Airport. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the track says it will have a "significant presence" at the airport before its NASCAR weekends each May and September, while the airport has signage on pit road.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(6-25-2003)

  • Richmond 2004 Dates: RIR President Doug Fritz confirmed Richmond International Raceway's track's first Winston Cup race in 2004 will be May 15, two weeks after the May 2 race at California Speedway. The fall race at RIR will be held on Sept. 11 next season, following the new Sept. 5 race at California Speedway that will take the Labor Day weekend occupied by the Southern 500 since 1950. RIR's spring race had been held between May 3-6 in each of the past four seasons. May 8 is open next year, but NASCAR traditionally doesn't race on a Mother's Day weekend.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-14-2003)

  • No SAFER at New Hampshire this year? It does not appear as if the energy-absorbing SAFER barrier will be in place at New Hampshire in July when the Busch and Cup series race there. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president, says analysis of a crash test done on the barrier earlier this month should be complete within two weeks. Hunter says installation of the SAFER barrier should take 60 days. If so, there wouldn't be enough time to install the barrier for the New Hampshire race, which is less than two months away. If that happens, the next race that might have the barrier could be the Richmond race in September. The barrier helps reduce the amount of energy a car -- and its driver -- experiences in a crash. Less energy should mean less severe injuries. Series officials had hoped to have the barrier at Richmond before the Busch and Cup series raced there earlier this month. Jerry Nadeau suffered head, lung, rib and shoulder blade injuries in a crash there and has been hospitalized since. Nadeau's crash reportedly registered a G-force spike of more than 150 Gs in the accident -- the hardest accident recorded since NASCAR began using crash data recorders last year. The hardest wreck previously had been Kyle Petty's crash at Bristol this year. That crash registered a G-force spike in the mid-80s.(News and Record)(5-26-2003)

  • Richmond, New Hampshire may get SAFER barrier AND: Jerry Nadeau's life-threatening crash during practice at Richmond and a record number of cautions in the Busch Series and Winston Cup races there raised questions about the progress of the SAFER wall system. A final test of the model for tighter-radius tracks was scheduled earlier in the week with NASCAR officials and engineers at the University of Nebraska. Though it will take 4-6 weeks to analyze the data, insiders say positive results are expected and that it is likely the SAFER system will be installed later this year at Richmond and New Hampshire -- tracks where straightaway speed is high, the corners are tight and require hard braking and there is little room or time to correct a car that gets out of shape. The SAFER system is used at Indianapolis, where data showed the energy-absorbing barrier reduced the impact of Winston Cup crashes by about 30%.(Sporting News)(5-6-2003)
    AND Tuesday morning, engineers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are expected to crash-test a modified version of the impact-absorbing SAFER barrier wall on a full-scale replica of the tight turns found at Richmond International Raceway - site of an accident that caused serious injuries to driver Jerry Nadeau on Friday. Although the test comes only four days after the crash - Nadeau is listed in "serious but stable" condition at a Richmond, Va., hospital with head, lung and rib injuries - it is no rush job. The test was scheduled before the wreck, and Dean Sicking, director of the university's Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, says his team isn't feeling any additional pressure to move the project along. They already were moving as quickly as possible to adapt the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's barrier to fit other tracks. Sicking has heard accusations that NASCAR is dragging its feet on the project, but says that isn't true. "NASCAR has been encouraging us, pushing us as hard as they could," he says. "We don't see that at all."(USA Today)(5-6-2003)

  • Rudd Voted Best Race: More than 3,000 fans recently went to Richmond International Raceway's Web site and voted for the best race in its 50-year history. Their choices: September 1972, when Richard Petty rallied to win after a Bobby Allison bump sent him atop the guardrail; February '86, when Kyle Petty won after Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt crashed late; September '91, when Harry Gant won the first night race in the track's modern history; or September 2001, when Ricky Rudd won with a late-race bump-and-run pass of Kevin Harvick. The winner, with more than half the votes, was Rudd's victory two years ago. Kyle Petty's victory got the second-most votes, with Gant's victory third and Richard Petty's fourth.(Daily Press)(5-4-2003)

  • Parking at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway officials announced a new specialty parking area available for fans attending the upcoming NASCAR doubleheader weekend May 1-3. This new specialty parking area is a part of Richmond International Raceway's ongoing efforts to enhance the race weekend experience for fans. The new specialty parking area is located in Lot F, near Gate 7, which is located behind the Henrico and Dogwood Grandstands. These 20' x 45' spots will accommodate self-contained motorhomes only with one companion vehicle on each spot. Spots will be assigned on a first come, first served basis beginning Thursday, May 1 at 8:00 a.m. through Gate 7 off of Carolina Avenue. All vehicles must depart raceway property by 12:00 noon on Sunday, May 4. The spots cost $150 each for the May 1-3 race weekend and are renewable for future NASCAR weekends. A very limited number of specialty parking spaces are available. Fans must show that they are be a ticket holder for either the Hardee's 250 NASCAR Busch Series or the Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races in order to purchase a renewable specialty parking area spot. If you are interested in purchasing one of these specialty parking spots, please call the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at (804) 345-RACE (7223). Please note that overnight parking on Richmond International Raceway property is prohibited Thursday and Friday of event weekends. The only exceptions are RV's and campers in the designated paid parking areas. The Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race is sold out but tickets for the Hardee's 250 on Friday, May 2 are available by logging onto www.rir.com or by calling 804-345-RACE.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(4-25-2003)

  • Race Fans To Determine Best Race In Richmond's History: Richmond International Raceway is asking race fans to determine the best race the track has hosted in its 50 years of staging NASCAR Winston Cup Series events by logging onto www.rir.com. The best race as voted on by the fans will be announced during a special pre-race ceremony for the Pontiac Excitement 400 on Saturday, May 3, as the track celebrates its 50th anniversary of hosting NASCAR Winston Cup races. Many former drivers and legends who raced or helped shape the history of the track are scheduled to participate in the ceremony, including Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Buddy Baker, Dave Marcis, Paul Sawyer, Junie Donlavey and Bill Dennis. Voting will begin Friday, April 11 and end on Friday, May 2.
    The races fans can choose from are:
    A. Capital City 500, September 10, 1972.
    B. Miller High Life 400, February 23, 1986.
    C. September 7, 1991, Miller Genuine Draft 400.
    D. September 8, 2001, Chevy Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes.
    The Pontiac Excitement 400 is sold out, but tickets are still available for the Hardee's 250 on Friday, May 2 by logging onto www.rir.com or by calling 804-345-RACE. Reserved tickets are $40 and general admission seats are only $35. Children 12 and under are free in the general admission sections when accompanied by a paying adult. A ticket to the Hardee's 250 also includes practice, Bud Pole Qualifying and happy hour for the Pontiac Excitement 400. Tickets for NBC12 Pole Qualifying Day for the NASCAR Busch Series on Thursday, May 1 are only $5, with children 12 under admitted for free.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(4-11-2003)

  • IROC at Richmond? The International Race of Champions Series could make its short-track debut at Richmond International Raceway next year. IROC President Jay Signore said RIR nearly welcomed his 29-year-old series of equally prepared stock cars to the 0.75-mile oval this season. IROC would have been contested as a companion event to the track's Indy Racing League event on June 28. "We were right on the edge of doing it," Signore said. "It was just a matter of scheduling. Richmond, for a long time, is something we've tried to do," Signore said. "The desire is there to go, and that's 90 percent of the battle. The other 90 percent is the schedule. . . . As soon as they can see the makeup of all the events, we can have a conversation to see what we can fix up." The series generally has been a support race on Winston Cup weekends at California, Michigan, Daytona and Indianapolis during recent years. Since its inception in 1974, IROC has raced at road courses, street courses and ovals around the country but never on a short track.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-5-2003)

  • RIR Tix onsale online: Richmond International Raceway tickets are now available online at www.rir.com, including reserved and general admission seats for the Hardee's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, May 2 and the SunTrust Indy Challenge IRL IndyCar Series event on Saturday, June 28. Tickets for the Party Zone, Green Flag Club, and All American Indy Bar-B-Que fan hospitality events may also be purchased online. The Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, May 3 is sold out, see my Tickets/Tour Links page for other options to buy a ticket for RIR. Tickets to the Hardee's 250 are only $40 for reserved seats and general admission tickets are $35. Reserved tickets for the Dominic's of New York 100 and the SunTrust Indy Challenge are only $35 and general admission seats are $30. Tickets are also available for NBC12 NASCAR Busch Series pole qualifying day on Thursday, May 1 and are only $5.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(3-25-2003)

  • Richmond Cup race Sold Out: The Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, May 3 is sold out, announced Doug Fritz, president of Richmond International Raceway. "Interest level and demand continue to run high for our races and we are very appreciative of the support from our loyal fans," Fritz said. "We added 3,000 fantastic seats in Turn One during the off-season that provide a terrific view of the side-by-side racing our fans are accustomed to seeing at 'The Action Track.' I'm sure we are in for another fun season at Richmond International Raceway." Fans who missed out on Pontiac Excitement 400 tickets can still see great short-track racing "under the lights" when the NASCAR Busch Series drivers take to the "Action Track" on Friday, May 2 for the Hardee's 250. The May 2 ticket includes Bud Pole Qualifying for the Pontiac Excitement 400 and NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice and "Happy Hour" prior to the Hardee's 250. Tickets for the Hardee's 250 on May 2 and NBC12 NASCAR Busch Series Pole Qualifying on Thursday, May 1 are available by calling 804-345-RACE (7223). A limited number of renewable, reserved seats for the Hardee's 250 are $40 and general admission seats are $35. Tickets for NBC12 Pole Qualifying Day are only $5 and two-for-one offers are available at www.nbc12.com starting on March 31. Kids 12 and under are free in the general admission sections on Thursday and Friday when accompanied by a paying adult.(Richmond International Raceway)(3-20-2003)

  • SAFER data being analyzed UPDATE no at RIR? NASCAR is awaiting results from a critical test of the Steel And Foam Energy Reduction [SAFER] barrier on a replica of a Richmond International Raceway wall. Positive results could lead to the installation of the SAFER barrier at RIR this season. The test, which involved crashing a Winston Cup car into an RIR-style wall fitted with a SAFER barrier, took place late Wednesday afternoon at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility in Lincoln, Neb. A group of researchers led by Dr. Dean Sicking is analyzing data from 27 videocameras and five data recorders and comparing the information to an earlier test that crashed a car into a concrete model of the RIR wall. Based on the results, more testing could be recommended or the barrier could be approved for Richmond. "It takes a little while to analyze all of it and give us their opinion," said Managing Director of Competition Gary Nelson, who runs NASCAR's safety research and development center in Concord, N.C. "They have to look at the damage profiles of the cars from both tests. There's a lot of things to figure out." Nelson said he hopes the analysis is completed with a few weeks.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-14-2003)
    UPDATE: A NASCAR official said Friday that it is "unlikely" that an energy-absorbing barrier will be installed at Richmond International Raceway in May although the barrier could be approved by then. A crash test on the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barrier was performed Wednesday at the Midwest Roadside Safety facility at the University of Nebraska. Researchers are expected to take a couple of weeks analyzing the data, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president-corporate communications. If NASCAR approves the barrier later this month, it probably would not give Richmond officials enough time to have it installed before their Busch Series race May 2 and the Winston Cup race May 3.(Roanoke Times)(3-15-2003)

  • update on RIR pit stalls: Richmond International Raceway began changing the surface of its pit stalls from asphalt to concrete this week. The project, which is being completed six stalls at a time, should be done by the end of March.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-14-2003)

  • RIR announcement today UPDATE: Richmond International Raceway and General Motors have called a news conference this morning at Daytona International Speedway to announce an extension of GM's title sponsorship of both the Winston Cup races at RIR. GM has sponsored the Pontiac 400 in the spring since 1988 and the Monte Carlo 400 in the fall since 2000.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-12-2003)
    UPDATE: General Motors has reached an agreement on a three-year contract with Richmond International Raceway to continue sponsoring both of the track's NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, officials from both companies announced today. The sponsorship deal also calls for Pontiac to continue to serve as the official car and official pace car and Chevrolet to serve as official truck and official pace truck for the track. This season, The Pontiac Excitement 400 is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 with the Chevrolet entitled event set for Saturday, September 6. Both races, like all events at Richmond International Raceway, are held "under the lights." Hardee's will sponsor the May BGN race again in 2003 for the 12th consecutive season.(RIR PR), supposedly the fall Richmond race will be call the Chevrolet Rock and Roll 400.(2-13-2003)

  • RIR SAFER test delayed: A critical test of the Steel And Foam Energy Reduction barrier slated for this week has been delayed by cold weather in Lincoln, NE. NASCAR Competition Director Gary Nelson said researchers at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility have completed preparations and are waiting only "until the ice melts" to test the barrier on a replica of a Richmond International Raceway wall. If the tests are successful, the energy-absorbing barriers, which have been constructed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway in the past year, could be installed at RIR for the NASCAR weekend May 1-3. Nelson said researchers, led by Dr. Dean Sicking, are optimistic about completing the test within the next few weeks. "Everything is ready," Nelson said. "It's just a matter of weather. I told them, 'Call us, and we'll be there in four hours.'" Crash tests already have been completed on the wall to gather data to compare against a barrier test. Because Sicking designed the barrier for the 2.5-mile track at Indianapolis, the system wasn't readily adaptable to the 0.75-mile layout at RIR. The Indianapolis version had been modified to fit the model of Richmond's wall. "The biggest thing is the radius," Nelson said. "The steel tubes are bent, where at Indianapolis, they were straight sections stuck on the wall." A test car has been donated by Hendrick Motorsports.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-10-2003)

  • Richmond to concrete Pit Boxes: With its latest expansion project moving along on schedule, officials at Richmond International Raceway have added one more upgrade to their list of things to do: they are converting the pit stalls from asphalt to concrete. The change is mostly being made to accommodate the wishes of Indy Racing League teams. The IRL races at Richmond at the end of June, and expressed fears that the pinpoint jacks used by IRL pit crews could damage the blacktop in intense heat. NASCAR crews use larger jacks less likely to damage the pit surface. The pit stall work is just one of many projects under way at the track, which is adding about 3,000 seats and building a new press box with elevator access in the first and second turns. The work should be complete when the track opens for its first weekend of NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup racing May 1, track president Doug Fritz said. The expansion will push Richmond's seating capacity to about 105,000, and Fritz said Henrico County has given clearance for an additional 45,000 seats to be added. He said a study of demand for tickets will dictate when, or if, the track chooses to expand again.(Daily Press/AP)(2-5-2003)

  • Richmond Ticket Renewals: Richmond International Raceway is encouraging fans who hold ticket invoices for the Pontiac 400 Winston Cup race on May 3 to renew before the Jan. 31 deadline by calling or stopping by the track. The RIR ticket office is switching to a new ticketing system to improve efficiency. "Since we are still converting accounts, we expect there will be some delays processing orders on the phones or in person if most of our remaining renewal customers wait until Jan. 31," RIR President Doug Fritz said. "Fans can also mail their renewals if they are postmarked by Jan. 31." For more information, contact the RIR ticket office at (804) 345-7223.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-26-2003)

  • RIR Walls Next for SAFER? Richmond International Raceway is the leading candidate to be the next track to install the energy-absorbing walls first used in last year's Indy 500. The latest tests at the University of Nebraska research center have been conducted with an exact model of the 0.75-mile Richmond track's walls. Dr. Dean Sikking, who developed the SAFER barrier, is trying to determine what changes, if any, are needed for a track with tighter-radius turns than the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gary Nelson, director of NASCAR's new research and development center in Concord, N.C., said testing is expected to be completed in the next three weeks. "One more test hopefully will give us the final sign-off and then we'll start contacting tracks," Nelson said. "You'll see some quick movement once we can get past the point where we know the new wall will do no harm and can only improve the situation."(Indianapolis Star)(1-24-2003)

  • Richmond Promotions: Two Richmond International Raceway staff members have been promoted to director's positions and one person has been added to the staff, announced track president Doug Fritz. Debbie Weller, who has worked for Richmond International Raceway for three years and with parent company International Speedway Corporation (ISC) for more than six years, was promoted to Director of Marketing and Sales, while Justin DuBrueler, who most recently served as the track's accounting manager, was named Director of Accounting. Louis Gilmore, who has spent more than ten years in the hotel sales and marketing industry, was named Director of Complex Sales for Richmond Raceway Complex. Weller, 31, worked at ISC Corporate Marketing and later at Watkins Glen International before assuming her role of Marketing Manager at Richmond International Raceway in December 1999. The Lexington, Michigan native oversees all facets of advertising, promotions, and corporate sales, including sponsorship and hospitality sales. Prior to joining Richmond International Raceway in July 2000 as Accounting Manager, DuBrueler worked at Rose, Sanderson, & Creasey, LLC of Glen Allen, VA as Staff Accountant. DuBrueler will oversee all financial transactions for Richmond International Raceway and Richmond Raceway Complex.(RIR PR)(12-20-2002)

  • No Richmond Sealing and more parking and seats: For the first time since 1996, the asphalt surface at Richmond International Raceway won't be sealed during the offseason. The sealer, a coal-tar, emulsion-based product that includes a very fine sand and some latex, was intended to improve grip and protect the surface from the weather. The 0.75-mile track annually had been sprayed with the compound in late November or early December. Drivers often lauded the sealer for producing side-by-side racing. Opinions changed, however, during the May 5 race, which was delayed a day by rain. After a multitude of wrecks and a record-tying 14 caution flags, several drivers blamed the sealer for turning RIR into a one-groove racetrack and creating treacherous conditions. After surveying Winston Cup drivers and NASCAR, RIR President Doug Fritz said the track decided to skip sealing the track for 2003. RIR will continue with its other track maintenance, including grooming the surface and dragging tires to lay down rubber.
    AND more seats at RIR The addition of 3,000 seats and six suites in Turn 1 is on schedule to be completed in April. RIR also is constructing concrete pit stalls on pit road that will be ready for March testing. An additional 10 acres of parking, which should have space for more than 1,000 cars, is being prepared for the spring race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(12-15-2002)

  • More Seats at Richmond and Kansas: International Speedway Corp. has begun work on adding 3,100 seats and six luxury suites to Richmond International Raceway. The project, scheduled for completion next spring, will boost total seating capacity at the Richmond track to about 105,000. Kansas Speedway, also owned by Speedway Corp., will get 1,500 more seat as part of the company's annual capital expenditures. Speedway Corp. spokesman David Talley said no expansion projects have been slated this year for Daytona International Speedway, which has a seating capacity of 165,000.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-16-2002)

  • Richmond to Expand: Richmond International Raceway will make an announcement on Wednesday regarding plans to expand its seating capacity for the 2003 season.(RIR PR) AND Richmond International Raceway will add about 3,000 seats during the offseason, bringing the seating capacity to about 105,000, including grandstands and suites. Construction will take place in the Veranda section in Turn 1 between the Commonwealth and Dogwood grandstands. More than 20 rows of grandstand seating will be added, and the suites and press box will be raised. The Veranda suites, currently lower than the others that circle the track, now will line up with the suites in the Dogwood section to provide a more uniform appearance. Light work already has started, and it is expected that the project will be completed by April in time for the NASCAR weekend on May 1-3. The track underwent its last expansion before the 2001 season, adding 6,500 seats. The track received approval from the Henrico County Board of Supervisors last year for a grandstand height of 215 feet and a seating capacity of 150,000.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-2-2002)

  • Richmond may Expand: In the wake of strong attendance for its NASCAR tripleheader Sept. 5-7, officials at Richmond International Raceway are taking a serious look at increasing its seating capacity for next season. RIR President Doug Fritz said there is no deadline for deciding on expansion. But with season-ticket invoices scheduled to be mailed next month, a decision likely would be made by the end of October. The tracks grandstands seat a little more than 100,000. The track surface also received good reviews from drivers. The sealer, which improves grip and protects the asphalt, was criticized heavily after the May race. RIR normally is sealed each year in the offseason, but Fritz said no decision had been made yet on applying the sealer for 2003. "I would say it's probably unlikely we'll seal it again for next May," Fritz said. RIR will begin accepting seat deposits for its 2003 Winston Cup races today. Tickets also will be on sale today for reserved seating for the Hardee's 250 Busch Grand National race on May 2. For more information, visit www.rir.com or call the RIR ticket office at (804) 345-7223.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(9-17-2002)

  • New Book Touts Richmond as one of the Best Winston Cup Cities:. Speed Dreams: A Guide to America's 23 NASCAR Tracks lists Richmond as being among the nation's best in several categories such as (#2 Dozen Favorite Tracks to Watch a Race in Person; #2-Favorite Quirks; #8-Top Twelve Family-Friendly Winston Cup Race Cities). Over the past two Winston Cup seasons, Jay Ahuja traveled to racetracks across the country to get a fan's perspective of the best places to see a race. He shares what he learned about every track, as well as hundreds of local attractions, restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels in Winston Cup cities nationwide. The author interviewed drivers, crewmembers, media folks, track officials, tourism directors, and everyday fans, as he put together this 290-page guide, complete with photos of each track. Also included are a number of "top twelve" lists throughout the book. These lists offer high praise for Richmond. Speed Dreams, published by Kensington Books, provides must-have phone numbers and Web site addresses, and helps fans score the best seats while avoiding the worst traffic jams. This easy-to-use book doesn't pull any punches when evaluating the good, the bad, and the ugly of every NASCAR Winston Cup track. Speed Dreams is available at national book chains ( and at the Jayski Racing Bookstore - a highly recommended book for those who fgotto the races)(RIR PR)(9-3-2002)

  • Extended Tix Hours at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway announced that the track's ticket office will be open every day starting Saturday, August 17 through the September 5-7 NASCAR triple header weekend. The extended ticket office hours are listed on their site: www.rir.com. Saturday's Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes- The Rematch! is sold out but tickets are available for Thursday and Friday (Truck and BGN races)(RIR PR)(8-20-2002)

  • More tire testing at Richmond UPDATE 2: Goodyear officials plan to test tires July 23-24 at Richmond International Raceway to determine what kind of tire to use at the fall race. In the May Cup race, a second groove did not develop and passing was difficult. Drivers complained about the sealer used, but track officials insisted that nothing different was done in preparing the track for the race. #2-Rusty Wallace and #20-Tony Stewart tested there for Goodyear a couple of weeks after the race, but Goodyear officials decided to return after next weekend's IRL race. Stewart, #28-Ricky Rudd and rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson are scheduled to test there for Goodyear.(Roanoke Times)(6-23/7-23-2002) - haven't heard if this is still on or not.
    UPDATE: Three teams are at RIR for a two day Goodyear tire test, the drivers are #20-Stewart, #28-Rudd and #48-Johnson, the test concludes today.(PRN's Garage Pass)(7-24-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Rudd, Stewart and Johnson staged a 75-lap "race" at Richmond International Raceway on Wednesday to test Goodyear's tires, after questions about the May race at that track. Track owners had blamed Goodyear's tires for the poor race and demanded a test and indicated they wanted new tires for the September race at RIR. Drivers and Goodyear engineers pointed to the track sealer as the culprit. This week's two-day test appeared to back up Goodyear's contention that the tires were fine and that track officials erred in applying the sealer.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)

  • Bugs Bunny Bobble Head - very cool: Richmond International Raceway fans will have the opportunity to obtain a collectable, limited edition Bugs Bunny bobble head doll as part of a special promotion surrounding the NASCAR tripleheader weekend "Under the Lights" September 5-7 at Richmond International Raceway. Fans can obtain the Bugs Bunny bobble head doll by purchasing tickets to both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 on Thursday, September 5 and the Funai 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, September 6 by August 30th. The collectable doll, produced by Forever Collectables, features Bugs Bunny dressed in a Looney Tunes drivers suit and holding a Richmond International Raceway racing helmet. Each bobble head doll is dated and individually numbered. For more info, see the www.rir.com site.(7-23-2002)

  • Richmond Cup Race Sold Out: The Winston Cup Monte Carlo 400, scheduled for Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway, is sold out, track President Doug Fritz said yesterday. The race is a "No Bull 5" event, meaning the top five finishers from the Pepsi 400 at Daytona on July 6 - Michael Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Sterling Marlin, Jimmy Spencer and Mark Martin - are eligible for a $1 million bonus by winning the race. A fan will also be paired with each of the five drivers and also take home $1 million if his or her driver wins. The Craftsman Truck series starts three days of racing with a 200-lap event on Sept. 5, and the Busch Grand National circuit gets the green flag the next night in the Funai 250. For more information call (804) 345-RACE.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-19-2002)

  • More tire testing at Richmond: Goodyear officials plan to test tires July 23-24 at Richmond International Raceway to determine what kind of tire to use at the fall race. In the May Cup race, a second groove did not develop and passing was difficult. Drivers complained about the sealer used, but track officials insisted that nothing different was done in preparing the track for the race. #2-Rusty Wallace and #20-Tony Stewart tested there for Goodyear a couple of weeks after the race, but Goodyear officials decided to return after next weekend's IRL race. Stewart, #28-Ricky Rudd and rookie #48-Jimmie Johnson are scheduled to test there for Goodyear.(Roanoke Times)(6-23-2002)

  • Goodyear re-evaluating Richmond tire: Goodyear officials say they will wait until after an Indy Racing League event in late June at Richmond to decide whether to change the tire they will provide for Winston Cup teams to race on there in September. #20-Tony Stewart and #2-Rusty Wallace participated in a special test last week at Richmond comparing the tires used there earlier this month and ones used at the track last year. Drivers complained about how the tires and a sealer used on the track surface interacted at this month's race, which was marred by several wrecks and featured less side-by-side racing than seen there in recent years.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-27-2002)

  • Drivers to Test at Richmond UPDATE: A few drivers (doesn't say which ones) are participating in a closed Winston Cup test at Richmond International Raceway on Tuesday [May 21]. The public and media are not allowed to attend the session in which Goodyear and NASCAR officials plan to test both tires and the sealer that drew complaints following the Pontiac 400 on May 4.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-17-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR is sending #20-Tony Stewart and #2-Rusty Wallace to Richmond International Raceway next week to figure out what, if anything, is wrong with the track. Winston Cup director John Darby said NASCAR isn't convinced the sealer is the problem, which is why the sanctioning body asked Stewart and Wallace to test the track. One possibility is that Goodyear, which switched the type of tire it is using this season, has given the teams rubber not compatible with Richmond, Darby said. So Stewart and Wallace will test the track Tuesday with tires from both this year and last in an effort to rule that out. NASCAR asked several teams to test the track, but could get only those two drivers. Darby said he was disappointed a Chevrolet will not be represented. Four-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon was asked to take his Chevy there, but declined and then expressed frustration over the demands on drivers.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(5-18-2002)

  • Sealer Stays: In response to numerous complaints about the quality of the track surface, RIR president Doug Fritz said the track would not be resealed again between now and the series' return here in September. "We appreciate the feedback the drivers have given us about the race track," Fritz said. "We resealed the track in November, which is normally the time frame when the work is completed. We resealed the track in the same manner we always do, with two coats in the racing groove and one outside the groove."(Gaston Gazette)(5-6-2002)

  • Richmond Traffic: Richmond International Raceway, in cooperation with county, city and state officials from six different jurisdictions, are providing fans with various routes to race events this season to help avoid congestion on local roads that surround the raceway property. Fans can take several routes from the major highways that lead to Richmond International Raceway to help avoid congestion often encountered on Laburnum Avenue, the stoplight-filled main road that runs parallel to the 700-acre property. The track is working with officials from Henrico County Police, the Henrico Fire Department, Hanover County, the City of Richmond, the Virginia Department of State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation. For fans wishing to avoid some of the congestion, Richmond International Raceway is again offering a shuttle bus service from downtown Richmond on Saturday only. Fans can park at the Richmond Coliseum lot on North 7th Street just minutes off of Interstates 64 and 95. Parking is only $5 and the shuttle service is free. Shuttle service begins at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and resumes immediately following the finish of the race. Service will resume at the end of the race from the main entrance at the Raceway on Laburnum Avenue. See the RIR site for the routes and more info.(4-30-2002)

  • RIR Concession Prices and Cooler Info: The NASCAR doubleheader this weekend at Richmond International Raceway will be the track's first event since new security measures were implemented and several concession prices were reduced for fans. Fans are still permitted to bring food and beverages into the grandstands in soft-sided coolers, but hard-sided coolers are not allowed. Each ticket holder is limited to the following:
    One soft-sided cooler, no larger than 6 X 6 X 12 inches in size. Soft-sided coolers of this size are large enough to comfortably fit six beverage cans and other items, including sandwiches, snacks and ice.
    One clear plastic bag no larger than 18 X 18 X 4 inches.
    To help offset any inconvenience the new security policy may cause, concession prices on high-demand items have also been reduced (subject to change) and additional concession stands will be added:
    Item, Old Price, New price
    Beer, $4.50, $4.00
    Bottled soda/Gatorade, $3.50, $3.00
    Hot dogs, $3.00, $2.50
    Bottled Water, $3.00, $2.00
    Snacks (popcorn, candy, etc.), $2.00, $1.00
    Fans may carry ice (not freezer packs) in the soft-sided cooler, but ice and freezer packs are not allowed in the clear plastic bags. Richmond International Raceway will also continue its long-standing policy of offering pass-outs if fans wish to return to their cars or motorhomes to restock their soft-sided coolers. "We have implemented these policies to help ensure our fans' safety and to expedite entrance into the track," said Doug Fritz, President of Richmond International Raceway. Items including scanners, cell phones, radios, cameras, binoculars and headsets are still permitted, but must be placed on the ticket holder's body or in one of the two bags allowed for each person. Fans are asked to double-check that their bags comply with the new security measures before reaching the gate. Richmond International Raceway will dispose of any such items left at the gate and will not be responsible for those items.(RIR PR)(4-30-2002)

  • Richmond Cup race sold out: The Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at Richmond International Raceway is a complete sellout. Fans who missed out on Pontiac Excitement 400 tickets can still see great short-track racing when the BGN drivers take to the track on Friday, May 3 for the Hardee's 250. The May 3 ticket includes Bud Pole Qualifying for the Pontiac Excitement 400 and NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice prior to the Hardee's 250. Tickets for the Hardee's 250 on May 3 and NBC12 BGN Pole Qualifying on Thursday, May 2 are available by calling 804-345-RACE (7223). Renewable, reserved seats for the Hardee's 250 are $40 and general admission seats are $35. Tickets for NBC12 Pole Qualifying Day are only $5 and two-for-one coupons are available at www.nbc12.com.(RIR PR)(4-13-2002)

  • New Starting time for Richmond: The Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, May 4 at Richmond International Raceway will have a new starting time of 7:00pm/et, announced Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz. The Cup races at Richmond had scheduled green flag times of 8:00pm/et. "The earlier starting time for The Pontiac Excitement 400 will give our fans the opportunity to start traveling home earlier or head out to enjoy the great nightlife in the Richmond area," Fritz said. "We greatly appreciate the support and cooperation we received from NASCAR and FOX to help make the 7:00pm start time possible." The Pontiac Excitement 400 and the Hardee's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, May 3 will both air live on FX.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(3-19-2002)

  • Drive the RIR track: The first wheel to turn on Richmond International Raceway this season won't be by Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton or Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves. Instead, the first on-track activity will be open to the general public on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 as part of a special two-day-only fan appreciation event that will allow fans to drive their own cars on the mile "Action Track". Fans can participate by purchasing at least two reserved tickets to the Hardee's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday, May 3 or the SunTrust Indy Challenge on Saturday, June 29. The raceway's operations staff will direct participants to the track for a controlled, two-lap drive around the D-shaped oval. Fans will be led by the raceway's official Pontiac pace car around the track. Other special offers for the fan appreciation event include $5 off general admission tickets to all non-Winston Cup events and a coupon for a free Hardee's burger for every reserved Hardee's 250 ticket purchased (while supplies last). Fans who are unable to come to the track and wish to purchase tickets over the phone will be offered a free Richmond International Raceway t-shirt for every two reserved Hardee's 250 or SunTrust Indy Challenge tickets purchased (limit one t-shirt per account). In addition, there will be specials on fan hospitality packages for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and Indy Racing League events. Radio station XL 102.1 FM of Richmond will broadcast live from outside the ticket office from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The station will have additional prizes (while supplies last) for fans who come to the track. Richmond International Raceway will host three great race weekends "under the lights" in 2002.(Richmond International Raceway PR)(2-28-2002)

  • Richmond and Coolers: Richmond International Raceway will allow coolers this year, but only ones of the soft-sided, insulated-bag variety. No hard-sided coolers are allowed into the raceway. Ticket buyers were confused by a recent RIR letter explaining the new security procedures. The letter states that "no backpacks, coolers, large bags and/or camera bags" will be allowed in the grandstands. However, a paragraph later, the letter explains that fans can bring food and beverages into the grandstands in the insulated bags. Raceway officials said they had received letters questioning the cooler rule but had resolved the issue when they explained to fans that the soft-sided coolers are allowed. These bags can be 6 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, large enough for a six pack and a couple of sandwiches. Each ticketholder can bring in one. Fans also are allowed to carry an 18x18x4 clear plastic bag into the grandstands, primarily.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-23-2002)

  • RIR Re-seals: Richmond International Raceway has completed another off-season of work on the surface of the .75-mile oval. Last week, officials resealed the entire track and pit road. The work was completed Friday. The track is resealed during the off-season to protect the surface and to keep winter conditions from affecting the asphalt.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-20-2001)

  • Soap Box at RIR: The Soap Box Rally, presented by the Children's Museum of Richmond, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Richmond International Raceway. The Rally, which will have a double-elimination format, includes all three divisions: Stock, Super Stock and Masters. Action begins at 8:00am on Saturday and 8:30am on Sunday.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-11-2001)

  • National Anthem at RIR: Country music singer Tracy Lawrence will perform a free concert prior to the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 with the Looney Tunes NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Saturday, September 8 at Richmond International Raceway. Lawrence will perform at 6:00pm/et from pit road in the infield at Richmond International Raceway and will also sing the national anthem prior to the race.(RIR PR)(9-4-2001)

  • RIR Expansion Approved: Henrico County supervisors approved a plan for Richmond International Raceway to add parking and expand by a potential 47,580 seats. The board's vote increases RIR's seating capacity from 125,000 to 150,000. The board also approved a provisional use permit for RIR that allows it to grow up to 215 feet in height. RIR currently seats 102,420 with a maximum height of 81 feet, 7 inches. The plan contains provisions to allow track owner International Speedway Corp. to expand parking in surrounding areas owned by the company, including 46.1 acres purchased last fall. Track officials said they do not plan any expansion this season(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-11-2001)

  • RIR Expansion: Richmond International Raceway filed a permit application yesterday that would allow expansion of the grandstands at the track. The current seating capacity at the track is 102,420. A recent Henrico County ordinance allows stadiums to request height increases beyond the 110-foot limit. Yesterday, track officials filed the applications for a permit and an alteration to the plans of development for the facility. RIR did not submit any building permit applications. Track officials said they do not plan any expansion between now and the September race(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-13-2001)

  • RIR Approved to Add Seats: Tuesday night, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors(VA) approved an ordinance that allows an increase in height for certain structures in the track's business zone. Richmond International Raceway(RIR) can now apply for a permit to raise the grandstand seating, but doesn't plan to expand this season, but the new county ordinance has opened the door for future additions to the grandstands. Track President Doug Fritz said RIR paid close attention to the county discussions at work sessions. The new law, which applies only to stadiums, coliseums and racetracks in the track's business zone, states that structures can be any height in excess of 45 feet with board approval. Buildings were previously allowed to only build 110 feet with special approval. Currently the 102,420-seat grand- stand climbs 100 feet. RIR already has an approved development plan to raise the height to 110 feet and increase seating to 125,000. The track plans to file a petition to expand to 150,000 seats with a height of 225-250 feet.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-26-2001)

  • Richmond Repairs: Richmond International Raceway is undergoing a little repair work. During NASCAR testing sessions plagued by rain last week(the #28 and #88 were supposed to test there), teams noticed the track "weeping" between turns one and two. Track officials checked into the problem and discovered that water was seeping from under the grandstands and across the asphalt. RIR hired a crew to add a drain to that area. Testing has been postponed for Monday as work continues. There should be no problems with other tests or the upcoming NASCAR races. Ricky Rudd is not planning on making up the test that was rained out at Richmond this week. Rudd said the sealer that has been put on the track will be worn off by the race, which means data gained in the test might be useless on race weekend.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-7-2001)

  • Speed Record at Richmond: Indy Racing League driver Buzz Calkins unofficially turned the fastest lap in Richmond International Raceway history yesterday. Piloting a Dallara-Oldsmobile, Calkins toured the .75-mile oval at an estimated 154.99 mph (17.4 seconds) during a testing session. The lap is nearly 30 mph faster than the Winston Cup qualifying record at RIR, a 21.344-second, 126.499-mph lap by Jeff Gordon on May 13, 1999. The IRL will make its debut at RIR on June 30. The night race will mark the first trip to a track shorter than a mile for the Indy-car series, which formed in 1996. Randy Tolsma turned the fastest official lap in an event at RIR, running 131.374 mph (20.552 seconds) in a USAC Silver Crown car on June 15, 1996. Last June, IRL driver Scott Goodyear made a 147-mph lap during a one-day test on the oval.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-27-2001)

  • Richmond News: Richmond International Raceway is beginning a promotion with Hardee's restaurants. RIR has signed a three-year sponsorship extension with the fast-food chain for the spring BGN race. Hardee's restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia have started a promotion where fans can buy tickets for the race and earn the chance to win $10,000 or wave the green flag at the start of the race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-17-2001)

  • Sawyer honored: Earlier this week, the University of Richmond honored former Richmond International Raceways's Paul Sawyer's by awarding him an honorary doctor of commercial science degree. Sawyer attended a surprise luncheon with family and university trustees where he was lauded for the raceway's "dramatic impact on the economy of the metropolitan Richmond area and all of Virginia." Sawyer took over the operation of what was to become RIR in 1955, and it now plays host to five annual NASCAR events. Sawyer sold RIR to International Speedway Corporation in 1999. A year earlier, an economic impact study prepared by Virginia Commonwealth University found that the track contributed $162 million annually to Richmond's economy and that RIR brought an additional $5.8 million to the state each year.(Times-Dispatch)(1-14-2001)

  • Richmond gets new name and logo in 2001: Richmond International Raceway, formerly referred to as RIR, has introduced a new look. Effective immediately, the new logo is replacing the RIR logo that has been in place since 1988. This modern appearance and colorful new look has been put in place to reflect Richmond International Raceway's desire to continually improve its facility and build upon its reputation of being fan friendly. In addition to the new look for the raceway, the Richmond Raceway Complex, formerly referred to as "The State Fairgrounds at Strawberry Hill," has also implemented a new logo as well. Virginia traditions have been established at the Richmond Raceway Complex by hosting major events such as the Virginia State Fair, the Richmond Home and Garden Show and Bizarre Bazaar(Richmond Raceway Complex Site)(12-21-2000)

  • RIR News: Construction workers have been busy this winter, altering the fences and the track in preparation for Richmond International Raceway's first Indy Racing League event on June 30. A bump in Turn 1 has been eliminated and new asphalt laid in that section of the track. The rest of the track has been sealed in preparation for the spring NASCAR races, but officials decided to let the Turn 1 area "cure." That section will be sealed in the spring. In addition, workers are completing the fence reconstruction project. After fans were killed during an IRL race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May 1999, tracks began altering fences before playing host to an IRL event. RIR opted to tear down the existing fence and build a new structure with a 9-foot overhang. Currently, contractors are living in the campground and working to complete the project(Times Dispatch)(12-10-2000)

  • New Fences at RIR: Richmond International Raceway officials are replacing the track's fences. The new fences will have a 9-foot overhang. Previously, the fences had a slight overhang. The change is being done in preparation of next June's Indy Racing League event there(Roanoke Times)(10-1-2000)

  • Sharp to demo at Richmond UPDATE: IRL driver Scott Sharp will turn demonstration laps Saturday in his Kelley Racing/Delphi Automotive Systems/WorldCom Dallara/Aurora during this weekend's NASCAR event, hoping to build interest for the IRNLS event, which runs at Richmond on June 30, 2001. Sharp will practice from 9:30-10:00am/et and then turn hot laps from 3:00-3:30pm/et and then lead a parade lap in front of packed grandstands at 6:30pm/et shortly before Cup cars enter the track(SpeedVision)(9-8-2000)
    UPDATE: Scott Sharp made a few show laps for the crowd mid-afternoon at Richmond and estimated that speeds could go as high as 170mph when the IRL debuts at the track next June. Sharp made four or five demo laps with only second and third gears and with his tires gobbling up rubber from a day of Winston Cup practice. Team members timed him at 19.8sec (136.1mph), but the idea more was to show the car in NASCAR-land(SpeedVision)(9-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: see an image of the IRL car above(9-15-2000)

  • Bristol/Richmond changes? hearing that NASCAR may cut back on the Bristol and/or Richmond night-race schedules in 2001. Supposedly they are looking at one round of qualifying instead of two. A morning practice session on Friday, one round of qualifying, then a Happy Hour, followed by the BGN race that night. Then the gates wouldn't open Saturday until around 3:00pm with a 7:30 start. No practice or qualifying at all on Saturday. Supposedly teams are in favor of it(8-27-2000)

  • RIR Story: Paul Sawyer was 83 years old, but retirement was not on his mind last November when he and sons Wayne and Bill agreed to sell Richmond International Raceway to International Speedway Corp. for $215 million. Sawyer, given the title of chairman of the board, expected that he and his sons would continue to play a role in the management of the track, which hosts two NASCAR Winston Cup events a year. If he had to do it over again, Sawyer said, he probably would sell the speedway to Bruton Smith. See full story at the Virginian Pilot(7-26-2000)

  • RIR Dates: Richmond International Raceway has confirmed its dates will not move next season. The 2001 Winston Cup race dates will be May 5 and Sept. 8. The Indy Racing League debuts at RIR on June 30(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-21-2000)

  • IRL at Richmond UPDATE: Scott Goodyear tested at Richmond today and turned laps almost at 147mph (the Cup record is 126.499mph). The IRL had Richmond as a tenative race on the 2001 IRL schedule, it is now scheduled(6-27-2000)
    UPDATE: Richmond officially was added to the Indy Racing League/Northern Light Series 2001 schedule yesterday. RIR had been granted a provisional IRL date, but nothing could be confirmed until Goodyear put his Panther Racing car on the track for a morning test. The IRL will certainly will obliterate all existing RIR speed records. The fastest official lap for the current configuration of the track is 131.2 mph, turned by pole-winner Randy Tolsma when the USAC Silver Crown Series did a one-year trial run in Richmond in 1996. RIR also will need to expand pit stalls and raise safety fences to accommodate IRL requirements(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-28-2000)

  • Richmond gets conditional IRL date: RIR has been conditionally awarded an Indy Racing League date. IRL officials are waiting until Scott Goodyear's test at the track to guarantee the race, but it is on the 2001 schedule released yesterday. The Indy cars should appear at Richmond on June 30(at night), 2001. Goodyear will test at RIR on June 27(Times Dispatch)(6-22-2000)

  • Richmond and the IRL? UPDATE: Richmond International Raceway could be added to the Indy Racing League schedule in 2001. Scott Goodyear is scheduled to test at the track later this month. According to team representatives, Goodyear is evaluating the three-quarter mile oval to see if it is wide enough to handle the open-wheel cars. If he approves the track and RIR is added to the schedule, it will be the shortest in the IRL(Times-Dispatch)(6-14-2000)
    UPDATE: more on the IRL/Richmond test - IRL, RIR discuss test date and from the Daily Press: Indy racing may head to Richmond next spring by Al Pearce(6-15-2000)

  • Sawyers Buy Track: Billy Sawyer, son of former Richmond owner Paul, purchased Mid-Bay Raceway in Saluda, VA and is wasting no time making expansions. He's renamed the facility Virginia Motor Speedway and already has planned $250,000 in renovations. The half-mile dirt track will play host to weekly racing throughout the summer months. Paul Sawyer, who created Richmond International Raceway, is working as a special consultant, and Wayne Sawyer is a construction consultant. The trio recently sold RIR to the France family-owned International Speedway Corporation for $215 million. At VMS, Billy Sawyer plans to add a television-quality lighting system and 3,500 bleacher seats for the 2000 season. A total of 5,000 permanent seats are planned by the 2001 race season. New retaining walls are being erected on the inside and outside of the track(Times-Dispatch)(3-14-2000)

  • RIR to sell? UPDATEs YES: from a few readers....TV station, WAVY TV 10 (NBC affiliate) in Norfolk, VA, reported that the Sawyer Family is selling control of Richmond International Raceway(RIR) to International Speedway Corp(ISC). Part of the deal is that both races stay at the track, and members of the Sawyer family will continue to work at/operate the facility. Bruton Smith and Speedway Motorsports Corp(SMC) reportedly offered more money, but they wanted to move one of the dates(many readers) and I just heard from a few sources that RIR has scheduled an announcement for 12noon/et on Wednesday Dec 1st(11-30-1999) -- UPDATEs: International Speedway Corporation, the track operations/promotions arm of NASCAR, apparently will take control of Richmond International Raceway, one of the mainstay tracks on NASCAR's Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck circuits, sources said last night. A press conference was scheduled for noon (ET) Wednesday at the track(Racer Magazine) AND Speculation centers on two possibilities: 1) Paul Sawyer is selling the 90,000-seat facility to Bill France and his International Speedway Corp. for upwards of $250 million; or, 2) Sawyer is retiring and appointing one of his sons, Wayne or Billy, as his successor(Daily Press/Al Pearce) AND Richmond track will be sold today by Dustin Long of the Roanoke Times - UPDATE 2: ISC purchases Richmond track from Sawyers(NOL)(12-1-1999)

  • Short Track Wins UPDATE: Nine different drivers win the last nine short-track races: Dale Jarrett, John Andretti, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton and Jeff Gordon(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE Make it Ten drivers, add Dale Earnhardt to the mix(8-29-1999) -- UPDATE: Make it Eleven now as Tony Stewart won at Richmond(9-11-1999)

  • Columns on the RIR sale: Sawyer has ensured racing-Richmond link by Bob Lipper and Expansion plans call for more seats, more parking lots (times-Dispatch)(7-28-1999)

  • Richmond Vote UPDATE: The Atlantic Rural Exposition shareholders meet this morning to vote on selling the Strawberry Hills Fairgrounds land to Richmond International Raceway. See full story at Vote on Fairgrounds sale to RIR set today(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE: The sale of the land encompassing the Richmond International Raceway is now complete. The property owned by the Atlantic Rural Exposition has been home to the Virginia State Fair and some form of auto racing since 1946. A vote of the stockholders of A.R.E. followed the recommendation of the Board of Directors and approved the 47 million dollar transaction. That approval was the final step needed to turn over the property to the Sawyers on August 30th. The 3/4 mile NASCAR race track built by the Sawyer family was opened in its current configuration in 1988 and has grown to where it now seats 95,000 annually for it's two Winston Cup races, the largest sporting events in Virginia. The deal will now allow the Sawyers to increase seating to a projected 125,000 and make other improvements, such as additional parking, at the site to support the growing number of race fans wishing to attend events at the Strawberry Hill location. The deal, basically done in January, was held up for a while as the A.R.E. board looked for a new location to hold the Virginia State Fair. The Fair will operate at the current location through the year 2000, before moving to an, as yet, undecided site in one of Richmond's surrounding three counties(Inside Motorsports)(7-27-1999)

  • Richmond News: The deal to sell the land encompassing the Richmond International Raceway is nearing finality. The property owned by the Atlantic Rural Exposition has been home to the Virginia State fair and some form of auto racing since 1945. The 3/4 mile NASCAR race track built by the Sawyer family was opened in 1988 and has grown to where it now seats 95,00 annually for it's two Winston Cup races, the largest sporting events in Virginia. The deal, worth 47 million dollars, has been approved by the board of A.R.E. and sent on for a vote by their shareholders. After approval, the land would change hands on August 30th. The deal would allow the Sawyers to increase seating and make other improvements, such as additional parking, at the site to support the growing number of race fans wishing to attend events at the location. The deal, basically done in January, was held up for a while as the A.R.E. board looked for a new location to hold the Virginia State Fair. The Fair will operate at the Strawberry Hill location for at least one more year before moving to an, as yet, undecided location in one of Richmond's surrounding three counties(Inside Motorsports)(7-10-1999)

  • RIR date: Richmond International Raceway's spring Winston Cup date reportedly has been moved to the weekend before Mother's Day next season. The race, slated for May 6, will be followed by an open date -- NASCAR historically doesn't run on Mother's Day weekend. See my The TENTATIVE 2000 Cup Schedule. (Times-Dispatch)(6-22-1999)

  • Richmond/ISC Info: I hear that Paul Sawyer was having trouble in his negotiations with the Richmoand Fair Board that owns the Richmond Speedway property. So he brought Jim France and his folks in from Daytona and told the Board they could negotiate with him or he would sell to ISC and the Board could deal with them instead. It worked; the Fair Board backed down. Pretty interesting, huh?(6-15-1999)

  • Richmond Sold, No? Reports that the Richmond International Raceway would be sold to International Speedway Corporation are apparently false. Wayne Sawyer, Vice President of the Speedway, told reporters that there is no deal on the table with the Bill France, Jr. owned company. Sawyer said that Jim France and others were at the Raceway in May to discuss lighting problems and solutions dealing with the second race under the lights at Daytona in July. The Sawyers continue to finish a deal with ARE for possession of the Richmond Fairgrounds land and that deal is apparently near done. Sawyer said that is the only deal currently on the table(Inside Motorsports), slso see the Times-Dispatch article: France's firm denies report of deal for RIR(6-8-1999)

  • Big News: NASCAR President Bill France Jr. and his International Speedway Corp. are close to a deal to purchase Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. If the agreement is completed, ISC would own outright 13 of the 21 tracks currently used in the 34-race schedule for NASCAR's Winston Cup series.(That's Racin')(6-7-1999)

  • UPDATE on Tires at Richmond: Follow up information from Tony Freund, lead engineer for stock car tire development on May 17, 1999: A number of Winston Cup cars experienced right front tire tread blistering during the Richmond race on Saturday night. We suspect it was heat and chassis setup related, since many of the cars running up front experienced no problems. Goodyear has brought the same tire recommendation to Richmond for four years and it has performed as it should in the past. Normally, at the first pit stop we can see wear of 2/32" to 3/32", as the tires are working to dissipate heat correctly and avoid blistering. A number of things such as aerodynamics, a variation in the sealer content or application (such as thickness, etc), certain driver styles or some aggressive chassis setups could have contributed to the Richmond situation. Since cars having the trouble all had heat concentration on the inside right front of the tires, our Goodyear engineers were proactive during the race telling teams about some options. One was to work with air pressure, and actually lower it some to work the tire harder and enlarge the footprint. Another was to make a chassis adjustment to loosen the car to work the right rear tire harder and the right front less. Also, since the tires had no giveup, it was suggested they could take a right rear tire with 30-40 laps on it and mount it on the right front. Because it would have a good scuff on it, it could have enabled the cars to double their number of laps. Our engineering group will be working with the teams to evaluate all the input in order to make any needed tire adjustments prior to our return to Richmond this fall(Goodyear PR)(5-18-1999)

  • Tires: The tire situation at RIR on Saturday evening is being studied by Goodyear and NASCAR officials. But the general consensus is, that improper caster adjustment, and/or improper air pressure were the main culprit for the blowouts. Several teams had the tires go down, but overall, most of the teams didn't have any problem. Lowering the tire pressure, and changing the caster, which is the angle of the tire in relation to the track, was done in order to create more pressure on the tires for making the turns. This is suspected as the main cause of the blistering. Teams were initially pointing fingers at a combination of the tracks new sealer, the rain, and the falling tempertures as the cause(Victory Lane Online)(5-18-1999)

  • Pit Stalls at Richmond UPDATE 1: I didn't know this, but Richmond only has 37 pit stalls, so 12 teams had to share pit stalls. The shared stalls went to six of the seven teams who took provisionals to make the race. Dale Earnhardt also used a provisional, but he was given his own spot for being a former Winston Cup champion(Times Dispatch)(5-16-1999) -- UPDATE/CORRECTION: there are actually 40 pit stalls at Richmond(not 37) and Earnhardt got the first provisional giving him the 37th starting spot and a choice of pits available at that time. The last six teams following the #3 in the qualifying order(#7,#25,#16,#75,#45 and #41) were left with the remaining three pit stalls - for instance the #7 and the #25 shared a pit stall until the #30 wrecked and vacated their pit and the #25 moved there. The #3 team didn't get their own pit because of the Champion's Provisional but because they got the first provisional and therefore were higher up on the qualifying order(5-18-1999)

  • RIR Update: The Times-Dispatch has an update on the Richmond sale - RIR is closer to an agreement to buy the Virginia State Fairgrounds, although no deal has been reached, track and fairgrounds officials said yesterday. Yesterday, Sawyer and Brown spent hours on the phone denying an Internet report(Jayski Note: in part on this site and removed today) saying that the land had been sold to RIR and that the deal would be announced in the middle of the month. The Internet report also said that the State Fair would be moved after this year. Later in the day, the report was amended to show that no agreement had been reached, see the complete story at Raceway near deal to buy fair site / RIR wants to add seating, parking(Times-Dispatch)(2-4-1999)

  • Richmond Expensive? The Sawyer family which owns Richmond International Raceway wants to expand from 94,000 to eventually 150,000 seats in the near furture. The problem is, the Sawyers say they cannot add the additional 8,000-plus parking spaces required without purchasing the land surrounding the raceway and removing some buildings. See the rest of the story at That's Racin' - Price of Richmond expansion may be too high(12-24-1998)

  • Richmond news: It is a long shot at best, but there may yet be a NASCAR Winston Cup speedway in Hampton Roads' future. Richmond International Raceway president Paul Sawyer, who once offered to move his two Winston Cup events to Hampton Roads if a track were built, said Monday that he might consider moving his races if his family is unable to purchase The Fairgrounds in Richmond, where the present track is located. See the complete story at the Virginian-Pilot - Hampton Roads in running if Richmond's races move(thanks Will)(12-8-1998)

  • Richmond International Raceway officials are continuing to attempt to hammer out an agreement to buy the state fairgrounds. With the heavy slate of racing over the past few days, Vice President Wayne Sawyer did not have time to deal with the issue. However, he makes no bones about the fact that he definitely wants to own the facility. If he did purchase the grounds, Sawyer would have the ability to expand the grandstand and allow more seating for the always sold-out races.(Times-Dispatch)(9-13-1998)

  • Richmond International Raceway founder and president, Paul C. Sawyer did a special race week "weather dance" this morning and boy was it some kind of a spectacular jig! By 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, independent forecasts from the United States Weather Service and area television meteorologists indicated an immediate and drastic change in the Richmond weather pattern for September 10-12, the dates of Sawyer's three NASCAR races. Instead of the prevalent hot and sticky conditions, the new forecast calls for crystal clear skies and a hint of fall - with daytime temperatures rising to the high 70's and evening temperatures dropping to the mid 50's all three nights - perfect race conditions!!!(www.rir.com)(9-10-1998)

  • A NASCAR doubleheader featuring the Featherlite Modified Series and Late Model Stock Car competitors scheduled for Oct. 17 at Richmond International Raceway has been canceled. RIR Vice President Wayne Sawyer said the action was taken largely because the Winston Cup Pepsi 400 will be run the same night at Daytona International Speedway. The Pepsi 400 was postponed from July 4 because of the wildfires that were raging in Central Florida. The next events scheduled at RIR are races for the Craftsman Truck, Busch Grand National and Winston Cup series Sept. 10-12.(Times-Dispatch)(8-5-1998)

  • Richmond International Raceway has installed a wireless communication relay tower to assure that the track's patrons will be able to use their cellular phones while visiting. The tower, built in conjunction with GTE Wireless Communication, is located just outside of turn four.(SpeedNet)(5-22-1998)

  • Richmond International Raceway (RIR) has been under heavy negotiations for the past several months. The owners of RIR, The Sawyer Family, currently lease their property from Atlantic Rural Exposition, Inc. They operate the Virginia State Fair on other parts of the surrounding property. RIR has plans to expand the track to a seating capacity near 120,000 and needs additional acreage for parking. The Sawyer Family has an offer on the table and hopes that Atlantic will be able to secure another tract of land. If they are unsuccessful, RIR will probably have to consider rebuilding and relocating the track.(www.go200mph.com)(4-16-1998)

  • Story about Richmond(RIR): Fairgrounds may move for RIR - Racetrack wants additional parking.(Times-Dispatch/thanks Al)(3-27-1998)

  • Richmond International Raceway's "Fan Friendly" publication, a guide to hotels available in the track's vicinity, is now available. Send a self-addressed business-size envelope stamped with 78-cents postage to "Fan Friendly" Guide, Richmond International Raceway, PO Box 9257, Richmond, Va., 23227(SpeedNet)(3-13-1998)

  • A lottery will be held for fans requesting tickets to the Winston Cup Pontiac 400 on June 6 at Richmond International Raceway. Fans should submit a ticket-request form or handwritten request to Ticket Office, Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va., 23227. There is a limit of six tickets per request, and entries are being accepted from Feb. 1-28. Entries postmarked before Feb. 1 will be returned. No payment should be sent with the ticket-lottery requests. All requests filled through the lottery will be invoiced by March 16, with payment due by March 31. For more information, call (804) 345-RACE.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(1-31-1998)

  • Per the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Richmond International Raceway Vice President Wayne Sawyer said he expects to have word by July 20 on a new date for the city's late-winter Winston Cup event. Sources have indicated the event, usually run the first week of March, will be switched either to the second week of May or the last week in June. But Sawyer indicated those dates might not be workable. "I'd say we're looking at three options," he said, declining to elaborate but adding, "Absolutely nothing has been finalized. The only thing I know for sure is (that) we want to get out of the cold weather."(7-9-1997)

  • The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports: "RIR President Paul Sawyer said in March that he has been assured by NASCAR that the race date will be changed; he did not know exactly to when. Then, in May, operators of the new Las Vegas track revealed that they expected to get their first Winston Cup race next March. Put two and two together and you get Las Vegas added to the schedule, likely March 1, and the Richmonad race moving to May 9, May 16, or June 27, depending on what else must be accommodated. The three possible dates for RIR all are Saturdays. Sawyer has said he would like to hold both of his two annual races under the lights, on Saturday nights. The September event, the Exide 400, has been a night race since 1991. Last year, NASCAR handed out its 1997 dates at Daytona in July. It likely will do so again, so word about 1998 should start coming out this weekend. Streetside buzz says that, in addition to Las Vegas, the Homestead, Fla., track (being reconfigured) could get a date, and the California track could get a second race. It is not likely that any track will lose a date for 1998"(7-1-1997)

    Word is that Bruton Smith has made a deal with the Sawyer family where he now owns the "physical plant" (ie race track and outbuildngs) at Richmond. Anyone hear this? A reader found this blurb at the bottom of a story on the iRACE website see Is IRL Itching to Dump USAC? and go to the very bottom(6-15-1997)

  • The Richmond Press Conference was used to announce that Exide has signed a multi year deal to sponsor the Sept. night WC race. It will be called Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400. Local speculation also centered on a possible new spring race date but nothing new was announced(thanks John for the heads up)(BTW-This was a rumor here on 6-9-97 - see the Tracks page). So much for the Bruton Smith Rumors(6-24-1997)

  • I hear Exide Batteries may sponsor one of the Richmond races in 1998(6-9-1997)

  • Richmond International Raceway announced that they have been forced to turn away 66,800 ticket requests for the 9-6-97 Winston Cup race. They received 162,720 ticket requests in the 30 days since the ticket lottery opened(5-9-1997)

  • The size of the WC and BGN fields at Richmond will increase from 41 to 43 in 1997(this includes the champions prov if needed)(2-7-1997)


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