THE RACE: Chevy American Revolution 400
Nextel Cup Race #11 of 36 for the 2004 Nextel Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race
- Race: Saturday, May 15, 2004 in Richmond, VA
- TV: FX - 7:00pm/et, green flag ~7:30pm/et
- Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel
Wednesday, May 19 [Fast Forward] at 4:00pm/et;
Thursday, May 20 [Full Race] at 3:00pm/et;
Friday, May 21 [Fast Forward] at 12:00am/et
- Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
- Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko
- Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond
- NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports
- Purse/Race Awards: $4,897,954 (was $4,128,879 in 2003)
- Practice: Friday, May 14, 11:20am - 1:20pm/et;
- Happy Hour Practice: Friday, May 14, 6:00 - 7:15pm/et on TV-FX tape delay at 6:30pm/et.
- Qualifying Draw: Friday, May 14, 10:20am/et
- Qualfying Order: or
Qualifying order - NASCAR.com
- Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-38, Friday, May 14 at 3:10pm/et, TV-Speed Channel and live via MRN Radio, XM Satellite Radio and via NASCAR.com's Racecast (paid). Re-aired on Speed Channel at 12:00midnight.
- NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Nextel Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).
- Track Specs:
Track/Race Length: 0.75 mile oval, 400 laps, 300 miles
Short Track: 0.75-mile oval, 60-foot width with 10-foot apron
Banking: turns: 14 degrees; frontstretch 8 degrees; backstretch 2 degrees
Straights: Backstretch - 860 feet; Frontstretch - 1290 feet
Pit Road Speed: 45mph
Pace Car Speed: 50mph
Seating Capacity: 107,097
- Track Homepage: Richmond International Raceway
- Last Year: see my 2003 May Richmond Race Info page
All-Time Winners at Richmond International Raceway
Richard Petty 13
Bobby Allison 7
David Pearson 6
Rusty Wallace 6
Darrell Waltrip 6
Dale Earnhardt 5
Terry Labonte 3
Tony Stewart 3
Joe Weatherly 3
Cale Yarborough 3
Davey Allison 2
Neil Bonnett 2
Jeff Gordon 2
Ernie Irvan 2
Dale Jarrett 2
Dave Marcis 2
Cotton Owens 2
Benny Parsons 2
Lee Petty 2
Ricky Rudd 2
Speedy Thompson 2
Buck Baker 1
Jeff Burton 1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1
Bill Elliott 1
Tim Flock 1
Harry Gant 1
Paul Goldsmith 1
James Hylton 1
Ned Jarrett 1
Junior Johnson 1
Matt Kenseth 1
Mark Martin 1
Ryan Newman 1
Joe Nemechek 1
Kyle Petty 1
Tom Pistone 1
Tim Richmond 1
Rex White 1
GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires Required:
Nextel Cup: Left - 1,350, Right - 1,350;
Busch Series: Left - 500, Right - 500
Tire Codes: Left - D-6826; Right - D-6828
Tire Circumference: Left - 87.3 in.; Right - 88.6 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front - 20 psi; Left Rear - 20 psi;
Right Front - 30 psi; Right Rear - 30 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front - 14 psi; Left Rear - 14 psi;
Right Front - 26 psi; Right Rear - 23 psi
Estimated Pit Window: Every 110-120 laps, based on fuel mileage.
Notes: This is the first year Goodyear will bring this particular combination of left- and right-side tires to Richmond . . . the previous combination was run at the last four races at the track . . .both the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series will compete on the same tire codes this week . . . this is the third race at which Nextel Cup teams have used this tire set-up in 2004 . . . before Richmond, this combination was run by Cup teams at Las Vegas and Bristol . . . this combination is also scheduled to be run in 2004 at Pocono (Cup), Indianapolis (Cup) and Nashville (Busch and Truck) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals less than one mile in length, teams will not run inner
liners at Richmond.
Goodyear Quote -- Mark Keto, Lead Engineer, Stock Car Tire Development: "Last month, we had a great test to determine our final tire recommendation for Richmond with Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman, and their teams. The track has been repaved since last year, so it is a lot smoother than it has been in the past. We saw exactly what we expected at the test - the wear will be minimal, while the grip and speeds will be up."
RACE BONUS INFO
- The NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus is $80,000 at California Speedway for leading the points and winning the race (Matt Kenseth last won the award, $30,000 at Las Vegas on March 7, 2004). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings(5-2-2004)
- MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award: The MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award is worth $10,000 to any eligible NASCAR Nextel Cup driver who leads a race at the halfway mark. An additional $5,000 is earned if that driver also wins the race. If the race-win bonus is not earned, the $5,000 rolls into the next week’s award. Tony Stewart claimed the biggest MBNA Mid-Race Leader payout when he took home $85,000 ($10,000 for the award, $75,000 for the race-win bonus) by winning last year’s UAW-GM Quality 500 after leading the race at the halfway point.
Bonus for leading at halfway and winning at Richmond is: $40,000
Winners for 2004 so far:
Daytona: Tony Stewart, $10,000
Rockingham: Matt Kenseth, $20,000*
Las Vegas: Matt Kenseth, $15,000*
Atlanta: Tony Stewart, $10,000
Darlington: Jamie McMurray, $10,000
Bristol: Sterling Marlin, $10,000
Texas: Kasey Kahne, $10,000
Martinsville: Jeff Gordon, $10,000
Talladega: Kevin Harvick, $10,000
California: Jeremy Mayfield, $10,000
(* won race and bonus)(5-2-2004)
WEATHER, TV/RADIO COVERAGE
LOCAL NEWS, TRACK/FAN INFO
IN-CAR AUDIO SITES
QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links
- Dale Jr. wins at Richmond: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Speedway, leading the most laps, winning his 3rd race of 2004 and 12th of his career. Earnhardt Jr. also maintains the points lead, and since he won the race and leads the points he adds $80,000 winning the Nextel Cup Leader Bonus. #48-Jimmie Johnson was 2nd, the rest of the top five were #18-Labonte, #20-Stewart [so..think Tony is unhappy with DW and the Fox crew?], and #17-Kenseth. #15-Waltrip was 10thm his first ever top 10 at Richmond in 37th races he has run at the track, 12th was his previous best. #25-Brian Vickers, the pole sitter, scored his first ever top 10 by finishing 8th and was the Raybestos Rookie of the race.
For race results see:
Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards
- Top Five [unofficial] Drivers Points after Richmond [11 of 36 races]:
#8-Earnhardt Jr., 1643
#48-Johnson, 1603, -40
#24-Gordon, 1581, -62
#17-Kenseth, 1517, -126
#20-Stewart, 1449, -194
For standings, see:
Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points after Richmond page
- StockCarFans.com - Rumblings - Richmond: Track position is rapidly becoming "the" catch phrase when it comes to Nextel Cup racing....and tonight's Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway re-inforced that theory to the fullest. Dale Earnhardt Jr stayed out on lap 346 as most of the leaders pitted for fresh tires and pulled away from Jimmie Johnson for the victory. It was the third win of 2003 for Earnhardt, the second for him at Richmond (he won this event in 2000), and the 12th of his Cup career (he's 45th all-time). While he may not yet be a "gazillionaire", this victory was worth $285,053 from the over $4.8M in posted awards.
And now, about the pre-race show.....Hooray for Tony's tirade against the booth. I [note: thought of Von form Stock Car Fans ....NOT Jayski] praised Rusty Wallace a couple weeks ago for speaking his mind, and the same goes for Stewart tonight. While it's nearly impossible to fight battles against people who buy ink by the barrel, the only person Tony has to please is the one looking back at him in the mirror in the morning. And, he is entitled to a self- defense. Tony's talked to Rusty....and it's over. NASCAR looked at the situation and found nothing wrong. Both of those drivers are emotional and driven to win, and I don't think either one took umbrage at the other speaking their mind. But, for you new fans, fans with short memories, and TV commentators, here's what Tony was referring to in his "discussion" with Darrel Waltrip.
Tony Stewart (4th) had his best finish since he was 3rd at Las Vegas in March.
Brian Vickers (8th) had his career-best finish tonight, his previous best was 12th at Texas last month. We've now had 29 drivers score a Top-10 finish this season....last year's number was 42.
Ricky Rudd (11th) had his best finish since he was 10th at Kansas last October.
Todd Bodine (33rd) had his best finish since he was 11th at Homestead last November.
STREAKIN....Jeff Gordon has 6 Top-10's in a row. Jimmie Johnson has 5 Top-10's in a row. Bobby Labonte has 4 Top-10's in a row.
This Week's Elevator....UP: The Operator of the Week is a three-way tie (a first in the long and storied history of "The Shaft") between Bobby Labonte (+24), Tony Stewart (+24), and Matt Kenseth (+24). DOWN: The Big Dropper (for the second race in a row) was Jeff Green (-34), followed by Joe Nemechek (-28), and Casey Mears (-23).
Ricky Rudd led tonight for the first time since he led once for 26 laps when we were here last September. We've had 39 different drivers to
lead a lap this season vs last years number of 48.
Only 11 races into the Chase prelims and we're already down to only 14 drivers within 400 points of the leader. Any time the points leader
wins the race, it's gonna make it tougher for those drivers down around the "Stayin' Alive" line to stay in the hunt.
No change in the Top-4 after tonight's race. Brian Vickers (27th to 23rd) made the best move forward and Joe Nemechek (20th to 25th) fell the most spots.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(5-16-2004)
- Richmond Race Facts/Notes: Dale Earnhardt Jr., won the Chevy American Revolution 400, scoring his 12th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory in his 158th career start. His last victory came at Atlanta seven races ago.
This is Earnhardt Jr.'s second victory on a short-track. He also won here at Richmond in May 2000 during his rookie season.
Earnhardt Jr. remained 45th on NASCAR's all-time win list.
This is his seventh top-10 finish in 10 races at Richmond International Raceway
This is Earnhardt Jr's third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 11 races in 2004.
Earnhardt Jr., led five times for 115 laps; the second time in 2004 he led the most laps. He also led the most laps at Talladega.
This is the sixth victory for Chevrolet in 2004. Ford has four and Dodge has one.
Fourteen drivers are within 400 points of current point leader Dale Earnhardt Jr., in the Chase for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship.
The 12 different leaders in the Chevy American Revolution 400 ties the record on the 3/4-mile configuration set in September 2003.
Earnhardt Jr., has scored seven top-five finishes in 2004 and is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most of the season.
Jimmie Johnson (second) scored his seventh top-five finish in 11 races in 2004. Johnson has scored five straight top-10 finishes, extending a streak that began Texas. Johnson scored his first top-10 finish in five races at Richmond International Raceway.
Bobby Labonte (third) scored his sixth top-10 finish in 2004. Labonte has scored top-10 finishes in his last four races in 2004. He has scored three straight top-10s at Richmond International Raceway.
Tony Stewart (fourth) scored his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races in 2004. He climbed from eighth to fifth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. It was his seventh top-10 finish in 11 races at Richmond International Raceway.
Matt Kenseth (fifth) scored his eighth top-10 finish in 2004. It was his fifth straight top-10 finish at Richmond. Kenseth has scored six top-10 finishes in nine races at Richmond International Raceway.
Kenseth has ranked among the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 for 46 straight races.
Brian Vickers (8th) scored his first top-10 finish in 2004. This is his career-best finish in 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. It was his first
race at Richmond in NASCAR's premier division.
Vickers was the highest finishing rookie for the second time in 2004. He was also the highest finishing rookie three races ago at Martinsville.
Michael Waltrip (10th) scored his first top-10 finish in 37 races at Richmond International Raceway. Waltrip has scored just two top-10
finishes in 2004.
Ricky Rudd (11th) led for the first time since New Hampshire in September 2003.
Jeremy Mayfield (22nd) led for the first time in his 21 races at Richmond.
Kevin Harvick (25th) extended his streak of running at the finish to 50 straight races (since Rockingham in November 2002).(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-16-2004)
- The Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway:
The UNOFFICIAL Top Ten (start pos in parens), lap leaders, cars out, cautions and some notes
after 400 of 400 laps:
car#, driver, starting spot
#8-Earnhardt Jr. (4)(115 Laps led)
#48-Johnson (5)(91 laps led)
#20-Stewart (28)(59 laps led)
#17-Kenseth (29)(4 laps led)
#24-Gordon (13)(2 laps led)
#25-Vickers (1)(32 laps led)
#12-Newman (2)(9 laps led)
#15-Waltrip (18)(56 laps led)
- Cars on the lead lap: 11 (of 43 starters)
- Off track/out of race (9):
- Laps Leaders Unofficial (12 with 19 lead changes):
#25-Vickers (32 laps led)
#8-Earnhardt Jr. (115 most led)
#15-Waltrip (56 - led half-way)
Cautions: 9 for 66 laps
Caution 9 - Laps 344 - 355: #10-Riggs lost an engine. Time was taken to blow/clean off the track as the tire 'marbles' were getting quite built up high on the track.
Caution 8 - Laps 203 - 211: #01-Nemechek and #42-McMurray got together when Nemechek tried to pass McMurray. #48-Johnson spun out below the wreck but didn't hit anything. Johnson thinks he may habe knocked the tow out. #01-Nemechek has a lot ot rear-end damage.
Caution 7 - Laps 194 - 199: While going for the lead. coming off turn 4, #99-Burton got loose and spun out into the infield grass, was able to get the car started and stayed on the lead lap.
Caution 6 - Laps 170 - 175: #29-Harvick had a right tire go down and he went into the turn 2 wall.
Caution 5 - Laps 152 - 157: #77-Gaughan possibly got hit by #5-Labonte or got loose and wacked the turn 3 wall.
Caution 4 - Laps 138 - 143: #31-Gordon and #22-Wimmer made contact, Wimmer recovered and drove on after almost losing it, #31-Gordon lost a right front tire and wacked the wall.
Caution 3 - Laps 122 - 129: #4-Spencer gets out of the groove and into the turn 2 wall.
Caution 2 - Laps 102 - 107: #43-Green got nerfed by #9-Kahne and spun and wacked the wall. #43-Green had hit Kahne the lap before, causing Kahne to get out of the groove and loose.
Caution 1 - Laps 6 - 12: #31-Gordon cut down a left front tire and couldn't get to the pits and left tire debris on the track. Gordon came in to pit and lost a lap but got the Lucky Dog pass as he was in the pits before the caution came out for debris.
- Who got a lap back on each caution at Richmond - The Lucky Dog Pack: (and their finish)
(FOX calls it 'the Free Pass Car', NBC calls it the Lucky Dog - which I prefer)
Caution 9: #88-Jarrett, 13th
Caution 8: #32-Craven, 26th -4 laps
Caution 7: #45-Petty, 27th, -5
Caution 6: #49-Schrader, 23rd, -3
Caution 5: #40-Marlin, 15th, -1
Caution 4: #38-Sadler, 12th, -1
Caution 3: #19-Mayfield, 22nd, -3
Caution 2: #5-Labonte, 18th, -2
Caution 1: #31-Gordon, 24th, -3.[NASCAR said debris caused the caution]
See past races, rules, news and who has used the most Lucky Dog passes on my
Lucky Dog page.
- RACE/PIT NOTES: (as noted heard on TV or Radio)
----- on lap 325, #41-Mears bounced off the wall and headed to the pits.
----- on lap 322, #0-Burton had to pit as the lugnuts were loose.
----- as of lap 320, #01-Nemechek is back on the track after repairs were done.
----- on lap 299, #12-Newman bounced off the wall after coming out of the pits, then on lap 303, #9-Kahne also bounced off the wall, both drove on, ok.
----- on lap 297, while leading, #17-Kenseth ran out of gas and coasted into the pits.
----- green flag stops around laps 292-300 range.
----- on lap 279, #25-Vickers slid into the wall, but recovered with no damage and was back up to speed quickly, no caution.
----- around lap 265, #25-Vickers and #49-Schrader got together and both got sideways a bit, #8-Earnhardt Jr. took advantage and passed Vickers for 2nd.
----- around lap 258, #5-Labonte and #31-Gordon got together, but both recovered, Gordon got quite sideways.
----- as of lap 240, #43-Jeff Green is back on the track after repairs to the car.
----- #24-Gordon made many pitstops during the 8th caution, doing repairs to the right front.
----- #48-Johnson came in a few times during the 8th caution and the tow is ok, and the team fixed the cosmetic damage.
----- on lap 190, #77-Gaughan came back on the track after the team made repairs from his accident.
----- all the leaders came in to pit during the 6th caution.
----- after the 4th caution, #9-Kahne is showing some sort of smoke, possible tire smoke.
----- #97-Busch came back on the track during the 3rd caution after the team replaced all the belts.
----- while leading, #97-Busch reports he has lost his power steering and other belts on lap 110. After falling back, Busch pulled into the garage on lap 111.
---- during the 2nd caution, #25-Vickers crew let a tire roll accross pit road and Vickers had to go to the end of the longest line, so from 5th to 20th.
---- on lap 98, #2-Wallace and #16-Biffle banged fenders a bit, but both drove on after recovering.
---- #22-Wimmer made an unscheduled pit stop as he had a vibration and changed tires on lap 72.
---- #31-Gordon made a 2nd pit stop to get some fender repair during the 1st caution.
---- to the back, #32-Craven and #9-Kahne, wrecked in qualifying and will go to back-up cars. Craven was to start 21st and Kahne 39th using a provisional. #38-Sadler had to go to the back as the team found debris in the oil filter and opted to change the engine.
- Where did the top 10 starters finish at Richmond?
#8-Earnhardt Jr., 1st
- To the back: so far only know of two: #32-Ricky Crave and #9-Kasey Kahne, who both wrecked during their qualifying runs and have to go to backup cars. #38-Elliott Sadler had to go to the back as the team found debris in the oil filter and opted to change the engine. All three will fall to the rear of the field before the drop of the green flag at Richmond.
- Happy Hour Practice for the Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over, the fastest were:
slowest were #98-Bodine at 122.968 and #50-Cope at 123.153. No speed for #80-LaJoie.
The first 25 minutes of practice was run in the high groove with cones forcing the drivers up there, teams used that time to scuff their tires and lay down some rubber, speeds picked up considerably after that. #8-Earnhardt Jr. hit a cone and did a little damage to his front end.
See speeds at or NASCAR.com.(5-14-2004)
- StockCarFans.com - Ramblings - Richmond: As expected, we had a record pole run today at Richmond International Raceway, but the driver pointing to that speed on the Bud Pole Board was a bit of a surprise. #25-Brian Vickers won his first ever Bud Pole today for tomorrow night's Chevy American Revolution 400 with a track record time of 20.772 (129.983 mph). His previous best starting spot was 2nd....he's started from that spot three times with the latest being at Atlanta in March. He becomes our seventh different pole winner of the season.
On a day when fast times were expected, we weren't disappointed. We had 38 cars practice faster than the track record and 29 cars qualified above the previous record set by Ward Burton in May of 2002 (21.195 seconds.... 127.389 mph). Vickers will be joined on the front-row by #12-Ryan Newman. First car out, worst draw you could get, and still only missed the top-spot by .002!
#31-Robby Gordon (6th) had his best qualifying run since he qualified 3rd at Michigan last August.
#99-Jeff Burton (17th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 11th at Daytona in February.
#32-Ricky Craven (21st in spite of his crash) has his best starting spot since he lined up 17th at Las Vegas in March.
#45-Kyle Petty (22nd) has his best starting spot since he lined up 10th when we were here last September.
#02-Hermie Sadler (33rd) has his best starting spot since he started 33rd at Homestead last November (only 4 starts).
Welcome Back: Bobby Hamilton Jr (starts 26th in James Finch's 09 this week) makes his first start since he started 36th and finished 27th at Atlanta last October. Randy LaJoie (starts 43rd in Stan Hover's #80) makes his first appearance since he started 24th and finished 37th at Loudon in September of 1999! He was in Mark Simo's #14 that day.
STREAKIN....Dale Earnhardt Jr has 5 Top-10 starts in a row.
Jimmie Johnson has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races. Joe Nemechek has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.(StockCarFans.Com Nextelcup Newsletter)(5-14-2004)
- Vickers wins pole at Richmond: #25-Brian Vickers won the Budweiser Pole for the Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway with a new track record of 129.983mph. It is Vickers first career Budweiser Pole award and puts him in the 2005 Budweiser Shootout. #12-Ryan Newman is on the outside pole at 129.970mph, the rest of the top five are #43-Green, #8-Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Johnson. Missing the race are #94-Barrett and #72-Shelmerdine. For the qualifying breakdown see my Richmond Qualifying/Lineup Page.
Vickers the Youngest pole sitter: Brian Vickers became the youngest pole winner in modern-era NASCAR history Friday by qualifying first for Saturday's Chevy American Revolution 400. Vickers is 20, a year younger than when 21-year-old Casey Atwood won the pole at Phoenix in 2001. Vickers also matched the all-time NASCAR record. Donald Thomas was 20 when he won the pole at Lakewood Speedway in Georgia on Nov. 16, 1952. Thomas also went on to win the race on the Lakewood dirt track to become NASCAR's youngest winner. Bobby Hillin holds the modern-era mark. He was 22 when he won at Talladega in July 1986.(NASCAR.com)
Qualifying Results/Starting Lineups at:
- First Practice for Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway is over. The fastest were [crushing the track record]:
#8-Earnhardt Jr. 131.336
the old track qualifying record is 127.389mph, set in 2002 by Ward Burton, 38 drivers were faster then that in practice.
slowest were: #72-Shelmerdine at 120.503 and #94-Barrett at 123.226.
#80-LaJoie wrecked in practice and will qualify a backup.
See speeds at or NASCAR.com.(5-14-2004)
- Rookie News and Notes - Richmond
- Entry List Links:
- No Racing to the Caution Rule and Q&A/Lucky Dog
- Jayski's - 2004 Nextel Cup Race Results Page
- Jayski's - 2004 Nextel Cup Practice Leader and Links
- How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph
- How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers).
- Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites:
SOME RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS
- Track Qualifying Record: Ward Burton, May 2002, 127.389mph
- Track Race Record: Dale Jarrett, Sept 1997, 109.047mph
- May 2003 Pole Sitter: #5-Terry Labonte, 126.511, finished 21st
- May 2003 Race Winner: #25-Joe Nemechek, 87.133mph, started 2nd
- Slowest Race Record: Tony Stewart, 86.824mph, 5/2002
(since track was reconfigured for the Sept 1988 race)
- Most Wins: 13 - Richard Petty; Current driver: 4, Jeff Gordon
- Most Poles: 8 - Richard Petty, Bobby Allison; Current driver: 6, Rusty Wallace
- Most Top 5s: 34 - Richard Petty
- Most Top 10s: 41 - Richard Petty
- Oldest Winner: Harry Gant, 51 years, 7 months, 28 days, Sept 1991
- Youngest Winner: Richmond Petty, 23 years, 9 months, 21 days, April 1961
- Most Laps Led by a Leader: 488, David Pearson, 9/13/70
- Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 4, Kyle Petty, 2/23/86
- Most Lead Changes: 25 - twice, most recently, 3/3/96
- Most Leaders: 16, 9/10/94
- Fewest Leaders: 2, eight times, most recently 3/11/79
- Fewest Lead Changes: 2 - seven times, most recently 2/23/75
- Most Cautions: 15, 5/3/03
- Most Caution Laps: 123 (2 times) most recently Sept 1974
- Fewest Cautions: 0 - 3/7/76
- Fewest Caution Laps: 0, 3/7/76
- Most Finishers on a lead lap: 23, 5/3/03
- Most Running at the Finish: 39, three times, most recently 9/11/99
- Fewest Running at the Finish: 1 - 4/19/53
- Most Wins by Manufacturer: 27 - [tie] Chevy / Ford
- Worst Starting Spot to Win: Richard Petty, March 1971, started 28th
- Races won from starting pos 1: 19 [of 95 races] 20.0%
- Races won from starting pos 2: 12, 12.6%
- Races won from starting pos 3: 14, 14.7%
- Races won from starting pos 4: 6
- Races won from starting pos 5: 2
- Races won from starting pos 6: 7
- Races won from starting pos 7: 9
- Races won from starting pos 8: 2
- Races won from starting pos 9: 2
- Races won from starting pos 10: 2
- Races won from starting pos 11: 1
- Races won from starting pos 12: 2
- Races won from starting pos 13: 2
- Races won from starting pos 14: 1
- Races won from starting pos 16: 3
- Races won from starting pos 19: 1
- Races won from starting pos 20: 1
- Races won from starting pos 21: 1
- Races won from starting pos 22: 2
- Races won from starting pos 23: 1
- Races won from starting pos 24: 1
- Races won from starting pos 25: 1
- Races won from starting pos 26: 1
- Races won from starting pos 28: 1
- Races won from the top 5: 53 of 95 - 55.8%
- Races won from the top 10: 75 of 95 - 79.0%
- Richmond International Raceway Notes and Facts:
* Buck Baker won the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup pole at Richmond International Raceway on dirt in 1953.
* Lee Petty won the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Richmond on dirt in April 1953.
* In 1968 the track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt.
* Kyle Petty became the first third-generation NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race winner when he won his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on February 23, 1986, the Miller High Life 400 at Richmond. Richard posted his first Richmond victory in 1961 and Lee won the very first Richmond race in 1953.
* Davey Allison won the first 3/4-mile race at Richmond, the 1988 Miller High Life 400, after the track was increased in distance from
one-half mile between the two races that season.
* The first night race was the fall of 1991.
* 1999 was the first season that both Richmond races were held at night.
Ford has dominated victory lane at Richmond since the track was re-constructed to its current configuration in 1988. Ford has 13 victories in the 31 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races there since the fall of 1988, including seven of the last 15. Chevrolet has nine victories in
the 31-race span; Pontiac has seven. The other victories in the 31-race period were by Harry Gant in an Oldsmobile (February 1991) and
Ryan Newman in a Dodge (September 2003).
There has been a different Bud Pole winner in each of the past eight races at Richmond International Raceway.
Rusty Wallace has a 7.612 average finish in 31 races at Richmond, the best of all drivers on the 3/4-mile configuration at Richmond. Wallace's Penske Racing South teammate, Ryan Newman, has an 11.0 average finish at Richmond in spite of having one victory and
finishing second in two of his four races there. Newman's other finish was 39th (May 2003).
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Active Drivers First and Last at This Track
Burton, Ward 3-6-94
Green, Jeff 9-10-94
Labonte, Bobby 9-9-93
Shepherd, Morgan 2-20-81
Petty, Kyle 2-23-86
Stewart, Tony 9-11-99
Burton, Jeff 9-8-00
Martin, Mark 5-4-01
Burton, Ward 5-2-02
Johnson, Jimmie 9-5-02
Labonte, Terry 5-02-03
Nemechek, Joe 5/03/03
Last Victory at This Track
in a Chevrolet Joe Nemechek 2003 Pontiac Excitement 400
in a Dodge Ryan Newman 2003 Chevy Rock & Roll 400
in a Ford Matt Kenseth 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400
in a Pontiac Tony Stewart 2002 Pontiac Excitement 400
There have been 95 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at Richmond since 1953, two each season since 1960. There were nine races, including three convertible events, held at Richmond between 1953 and 1959.
* There have been 31 races at Richmond since the track was converted from 1/2 to a 3/4-mile track in the fall of 1988.
* In the modern era of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing at Richmond (1972 to 2003), a sweep has occurred five times. Rusty Wallace (1989) is the most recent driver to win both Richmond races in the same year.
* Richard Petty won seven consecutive races at Richmond International Raceway, winning the fall race in 1970 and then sweeping 1971, 1972 and 1973.
* Between 1964 and 1975 Richard Petty won 12 of 24 races and David Pearson won six, giving them 75 percent of the wins at Richmond in the 12-year period.
Would You Believe?
Nineteen of the 95 races at Richmond since 1953, have been won by the Bud Pole winner, but only twice in the 31 races since the track was re-configured in September 1988, has the Bud Pole winner gone on to win the race: Davey Allison (fall 1988) and Bill Elliott (spring
Rusty Wallace posted a DNF in his first race on the new 3/4-mile configuration at Richmond, completing just 18 laps. From that inaugural race thru the spring race in 2000, he had completed all but five of the 9,200 laps raced in those 23 races at the Virginia track. He posted his second DNF on the current configuration in September 2000, completing 313 of 400 laps after suffering engine failure. He has completed all but five of the 2,393 laps raced at Richmond since that second DNF.
Track Update of the Week
There have been 10 different race winners in the last 12 races at Richmond International Raceway. Only Tony Stewart has repeated at
Richmond since 1998, winning three times (fall 1999, spring 2001 and spring 2002).
(The following is based on the 31 races since the track was re-configured to 3/4-mile in September 1988.)
Selected Modern Era Performance at this Track
* Eight drivers have competed in all 31 races on the current configuration at Richmond: Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip.
* Rusty Wallace leads all other drivers with six victories, 20 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes at Richmond.
* Jeff Gordon (6.50 in 22 races) has the best average start of all drivers with more than 10 races at Richmond.
* Rusty Wallace (7.61) has the best average finish of all drivers at Richmond.
* Rusty Wallace has led more laps than any other driver (2,933). Jeff Burton ranks second in laps led at Richmond with 866.
* Derrike Cope, Jimmy Spencer and Michael Waltrip have all posted eight DNFs on the current Richmond configuration.
* Tony Stewart scored his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory at Richmond in his 25th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start, winning the 1999 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400.
* Dale Earnhardt Jr., posted his career-first top-10 finish when he finished 10th in the 1999 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400, his fourth career race. On his next visit to the Virginia track, he scored a victory, winning the 2000 Pontiac Excitement 400 in his 32nd career start.
* Ryan Newman finished second in both of his races at Richmond in his rookie season (2002) and won in his fourth attempt there (fall 2003).
How Important is Track Position?
Forty-five of the 95 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races run at Richmond have been won from the top-three starting positions. However, only 11 of the 31 races run on the current configuration have been won from third or better. Ten races on the new configuration have been won from a
starting position outside the top 10, including six of the last 15.
Patience is a Virtue
Seven of the 10 races at Richmond between 1990 and 1995 were won by the driver that led the most laps. In the 16 races beginning in 1996, the race winner has also led the most laps in that race only three times: Jeff Burton (September 1998), Tony Stewart (September 2000) and Joe Nemechek (May 2003).
Joe Gibbs Racing Richmond Success
* Tony Stewart has three victories and six top-10 finishes in his 10 races at Richmond.
* Prior to the 1999 Pontiac Excitement at Richmond, Bobby Labonte had led only a total of 32 laps in his 46 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup short-track races. In that Richmond race he equaled that number of laps led on two separate occasions and led for a total of 71 laps, more than doubling his previous total.
* Bobby Labonte has posted eight top-10 finishes in his past 14 races at Richmond, including two runner-up finishes. Labonte followed teammate Tony Stewart across the finish line in the 1999 Exide Batteries Select 400 and then finished second to Joe Nemechek in May 2003.(NASCAR Statistical Services)(5-12-2004)
- RICHMOND NEWS & NOTES:
* Charting the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: Dale Earnhardt Jr. still front-runner … Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) finished 19th two weeks ago at California Speedway, retaining the lead in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10. … Ryan Newman (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge), who finished third, had the biggest jump, moving two positions, from ninth to seventh. … Elliott Sadler, who finished 22nd, took the biggest tumble, falling two positions, from eighth to 10th. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 takes on added importance this season. After 26 races of the 36-race season, the top-10 drivers in points - plus anyone within 400 points of the points leader - qualify for the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" that will determine the series champion.
* On the NASCAR bubble … The new format for determining the series champion has created a "NASCAR bubble" between the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 and those on the outside looking in. Aside from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10, those drivers within 400 points of the leader also will be involved in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." This week, that list extends down to Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford), who sits 18th and 387 points behind Earnhardt Jr. The 400-point range undoubtedly will tighten as the season progresses; currently, drivers ranking 11th-13th are all within 115 points of the 10th-place Sadler. Eleventh-place Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) is 41 points behind; 12th-place Jamie McMurray (No. 29 Havoline Dodge) is 50 behind, and 13th-place Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford) is 115 behind.
* Chevrolet takes lead in manufacturers' points … Thanks to Jeff Gordon's California win, Chevrolet broke a tie with Ford atop the standings. Chevrolet now leads the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Manufacturers' Championship with 67 points and five victories. Ford is second with 62 points and four wins, and Dodge is third with 61 points and one victory.
* Stewart, aka "Richmond ace" … When drivers cite their favorite tracks, the reasons usually range from driving styles to sentiment to success rates. At Richmond, all three reasons apply to Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet), who likes the track, has won multiple races there, and doesn't mind the sentiment of having registered his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory under Richmond's lights. He did it as a rookie, winning the 1999 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 in career start No. 25. Stewart also claimed the spring Richmond events in 2001 and 2002, and he's the only repeat winner at Richmond since 1998. He has three wins and six top-10 finishes in 10 races at Richmond.
* Third time the charm for Gordon? … No NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver is hotter right now than four-time series champion Jeff Gordon. With the traditional Mother's Day off-week behind him, Gordon approaches Richmond on the strength of consecutive victories at Talladega and California, respectively. He leads all drivers with eight top-10 finishes in the season's first 10 races. And if past Richmond performances are any barometer, there's no reason to expect him to slow down. Through 22 races there, Gordon has the best average starting position (6.50) of any driver with more than 10 races at Richmond. He also leads with four Bud poles at the same track, and has two victories (spring 1996 event and fall 1999 event).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Richmond International Raceway began its racing life in October 1946 as a half-mile dirt track. It was known as Strawberry Hill Speedway back in those days. The track held its first NASCAR premier series event in 1953 with Lee Petty winning the race in his '53 Dodge. Lee's son, Richard, still holds the track record for most starts (63) and victories (13).
The last race run on Richmond's dirt surface was the Richmond 250 in March 1968. Bobby Isaac was the polesitter with eventual race winner David Pearson starting 16th in the 20-car field. Pearson took the lead from Charlie Glotzbach on Lap 156 of the 250 lap event, and led the rest of the way, winning $2,300.
"I didn't use but half the horsepower I had," said Pearson in victory lane. "If you tried to goose it all the way around, you'd burn up your tires in 20 laps". Paving began later that year, and Richard Petty's victory in the Capital City 300 in September 1968 ushered in Richmond's era of paved events.(NASCAR PR)(5-12-2004)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Richmond International Raceway
- Sponsors for Shelmerdine at Richmond: Rick Russell, owner of 2nd Chance Race Parts, the primary sponsor for Kirk Shelmerdine’s #72 Nextel Cup Ford Taurus, announced today that the team will also be carrying the logo for RacingUnderdog.com on the its entry in the Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. RacingUnderdog.com, a small-media Internet site that devotes its coverage to Nextel Cup’s underdog and independent drivers, recently chronicled Shelmerdine’s race efforts in California and the team’s week-long trip there. “We’re honored to be included on a car at a Nextel Cup event,” said Dave Laurence, owner of RacingUnderdog.com, adding that “this is simply a joint effort between two Underdogs trying to help each other out.” Kirk Shelmerdine was among the drivers who tested on Thursday, May 6
at Richmond International Raceway. "The track had a tremendous amount of grip, and had the feel of a track with several races on it instead
of a new surface," Shelmerdine said. His car handled well off the trailer, responded well to adjustments, and was only a second slower
than the Childress cars that were testing there that day. Shelmerdine and his 2nd Chance Race Parts Team are looking forward to an improved performance this weekend at Richmond.(PR)(5-12-2004)
- Nadeau to be at Richmond: Though Jerry Nadeau [driver of the #01 Chevy who was injured a year ago at RIR] continues to recover from head injuries sustained in a practice accident at RIR, he doesn't shelter any bad feelings about the Richmond facility. In fact, he is planning to attend the weekend race, his first visit to a Nextel Cup event in 2004. "I only have good things to say about the Richmond track and the community," said Nadeau. "After all, the track emergency workers and the hospital staff at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center saved my life. I'm really looking forward to being with the team. Hopefully I can bring Joe [Nemechek] and the guys some luck. Joe is doing a great job in the Army car despite all of the bad breaks he's had recently.(MB2 Motorsports PR in part)(5-11-2004)
- Hamilton Jr. listed in the #09 at RIR: NASCAR.com's Chevy American Revolution 400 ar RIR Entry List has Bobby Hamilton Jr. in the #09 Miccosukee Gaming & Resorts Dodge.(5-11-2004)
- Blaney in the #7? NASCAR.com's Chevy American Revolution 400 ar RIR Entry List has Dave Blaney listed in the #7 Dodge Ultra Motorsports Dodge.(5-11-2004)
- LaJoie in the #80? NASCAR.com's Chevy American Revolution 400 ar RIR Entry List has Randy LaJoie listed in the #80 Hover Motorsports Ford.(5-11-2004)
- Hermie to dedicate RIR races to uncle: After picking up sponsorship from the Bank of Southside Virginia and the law firm of Jenkins and Jenkins, Hermie Sadler will attempt to qualify for the Busch and Nextel Cup events at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. Sadler is dedicating both races to his uncle, Bud Elliott, who died Saturday after a battle with cancer. Elliott, a former NASCAR Sporstman driver, was instrumental in jump-starting the racing careers of Hermie and Elliott Sadler.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-10-2004)
- Richmond Testing Continues: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers are threatening to break the poll record of 21.194 seconds (approximately 127 mph) at Richmond International Raceway. After two full days of testing the new asphalt among more than 20 drivers, all agreed that the record would fall during Wawa pole qualifying for the Chevy American Revolution 400 Friday, May 14. "It's going to be history, I can tell you that right now," said Emporia, Virginia native Elliott Sadler. "I'm running faster than that in race trim."
"The poll record will fall for sure-for sure," echoed Jeff Gordon. "I ran that time on 30-lap tires."
"The thing I have noticed about the racetrack is it's super smooth, but the characteristic of the track is exactly the same," added six-time Richmond winner Rusty Wallace. "I was supposed to test Martinsville, but I said 'you know what that track really hasn't changed, and boy it's really hard to test there because it's so rough.' I'd rather pass that one up and go to Richmond where it's a completely new pavement."
"No doubt there will be a track record set when we come back to qualify Busch and Cup," added Kurt Busch. "It's very fast. It's like a small Texas." NASCAR Busch Series title contender Bobby Hamilton, Jr. was among those testing who said the pavement is new, but the same great racing will remain the same. NASCAR veteran Mark Martin is excited about the changes made to the short track. "We're running a lot faster because of the new asphalt," added Martin. "It's exactly what you'd expect to see. The cars are a lot faster than they were in 1989. (The track was last repaved in late 1988.) Now we have fresh pavement and we're going to be able to go a lot faster than we did back then." Sadler gave the track rave reviews as well. "They did a great job. The track is very, very smooth. It has a lot of grip in it. It's going to be fast, which will make it fun. I hope that the Busch cars will slicken it up a little bit on Friday night so we'll be able to move around a lot on it Saturday night. I can't believe how smooth it is, so whoever did it did a great job so I have to commend everybody here at Richmond for that."
Gordon added, "The grip is there. The surface is fantastic. This track just offers that and I hope we see that our first time here with
the new pavement."
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart, Ricky Craven, Kurt Busch, Johnny Benson, Elliott Sadler, Ward Burton, Jimmy Spencer, Rusty Wallace, Brendan Gaughan and Jamie McMurray tested today. Busch Series drivers Kasey Kahne, Justin Labonte, Mike Bliss, J.J. Yeley, Jay Sauter, Eric McClure, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin and Dave Blaney also tested at Richmond Wednesday. Testing continues Thursday, May 6 when Ricky Rudd, Johnny Sauter and Ward Burton are scheduled to test the new blacktop. Grandstand gates open at 9:00 a.m. for this free event, which is open to the public.
The NEXTEL Cup drivers will have their first official run Friday, May 14 during Wawa Pole Qualifying for Saturday's sold-out Chevy American Revolution 400. Tickets are still available for Friday's NASCAR Busch Series FUNAI 250. Reserved seats are just $40, while general admission seats are $35. Thursday's NBC12 Pole Qualifying Day for the FUNAI 250 are just $5 for general admission seats. Children 12 and under are admitted free to general admission sections with a paying adult on both days. For ticket information, please call 1-866-455-RACE, or visit www.rir.com.(RIR PR)(5-6-2004)
- Look for new qualifying record at Richmond: The first repaving of Richmond International Raceway since its 1988 reconfiguration passed its initial test with flying colors and falling lap times as four cars christened the fresh asphalt on Wednesday. Ryan Newman's #12-Dodge, Matt Kenseth's #17-Ford and the Chevrolets of #5-Terry Labonte and #29-Kevin Harvick posted record-breaking speeds while barely breaking a sweat. The trio registered several hundred laps as Goodyear conducted a two-day test that wrapped up yesterday on the brand-new blacktop. Aided by cool, cloudy weather Tuesday, Newman was toured the track in 21 seconds flat [128.871mph] even though his car employed a rudimentary race setup that wasn't designed for an optimum qualifying lap. The pole record at RIR is a 21.195-second, 125.792-mph lap posted by Ward Burton on May 3, 2002. Hotter, slicker conditions less conducive to speed for RIR's NASCAR weekend on May 13-15 are expected, but Burton's mark seems certain to be shattered. The final layer of the multimillion-dollar project, which also installed a subsurface underdrain system to correct a chronic water seepage problem, was completed only a few weeks ago after beginning in October. The makeover removed a bumpy patch in Turn 2, a previous trouble spot.(in part from the Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-29-2004)
- See the 2004 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.
PAINT SCHEME NEWS
- Speical Scheme for Martin at RIR: Roush Racing says its #6 Ford for Mark Martin will have a special paint scheme promoting sponsor Viagra's "value card" for Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. It also says the car will have a “reverse” paint scheme with more white on the car for all eight night races this season.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-11-2004)
- More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery
RACE /CHAMPIONSHIP ODDs