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Virginia Governor named honorary pace car driver at Richmond

Richmond Raceway (Richmond) announces Governor Ralph Northam as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday, Sept. 22. The 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia will be behind-the-wheel of the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car with the field of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in his rearview mirror.

“I’m looking forward to driving on Richmond Raceway’s great track and setting the pace for NASCAR’s top drivers,” said Governor Northam. “Race weekend in Richmond is always a fun time, and the Richmond Raceway and NASCAR are big boosts for the local and state economy.”

As part of his honorary role, Governor Northam will be introduced at the Monster Energy Series Playoff Driver/Crew Chief Meeting. All Federated Auto Parts 400 ticketholders are invited to Virginia Credit Union LIVE! for the meeting. The Governor will also get a unique view of the track from the pre-race stage as he will be introduced to the crowd during the new Driver Introductions in the DC Solar FanGrounds. Governor Northam will end his race day by leading the field to green in the first-ever Monster Energy Series Playoff race at Richmond.

“It’s an honor to host Governor Ralph Northam as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Federated Auto Parts 400,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Governor Northam is a true car enthusiast and NASCAR fan. We look forward to welcoming the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia behind the wheel to lead the field around the iconic ¾-mile D-shaped oval at Richmond Raceway. It will be a moment he will never forget.”

Prior to his inauguration, Governor Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, and business owner as well as a state Senator and Lieutenant Governor. The Governor graduated with distinction from the Virginia Military Institute and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army, where he served eight years of active duty and rose to the rank of major.

For more information on Richmond’s first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend schedule, visit

— Richmond Raceway —