Richmond International Raceway

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Richmond International Raceway

Richmond International Raceway (RIR) is a 3/4-mile (1.2 km), D-shaped, asphalt race track located just outside Richmond, Virginia in Henrico County. It hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. "America's Premier Short Track" formerly hosted a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, an IZOD IndyCar Series race, and two United States Auto Club sprint car races.

Richmond International Raceway is one of a few race tracks to host all of its events under the lights. The track sold out 33 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The sellout streak ended in September 2008 partially due to the economic downturn, though the major factor in ticket sales was the impact of Tropical Storm Hanna.

Richmond has hosted the final "regular-season" race, leading up to the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, each year since the Chase concept was introduced in 2004. The race is often referred to as "One Last Race to Make The Chase."

In 2010, Richmond International Raceway introduced a state-of-the-art Video Scoring Tower that boasts more LED square footage than any other in the motorsports industry. The cap features four high definition LED screens that measure 38-feet wide by 24-feet high. The screens broadcast live race action and pre-produced video and graphics. The stem shows running order and has the ability to rotate through the entire field.

Richmond Raceway Complex

Richmond International Raceway is located at the Richmond Raceway Complex, which is an 1,000-acre (4.0 km2), multi-purpose facility.

Richmond Raceway Complex also hosts the Intergalactic Bead Show, Virginia Golf Show, Bassarama, Richmond Home and Garden Show, RV and Camping Expo, Richmond Boat Show, Richmond Classic Sports Card Show, East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Expo, Craftsmen Classic Spring and Christmas Shows, Bizarre Bazaar Spring and Christmas Shows and other various arts and craft events.

Outdoor festivals currently hosted by Richmond Raceway Complex include the 102.1 "The X" chili cook-off, the ACCA Temple Pork Festival and concerts featuring local and national recording artists.

Outdoor festivals that have been held there included the Virginia State Fair, Richmond Highland Games & Celtic Festival, March of Dimes Bikers for Babies, K95 Country Music Festival and thd Virginia food festival.

The former name for RRC was Strawberry Hill until RIR bought out the Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1999. The Strawberry Hill Races, which are a series of steeplechase horse races were formerly held the third Saturday of April at the Richmond Raceway Complex. In 2001, the Races were moved to Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia's first Thoroughbred racetrack.

NASCAR sanctioned races

Richmond International Raceway is home to two NASCAR races on both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series.

There are a pair of spring races, usually held on the first weekend of May. The Nationwide race is currently 250 laps (187.5 miles) and is sponsored by Bubba Burger. The Sprint Cup race is currently 400 laps (300 miles) and is sponsored by Crown Royal. Crown Royal currently holds a promotional contest where the winner is named the Grand Marshal, and the race is called "Crown Royal Presents The 'Your name here' 400" where the contest winner's name is used in the race's name.

There are a pair of fall races, usually held on the second weekend of September. The Nationwide race is currently 250 laps (187.5 miles) and is sponsored by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. It is named the "Virginia 529 College Savings 250". The Fall cup race is currently 400 laps (300 miles). It is currently sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios and is named the Wonderful Pistachios 400.

Until 2005, RIR was home to a fall Camping World Truck Series race. Starting with the 2006 schedule, that date was transferred to Talladega Superspeedway. Until 2009, RIR was also home to a June Indy Racing League IndyCar Series race. In July 2009, it was announced that the IRL would not return to RIR in 2010

Statistics
  • October 12, 1946 Driving an open-wheel car, Ted Horn wins the first race at Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds over a ½-mile dirt track.
  • April 19, 1953 Lee Petty wins the first NASCAR "Grand National Division" race with an average of 45.535 mph (73.281 km/h) at “Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds.
  • 1955 Paul Sawyer and legendary racer Joe Weatherly buy the property. Track is known as “Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds.”
  • March 10, 1964 race run under temporary lights
  • The track operated as a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) oval through the spring race of 1988. During the spring and summer of 1988, the track was reconfigured to its current layout of 0.75 miles (1.21 km). The first race under the new configuration was in September 1988. Lights were added for the fall 1991 race.
  • The track was previously called Strawberry Hill, Virginia State Fairgrounds, and Richmond Fairgrounds Speedway, the annual fair made the track a popular venue.
  • Richard Petty holds the record of most wins at Richmond with 13 victories, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace are tied with six.
  • Richmond is the site of the famous battle between Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip in 1986. Earnhardt tapped Waltrip in turn 4 and both drivers hit the wall, handing the win to Kyle Petty who avoided the crash and won.
  • RIR hosted an International Race of Champions event in 2004 and 2005, won by Matt Kenseth in 2004 and Mark Martin in 2005. The series has folded as of the 2008 Season
  • Site of Kasey Kahne's first career Sprint Cup Series win in 2005.
  • Site of Tony Stewart's first career Sprint Cup Series win in 1999.
Current races
  • Sprint Cup Series - Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400
  • Sprint Cup Series - Air Guard 400
  • Nationwide Series - BUBBA burger 250
  • Nationwide Series - Virginia 529 College Savings 250
Previous races
  • Indy Racing League - SunTrust Indy Challenge
  • Camping World Truck Series
Records
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying: Brian Vickers, 20.772 sec. (129.983 mph, 209.187 km/h); 2004
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race: Dale Jarrett, 2 hrs. 45 min. 4 sec. (109.047 mph, 175.494 km/h); 1997
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying: Kyle Busch, 20.874 sec. (129.348 mph 208.165 km/h); 2004
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series Race: Dale Jarrett, 1 hr. 47 min. 13 sec. (104.928 mph, 168.685 km/h); 1995
  • Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Qualifying: Sam Hornish Jr., 15.3197 sec. (176.244 mph, 283.637 km/h); 2005
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series records

(As of 4/30/11)

* from minimum 10 starts.

Past race winners