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Richmond International Raceway: History

Richmond International Raceway:

History

  • Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
  • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953 won by Lee Petty.
  • The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
  • The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
  • The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
  • The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
  • The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
  • The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
  • The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
  • The first season with both races as night races was 1999.

Notebook

  • There have been 117 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway, one NSCS event from 1953 – 1958 and two races per year since 1959.
  • 477 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond; 313 in more than one.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts.
  • Buck Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.
  • 53 drivers have Coors Light poles at Richmond, led by Richard Petty and Bobby Allison with eight each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
  • Seven drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond. Bobby Allison holds the record for most consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond with five (1972 – 1974).

 

  • Youngest Richmond pole winner: Brian Vickers (05/15/2004 – 20 years, 6 months, 21 days).
  • Oldest Richmond pole winner: Mark Martin (04/28/2012 – 53 years, 3 months, 19 days).
  • 50 different drivers have won at Richmond International Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart lead all active drivers in wins at RIR with three each (*Kyle Busch who is inactive has four).
  • Petty Enterprises has the most wins at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 10, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing each have nine.
  • Nine different manufacturers have won at Richmond. Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 36 victories; followed by Ford with 31 and Toyota with seven.
  • 23 of the 117 (19.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from the Coors Light pole. Only four active drivers have been able to accomplish the feat: Kasey Kahne (2005), Jimmie Johnson (2007), Kyle Busch (2010) and Brad Keselowski (2014).
  • The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond (23).
  • 36 of the 117 (30.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond have been won from the front row: 23 from the pole and 13 from second-place.
  • 91 of the 117 (77.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • 13 of the 117 (11.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Richmond International Raceway was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the spring of 2008.
  • Youngest Richmond winner: Richard Petty (04/23/1961 – 23 years, 9 months, 21 days).
  • Oldest Richmond winner: Harry Gant (09/07/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 28 days).
  • Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for the lead in runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with eight.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 18.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 41. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 28.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.909.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond International Raceway with a 10.412.

 

  • There have been two NSCS races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Richmond International Raceway: spring of 2008 (400/410) and spring of 2013 (400/406).
  • Only four of the 115 races at Richmond International Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions: spring of 1962, spring of 1977, spring of 1982 and spring of 2003.
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway seven times; most recently the fall of 2014.
  • Bobby Labonte (09/11/1993) and Brian Vickers (05/15/2004) posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Richmond.  
  • Tony Stewart (09/11/1999) and Kasey Kahne (05/14/2005) posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Richmond.  
  • Eight drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond International Raceway. Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive wins from the fall of 1970 – 1973. Jimmie Johnson (2007 sweep) is the only active driver with consecutive wins at Richmond.
  • All of the 15 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Richmond International Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart won at Richmond in their second appearance.
  • Joe Nemechek competed at Richmond International Raceway 18 times before winning in 1994; the longest span of any the 15 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
  • Greg Biffle leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 25.
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway was the (09/12/1998) race won by Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.051 second.
  • Two female drivers have competed at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
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04/21/2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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