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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.

Starts

  • There have been 118 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway, one NSCS event from 1953 – 1958 and two races per year since 1959.
  • 484 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 45 starts.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.978.

Poles

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Nine drivers posted their first NSCS pole at Richmond International Raceway:

Driver Season
Brian Vickers 2004
Ted Musgrave 1994
Bobby Labonte 1993
Alan Kulwicki 1987
Morgan Shepherd 1981
Bill Dennis 1971
Dave Marcis 1971
Ned Jarrett 1960
Russ Hepler 1957

 

  • Buck Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.

54 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).

 

Wins

  • 50 different drivers have won at Richmond International Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at RIR with 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 37 victories; followed by Ford with 31 and Toyota with seven.
  • 23 of the 118 (19.5%) 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 118 (30.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond have been won from the front row: 23 from the pole and 13 from second-place.
  • 92 of the 118 (77.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • 13 of the 118 (11.0%) 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 is 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).


Wins

  • Five drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Richmond: Kasey Kahne (2005), Tony Stewart (1999), Kyle Petty (1986), Neil Bonnett (1977) and James Hylton (1970).  
  • 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 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 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 26.

 

Additional Finishing Position Stats

  • 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 29.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.350.

 

Track / Event Specific Stats

  • 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 118 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.
  • 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.


Female Competitor Stats

  • Two female drivers have competed at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date
Danica Patrick 21 25 4/26/2015
Danica Patrick 13 16 9/6/2014
Danica Patrick 35 34 4/26/2014
Danica Patrick 36 30 9/7/2013
Danica Patrick 30 29 4/27/2013
Averages 27.0 26.8  
Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date
Janet Guthrie 14 12 9/11/1977
Janet Guthrie 13 12 2/27/1977
Averages 13.5 12.0  

 

NASCAR in Virginia

  • There have been 288 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among nine tracks in Virginia.
Track Name City NSCS
Martinsville Speedway Martinsville 133
Richmond International Raceway Richmond 118
South Boston Speedway South Boston 10
Langley Field Speedway Hampton 9
Old Dominion Speedway Manassas 7
Southside Speedway Richmond 4
Starkey Speedway Roanoke 4
Norfolk Speedway Norfolk 2
Princess Anne Speedway Norfolk 1

 

  • 173 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Virginia.
  • 127 of the 173 (73.4%) drivers with their home state as Virginia have made at least one start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; led by Ricky Rudd with 906 starts.

 

NASCAR In Virginia

  • 19 drivers from Virginia have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; 11 have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; led by Denny Hamlin and Joe Weatherly with 25 each.

 

Driver NSCS NXS NCWTS
Denny Hamlin 25 14 2
Joe Weatherly 25 0 0
Ricky Rudd 23 1 0
Jeff Burton 21 27 0
Curtis Turner 17 0 0
Ward Burton 5 4 0
Glen Wood 4 0 0
Elliott Sadler 3 10 1
Emanuel Zervakis 2 0 0
Wendell Scott 1 0 0
Lennie Pond 1 0 0
Tommy Ellis 0 22 0
Rick Mast 0 9 0
Jimmy Hensley 0 9 2
Hermie Sadler 0 2 0
Elton Sawyer 0 2 0
Stacy Compton 0 0 2
Jon Wood 0 0 2
Jeb Burton 0 0 1

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Milestones – richmond

DRIVER HAS NEEDS MILESTONE DESCRIPTION  
 
Jeff Gordon 786 2 788th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Consecutive Start In two starts Jeff Gordon will tie Ricky Rudd (788 consecutive starts) for the series all-time lead in consecutive starts.  
Clint Bowyer 349 1 350th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Consecutive Start Bowyer is tied with Martin Truex Jr. for 10th on the active NSCS consecutive starts list, 41 starts behind Carl Edwards in ninth (390 starts).  
Martin Truex Jr. 349 1 350th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Consecutive Start Truex is tied with Clint Bowyer for 10th on the active NSCS consecutive starts list, 41 starts behind Carl Edwards in ninth (390 starts).  
Austin Dillon 74 1 75th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start Dillon is 226th on the all-time NSCS starts list, one start behind Cole Whitt and Casey Atwood in 224th (75 starts).  
Jimmie Johnson 74 2 76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Jimmie Johnson is eighth on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in seventh (76 wins).  
Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Stewart is 13th on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett in 12th (50 wins).  
Tony Stewart 299 1 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top-10 Finish Stewart is 17th on the all-time NSCS top-10 finishes list, two top 10s behind James Hylton in 16th (301 top 10s).  
Jeff Gordon 24,831 169 25,000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Laps Led Gordon can become the sixth driver in NSCS history to lead 25,000 laps; joining Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Bobby Allison.  
Matt Kenseth 9,748 252 10,000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Laps Led Kenseth can become the 16th driver in series history to lead 10,000 or more laps.  
#43 car 199 1 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins The No. 43 car is second on the all-time NSCS wins list, five wins behind the No. 11 car in first (204). The last win for the No. 43 car came at Daytona last season.  
Chevrolet 749 1 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Chevrolet will attempt to post the manufacturer’s 750th win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend. Chevrolet leads the series in wins.  

09/09/2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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