The spring race week at Richmond International Raceway (Richmond) is officially here. From the Toyota PitPass with ferris wheel and Toyota Thrill Ride in the Midway to the return of red stripes to the track walls to Dale Earnhardt Jr's final day race in Richmond to Track Takeover driven by AAA to the Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run and more, Richmond's Toyota spring race weekend is packed. To help navigate the upcoming weekend, we've put together a list of what to expect throughout this weekend in Richmond.
Toyota will be the go-to place for fans in the Midway with the Toyota PitPass with rides on the ferris wheel, return of the Toyota Thrill Ride experience, and tours of Toyota cars on display. At the Toyota Owners Hub, owners of Toyota, Lexus or Scion can show their car keys for entry to relax with entertainment, food, and games. Toyota driver appearances will occur throughout the weekend including Matt Tifft, Gray Gaulding, Daniel Suarez, and Michael Waltrip. For appearances and times, visit rir.com.
The red stripes are back. Fans will see a new addition to the track walls at Richmond this weekend as we have brought back a racing tradition. Red racing stripes are a fan favorite and a staple in the sport. The last time red stripes covered the track walls were in 1988, when Richmond was still a half-mile configuration.
Fans will also see a new Richmond wall badge when they fill the grandstands this weekend. NASCAR Hall of Famer and Motor Racing Network broadcaster Rusty Wallace helped unveil the new look for the track last week. The new wall badge pairs nicely with the red stripes and ushers in a new era for Richmond.
With the news of Dale Earnhardt Jr's retirement at the end of the season, the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday will be his final day race at Richmond. Earnhardt is a three-time Cup race winner in Richmond with victories in the Crown Royal 400 in 2006, Chevy American Revolution 400 in 2004, and Pontiac Excitement 400 in 2000. Earnhardt has also won four NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Richmond with his most recent victory coming in last spring's ToyotaCare 250. This weekend will be race fans' last opportunity to watch Earnhardt race during the day at Richmond.
The new additions to the track walls is just one of the many things fans will see when they attend Track Takeover driven by AAA. All TOYOTA OWNERS 400 ticketholders are invited to walk Richmond's historic track from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 30. Fans will experience music, live entertainment, interactive displays, special appearance by AAA driver Austin Dillon, and they can even sign the Start/Finish line. This family-friendly event is the perfect place for fans to create memories of their own out on the track.
Kids 12 & younger can get their Sharpies ready for the Kids Autograph Session on Sunday, April 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Virginia529 Kids Zone. Drivers Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Gray Gaulding will be signing autographs and taking pictures with NASCAR's littlest fans. Wristbands are required for this event, and will be distributed at the Virginia529 Midway Display beginning at 8:30 a.m. A limited number of wristbands are available.
2016 NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott's Chase U college program is coming to Richmond. Chase U offers current college students a unique race day experience at an affordable price. For $24, college students with a valid ID get a ticket to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and access to the exclusive pre-race party from 9 a.m. to noon with Chase Elliott. Students will be treated to live music from Mason Brown & The Shiners, food and beverages, tailgate games, and a race day appearance by Chase Elliott at 11:25am. Learn more at rir.com/chaseu.
The April weekend kicks off on Thursday, April 27 with the Checkered Flag 5K and Kids Fun Run. Participants have the chance to run where NASCAR legends have ran. Runners will also have the opportunity to cross the Start/Finish line. The course will give participants a different view of the track. For more information on the Checkered Flag 5K and Kids Fun Run, please visit rir.com/5k.
To support racing around the Commonwealth, Richmond has partnered with local tracks to launch RacingVirginia.com. The site centralizes info regarding all the racing action that happens in Virginia. With original content from writers like Joe Moore and Randy Hallman paired with general info about each track, the Racing Virginia website is a resource for all racing fans in the state.
These are just a few of the things happening during the Toyota spring race weekend. For updates and more information, please visit rir.com.
NASCAR racing returns to the Capital of the Commonwealth on April 28, 29 and 30. The action starts with Practice and Qualifying Day on Friday, April 28, followed by the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash4Cash race on Saturday, April 29 at 1 p.m. Kids 12 and younger are free in general admission seating areas for all NASCAR XFINITY Series races. Richmond's spring weekend concludes with the fan-friendly Track Takeover driven by AAA, from 10 a.m. to noon followed by NASCAR's best in the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.
Richmond's fall race weekend, presented by Who's Your Driver, will see NASCAR history being made as the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season champion will be crowned over Fan Appreciation Weekend on September 8-9. The action begins under the lights on Friday, September 8, with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, and will be followed by the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday night, September 9.
Tickets are on sale now. Visit rir.com or call 866-455-7223 to purchase.
-- Richmond International Raceway --