Richmond International Raceway takes a look at the storied careers of this year's NASCAR Hall of Fame class and their histories at RIR.

Premier Series Owner Stats: 2,736 Starts  |  105 Wins  |  48 Poles
Perhaps the brightest spot in the career of Richard Childress was his role in the success of the legendary Dale Earnhardt, who won six championships and 67 races while running for RCR between 1984-2000. But the story for this Hall of Famer goes far beyond the Dale chapter. Childress drivers have won 11 championships driving for RCR, and he was the first NASCAR team owner to win championships in all three of NASCAR's national series. Current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competitors Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer have earned victories at Richmond International Raceway during their time under Childress as well.

Premier Series Owner Stats: 3,699 Starts  |  245 Wins  |  210 Poles
Founder of the most successful team in motorsports, Rick Hendrick's organization has helped shape the NASCAR modern era. Hendrick Motorsports lays claim to 12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championships and 15 NASCAR Championships in total (both all-time records), all of which have come in the last 22 years. Highlighted by current champion Jimmie Johnson's three victories, Hendrick drivers have taken the checkered flag in NASCAR's premier series ten times at the Action Track. Current Hall of Famers Tim Richmond and Terry Labonte also collected wins at Richmond while racing for Hendrick. 

Premier Series Stats: 882 Starts  |  40 Wins  |  56 Poles
Calling him the "greatest driver to never win a championship," doesn't do justice to the storied career Mark Martin put together in his 31 years behind the wheel. A force from the onset, he finished second in the championship standings five times and no worse than sixth every year from 1989-1999. In 2009 Martin put together one of the best campaigns in his career, with five wins and 14 top-5 finishes while competing at 50 years old. His 96 wins across NASCAR's three national series put him seventh on the all-time list, and six of this wins (one in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, five in the NASCAR XFINITY Series) came at RIR.

Premier Series Owner Stats: 18 Starts  |  2 Wins  |  2 Poles
Raymond Parks was one of NASCAR's founding fathers and is seen as one of the first "team" owners in it's history. His collaboration with mechanic Red Vogt in the late 1940s and early 1950s set the standard for early stock-car racing, and projected driver Red Byron for the first NASCAR modified title in 1948 and the first premier series title in 1949.

Premier Series Stats: 526 Starts  |  21 Wins  |  20 Poles  |  1 Championship
The 21 career wins don't really tell the whole Benny Parsons story. "The Professor" earned a top-10 finish in an 283 of his 526 career starts, an incredible ratio of 54%. His Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in 1973 is also regarded as one of the most dramatic in series history. After a lap 13 crash forced his car to the garage early, Parsons managed to get back onto the track 136 laps later and work his way back to a 25th-place finish, staving off reining champion Richard Petty for his sole championship. In 29 starts at RIR, the Hall of Famer collected two wins, three poles, and 11 top-5 finishes.
Debra has a lot memories from attending races at RIR since the 1980's.

Debra Lewis is a diehard NASCAR fan, and has done her part to share that fandom with friends old and new. She shares her Richmond experience as a part of the "My RIR Story" series.

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The first time I visited Richmond International Raceway was in the mid-1980s. I went with my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and remember telling him that he had to pick a favorite driver before we went. I was a Terry Labonte fan, and he wound up picking Dale Earnhardt (Sr.). You have to love the competition.

I’ve been to Richmond so many times since then, and going twice a year provides the opportunity to collect a lot of memories. I remember Richard Petty getting on a backhoe in 1988 after the race when they expanded the track. That man can drive anything. My favorite memory though, was when Terry (Labonte) won in 1994. I was a member of his fan club and made posters for every race. One weekend at Richmond, I even got to meet him. I’d gotten garage passes and when we met he invited me to his hauler and I got a picture with him.

There’s six of us that go to every race, but we use two of our tickets to bring someone new. This past September I brought a couple that we used to be very close with, but hadn’t seen in about 25 years. My husband and I had gone to their wedding and even drove them to the airport for their honeymoon. While we’ve kept in touch, we hadn’t seen each other in person in a long time.

Thanks to RICHMOND NATION, we could go on the track early for Gridside Live!, and this couple had never seen anything like it. They had never really experienced a NASCAR race weekend, so it was special to share our moments with them.

Over the years, we’ve seen more and more families come to the track. I enjoy seeing all the kids at the track and think the race is a kind of “family get together.” Being a part of RICHMOND NATION makes the experience even better. It makes me feel special, like I’m a part of a unique and exclusive group.

Debra Lewis
RICHMOND NATION Member

Timothy has been coming to races at RIR since he was just 12 years old

Racing is in the blood of Timothy Wilson, and he's been able to pass that passion along to his daughters through his RICHMOND NATION experience. He shares his Richmond experience as a part of the "My RIR Story" series.


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I’m the type of person who likes to be a part of something.

When I read about RICHMOND NATION online and discovered how I can enhance my experience at the track, I knew I wanted to get everything I could out of being a member. When we attend a race weekend, it’s about more than just what happens on track – we’re there to see the drivers do Q&As, enjoy the food, and buy souvenirs. RICHMOND NATION enhances myexperience.

Certainly having our seats locked in each year is a great benefit. We love our seats and like all the fans who sit around us. It’s like a reunion every year when we get to see them. We get a free parking pass which I enjoy, along with the RICHMOND NATION receptions and drivers doing special Q&As. The parking and special events were why I joined, but I enjoy ALL of the benefits of RICHMOND NATION.

My first race was with my best friend when I was 12 years old. His father was a Henrico County Police officer, and he let us explore while he worked. It became a tradition, and each year we had one more friend show up. At that age, you remember the highlights. Seeing the wrecks and then the people you see on TV.

I don’t think I missed a race until I went to college. After graduating and marrying my wife, I joined the Kiwanis who would volunteer at the track each weekend to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. This was my way of getting back into the race track, which I did for many years until I moved away from Richmond.

Though I had a great time at the track with my friends growing up, it was more fun to start a new family tradition with my daughters. In 2002, my Father’s Day gift from my wife and daughters was tickets to the race. It was touching to see my younger daughter get so into it, and seeing in her eyes the same look I had back when I was 12. She’s caught the NASCAR bug.

The horsepower and the noise is something that gets into your blood. It is something I hope becomes a life-long passion. You can’t make anything better than that.

Timothy Wilson
RICHMOND NATION Member
My RIR Story: Dean Lewis
Dean Lewis has been watching races from RIR's Dogwood Section for over 30 years.

Dean has been coming to Richmond International Raceway since 1974, and camping with friends and family is one of his favorite traditions. He shares his Richmond experience as a part of the "My RIR Story" series.


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Richmond is my favorite track. I’ve been to a lot of other tracks: Martinsville, Talladega, Daytona, Dover and Pocono. But Richmond is always different, especially the NASCAR season finale in September.

A race I will never forget is Kevin Harvick’s victory five years ago. I started out as a Junior Johnson fan when he was in the Budweiser car, and wherever that car went I would follow. I remember thinking (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. was going to be the greatest thing, but it was Harvick who sealed the deal for me.

My youngest son and best friend have been coming with me to every race for the last 20 years. I have three other friends who join us, too. We used to spend a lot of time together many years ago. While we’ve all somewhat moved in different directions of life, we still get together every race. The six of us have three campsites together right outside of Turn 1 and 2 in Lot F. It’s always a great weekend.

I love RICHMOND NATION because it locks in my seat every race. Most of the people in our campground sit around us in the Dogwood section in the same spot every year - and I love our seat. Being in RICHMOND NATION means we get to be at the race no matter what.

The fans who go to the races at RIR are really nice, and the track staff is great. I’ve never run into anyone with a bad attitude - even if their driver lost. Where else can you go where so many different fans and teams are together and still have a great time? A NASCAR race.

Dean Lewis
RICHMOND NATION Member
Richard Starnes
Richard Starnes (right) with Martin Truex Jr during Fan Appreciation weekend at RIR

Richard has been coming to Richmond International Raceway for nearly 30 years, but this past September was his most memorable race ever. He shares his Richmond experience as a part of the "My RIR Story" series.

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I may not remember my first race at RIR, but I’ll never forget my favorite. Without a doubt, my best NASCAR experience was this past September thanks to an experience with Martin Truex Jr. during Fan Appreciation Weekend.

Through an RIR sweepstakes, I was invited to a race day meet and greet with Martin. I made it on television while he was being interviewed, visited the hauler and also toured the whole garage. It was very special and I'd never had a race experience like this before. I'm a long time Jeff Gordon fan, but  I've definitely been paying more attention to Truex since that day.

I’ve been to other tracks, but the fact you can see the whole track from my seat in the center of the Frontstretch is amazing. I enjoy the racing action at Richmond, and for me it's one of the best experiences in NASCAR. It's easy to pass so drivers can race side-by-side for long stretches at a time.

We have always arrived early to the track on race day. But since we joined RICHMOND NATION, we can park right next to the entrance for a great day of tailgating. In fact, I'd say it's the best tailgating in the sport.

I have been a season ticket holder long before RICHMOND NATION started. When RIR rolled out the program with special perks like parking, it was only natural to take our experience to the next level.

Richard Starnes
RICHMOND NATION Member

Sandy Levan
Sandy and her husband Barry at a NASCAR Cup event in Richmond.

Sandy is lifelong NASCAR fan who works part time in the Guest Services department at Daytona International Speedway. She shares her Richmond experience as a part of the "My RIR Story" series.

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My favorite memory of Richmond was my Dad’s first race in 1997. He was an avid NASCAR fan, but wasn’t someone who liked to travel. I convinced him to come with us to RIR for a race. My Dad and I bonded during the race by running to the track to watch drivers practice every time we heard an engine fire up. It was special for us. Our favorite driver, Rusty Wallace, even ended up winning the race.

My husband Barry and I first came to Richmond in 1994. We had been to Daytona, but we always wanted to go to RIR. I was impressed with the excitement of seeing the racing action on the track. When we moved to Daytona in 2009, we decided to continue making trips to Richmond for races.

After about 10 years on the wait list, we finally got a site in the Main Campground at RIR. We love that RICHMOND NATION makes sure we can keep our camping spot. I don’t have to worry about losing my seats or camping as I have them every year. The program makes us feel part of the RIR family.

I’ve been a NASCAR fan all my life. Racing is my real passion as I enjoy the competition on the track. It takes a lot of skill to get around RIR. We enjoy the action at Richmond!

I feel honored to be part of the International Speedway Corporation family. I’m already excited for 2017!

Sandy Levan
RICHMOND NATION Member

Tim Roehrs
RICHMOND NATION Member Tim Roehrs and his wife Hope at the 2016 April race in Richmond

Below is a first-hand account from a RICHMOND NATION member about their year as a season ticket holder.

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"You're kidding me!"

That was my reaction when Richmond called to tell me I'd won a trip to NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas. I'm so excited to go, and have RICHMOND NATION to thank for getting me there.

Normally, the general public does not get into the banquet, so being able to see the celebration of (Jimmie) Johnson's seventh championship will be fun. I'm not the biggest Jimmie Johnson fan - Kyle Busch is my guy, and I'll cheer for Denny Hamlin too - but you have to be excited for him, that's a major accomplishment.

I've been going to races since 1998, but my first race in Richmond was the fall race in 2007. I was on the wait list for tickets for years before I finally got some. You always heard about how Richmond was one of the best tracks for fans, for the excitement. It lived up to its promise!

I drive for FedEx and it's not always easy getting many Saturdays off, so I'm not always able to go to the spring race in Richmond. With it being changed to Sunday afternoons last April, I was able to go to both races, and (it) was an awesome race - one of the best races of the year.

To go on the track before the Fall Race and see some of the drivers at Gridside Live! was very exciting. RICHMOND NATION is a really good deal, (saving money on) both races and having events on race weekend and throughout the year.

My wife Hope is actually the one who got me into NASCAR, and every year it's something that brings my family together. We get together with my youngest son in Charlotte, some neighbors and good friends and travel up to Richmond for the races. We all hop in an RV and we're off.

To me, that's the most important part of being a NASCAR fan. The thrill of being at the track with family. There's nothing like it, and you can't describe it. You've got to go experience it.

Tim Roehrs
RICHMOND NATION Member