Track Takeover. You’ve heard the name by now, for sure. “Your feet meet our pavement….” “The track is yours!” Our taglines sure are catchy, but they don’t quite tell you what to expect from this year’s event – or why ours is unlike anything else you’ve ever seen before.

We were the first to swing open our gates to the fans three years ago. Other tracks thought we were crazy when we thought up the idea – why are we giving away access that fans would pay for? Because for us, it’s all about the race day experience for the best fans in sports. We were so excited to bring that one-of-a-kind experience to our fans first – and for FREE.

So, we’ve had three years under our belts to make Track Takeover even better. Here’s what you can expect this year, driven by our friends at AAA.

Track Takeover driven by AAA Schedule:
  • 7:00 am – Parking Lots Open
  • 8:00 am – Grandstand Gates Open
  • 9:00 am – Track Portals Open – Track Takeover driven by AAA begins!
  • 9:20 – 9:30 am – Miss Sprint Cup Q&A on the Fronstretch Stage
  • 9:45 am – Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Pit Crew on the Fronstretch Stage
  • 10:00 am – Austin Dillon Appearance on the Frontstretch Stage
  • 10:20 am – Richard Childress Appearance on the Frontstretch Stage
  • 11:15 am – Track Takeover ends, get ready to go racing!
Friends and Vendors:

All of this is hosted by Michael Blair, emcee extraordinaire. Plus, make sure to sign the start/finish line too, just hours before the green flag waves to kick off the TOYOTA OWNERS 400.

We can’t wait to see you there.

American Idol Winner to Perform National Anthem Before Sunday’s Race at RIR

From the Hollywood stage to the River City, American Idol Season XV winner Trent Harmon will perform the National Anthem prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 this Sunday, April 24 at Richmond International Raceway.

Harmon previously performed at the Auto Club 400 alongside Idol’s Top 5 contestants in March. The Mississippi native has traveled coast-to-coast since earning the ultimate American Idol honors, debuting his Country single “Falling.” The track was written by Idol judge and Country superstar Keith Urban with Dallas Davison and Brett James. Harmon performed his coronation song during the series finale surrounded by Idol alumni and fellow contestants.

“We had the privilege of singing ‘God Bless America’ while filming American Idol. It was an amazing feeling and I am very excited and humbled to get the chance to return to the raceway and sing the National Anthem,” shared Harmon.

Harmon will serve as the headliner to the Pre-Race Ceremony for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400, which will also include a performance of “God Bless America” by the USAF Heritage of America Band, skydivers and a six-plane flyover by the Bandit Flight Team.

Already in the studio, Harmon is eager to get to work on his debut Country album for Big Machine Records. For the latest updates, follow Harmon on Twitter.

Great seats are still available for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race weekend at RIR. Tickets for Sunday’s race start at $40, and every admission gets you access to Track Takeover Driven by AAA, which gives fans access to the track just hours before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Click here or call 866-455-7223 to purchase. Fans unable to attend the event can tune in at 1:00 p.m. EST on FOX.
Don't things just have to break right, errr left, for Matt Kenseth at some point? The early leader in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway suffered a pair of tire failures that put him in the garage early. While JGR teammate Carl Edwards raced his way to his first win of the season, Kenseth's 36th-place finish currently bumps him outside the Chase field of 16. "We really weren’t very tight, our Camry was pretty fast today. I was encouraged even though we didn’t have the result. I have a smile on my face and we’ll go to Richmond and try again.” It'll be the second time in two weeks the No 20 driver swings through RVA. Kenseth took some time last week to make a pit stop at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Erik Jones

NASCAR's gone heat racing. On Saturday, fans caught their first glimpse of the Dash4Cash format coming to Richmond this weekend- and rising star Erik Jones didn't disappoint. After Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch duked it out most of the afternoon, the rookie Jones seized the lead with just over a lap to go and took home his first win of 2016. "I lost my voice because I’ve been screaming so much on the cool down lap. We got a really good restart and Kyle just left the top open and we went up there...he worked pretty hard to keep us behind him. We just kept digging and it worked out.  Just an awesome feeling." No doubt he'll try and keep that awesome feeling alive this weekend in the ToyotaCare 250.

Three cars. Two choices. One primary. A trio of Team Hendrick drivers will sport Mountain Dew primaries inspired by the company's "DEWcision" campaign. Chase Elliott (No. 24), Kasey Kahne (No. 5) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88) took to Twitter to showcase their new paint schemes on Monday.  Elliott’s car will have the colors of “Baja Blast,” Kahne will be a pitchman for “Pitch Black” and Earnhardt will be “undecided” with both flavors on his car.


For the second consecutive year, the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race weekend will be officially recognized as the NASCAR Race to Green race. From Green-inspired paint schemes, to a fresh finish on the Start/Finish line, and more - fans will definitely be seeing green this weekend in Richmond. But far from a one-time event, RIR works year round to be a Sustainable Short Track. Check out our continued commitment to sustainable living and renewable resources.
It's just a few short days until race week in Richmond, but that's not all the River City has going on.  It's Richmond Restaurant Week from April 18-24 and by participating you can help eliminate area hunger through our partnership with The Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.

Here's the scoop. Go to any of these restaurants and for $29.16 per person you'll get a three course meal created by one of Richmond's premier chefs. For each meal sold, $4.16 will be donated back to The Central Virginia Food Bank, a longtime community partner of Richmond International Raceway. Come to Richmond for the racing- but definitely don't skip out on the food. We've highlighted some of our favorites below:

Amuse at the VMFA
You’ll find fine art and even finer food at Amuse Restaurant at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Think: in-season, fresh, local ingredients, not only in their meals, but in their cocktails too. Stop by for Chef Greg Haley’s latest masterpiece and stay for an incredible collection of art – including traveling exhibits in town for just a little while. (Amuse has plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, too.)

Family Meal
Family Meal
Got a hungry group? We’ve got you covered. Family Meal stands by its name – the menu consists of your favorite southern-style dishes, with a twist. The incredibly generous portions make it the perfect place to go after traveling to the city, before heading to the hotel.  Located in Willow Lawn just off the I-95 interchange, this spot is one of the most centrally-located and closest to the track.

The Tobacco Company
In the heart of Richmond's Shockoe Slip, The Tobacco Company is where colonial charm meets popular nightlife. Within walking distance from several of our fine hotels, visiting teams and drivers have this spot at the top of their dining to-do lists when visiting Virginia’s capital. With decadent Restaurant Week dishes like Oysters Monterey and Leg of Lamb - you should too.

The Grill
Also near Willow Lawn, The Grill is located in Richmond’s West End on the corner of Libbie and Patterson. Serving everything from breakfast to fried pickles to New York strip, this neighborhood grill has something for everyone. Stop by for a quick breakfast on your way to the track or grab drinks on the covered patio during one of Richmond’s trademark warm spring evenings after the race.

What started as a quaint, 24-seater storefront in Scott's Addition has grown into one of the RVA's go-to joints for creative culinary flavors. LUNCH. | SUPPER! has the aura of a local diner, but the grub of a five-star joint - making it a favorite spot for, well, lunch or supper. It's also just a short walk from Isley, Ardent and Veil Breweries.

Arrive early to avoid traffic. Lots open at 7AM on Sunday, giving you all morning to tailgate for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400!  Be sure to follow @HenricoPolice on Twitter for the most up-to-date traffic information.
Parking Information

While we have a number of free parking options at RIR, you can take your race day experience to another level with premium parking in our permit-only lots (Lot D, P1 and P2). It’s the easiest way to get a head start on your race day tailgate.

On Sunday morning, the track is yours. All TOYOTA OWNERS 400 ticketholders are invited to the Track Takeover driven by AAA! Enjoy Q&A's with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Austin Dillon and team owner Richard Childress, interactive displays and more!
More Info

Who's going to be where and when? What time is XFINITY practice again? When can I head out to the Midway and grab some funnel cake? All those answers and more with our Weekend Schedule.
View Schedule

What could make race weekend even better? Well how does Garage Access, a Driver Intro Pass or FanVision Rental sound? We got you covered on all of these, and more!
Good Deals

Check out the Midway, find the best food pit stops or check the view from your seat.  We've got all the info you'll need to get in and around the facility on race day.
Maps on Maps on Maps

Families and NASCAR really go hand in hand! With the RIR Kids Club display, the Virginia529 Kids Zone and Acceleration Nation, there's something for the kiddos to do all day long!
Experience Family Fun

Go behind-the-scenes with us on race day, and follow us on social media. We're bringing all the best sights, sounds and stories to you all weekend long - you've got to see it. 

Need assistance? Guests can stop by any of our Guest Services booths OR send a text to 69050 and include RIRFAN in the body of the message, and we'll be in touch with how we can help!

Make race weekend fun and exciting for everyone. Be respectful…BECAUSE IT MATTERS.
RIR Respect
Kyle Busch sweeps

Two weeks. Four races. Four wins. With his victory in the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday, Kyle Busch became the first driver since Harry Grant (1991) to sweep back-to-back NASCAR weekends. “Everybody back at the shop has been building great race cars, they’ve been doing a great job for us. The crew chiefs here have been really working together, gelling together and putting everything together. It’s just fun, right now it’s all clicking and going together.” Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-5. The fifth place finish is the best of Elliott's young career.

8 drivers in line for a win

Despite recent history, Kyle Busch can't win EVERY week. Last year, 12 different drivers brought home some hardware before the season's end. With five drivers having taken home a checkered flag thus far in 2016, FOX Sport's Tom Jensen takes a look at eight other drivers who are strong bets to find their way into Victory Lane this season.

Banana and mayo sandwhich

Peanut butter and jelly? Classic. Peanut butter and banana? You'd make Elvis proud. But banana and mayonnaise? Well Junior says don't knock it til you try it. NASCAR's Most Popular Driver took to Twitter last week share his favorite lunchtime treat, and while we don't all have to share in his tastes we can all appreciate the buzz it's generating. "We've created a website -- It's nothing fancy -- it's just a place to donate for the Dale Jr. Foundation. We're going to let you guys donate for two weeks until April 23 – that's the day that I race the Hellman's car at Richmond -- and I'm going to match whatever you guys donate up to $50,000."
After a quick breather in Texas, Bristol will mark the second of three short tracks in a four week stretch, and look for Matt Kenseth to use it as an opportunity to get his 2016 campaign on track.  Kenseth has just one top-10 on the season, despite running in contention every week (he's led in six of seven races), and was threatening late in Martinsville before dropping to a 15th-place finish. He's got more victories at Bristol than at any other track, and brought home two short track wins last season.
 Kyle Busch

With a couple trophies and a pair of Grandfather Clocks in tow, reigning NASCAR Champ Kyle Busch managed to make a fan's day/week/month/life after his weekend sweep in Martinsville. Busch and his wife Samantha were seemingly stuck in traffic, when the couple noticed a Rowdy fan trucking alongside them. Click the link above to check out her priceless reaction.

AJ Allmendinger

Sunday's STP 500 saw several drivers turn in career performances. Kyle Larson took home a third place finish (his best in five races at the half-mile track), Danica Patrick posted her best finish of the season and spent a good portion of the race threatening in and around the top-10 and Austin Dillon raced his way to a fourth-place finish (tying his career best). But it was the late-race heroics of AJ Allmendinger that caught a lot of people's attention. The 'Dinger fought his way to the second spot late in the race, and turned in an impressive runner-up finish in Martinsville. "Well, I was hoping for one more spot for a culmination,” Allmendinger joked. “But, I passed Jimmie Johnson like five times at Martinsville; that’s pretty cool!"

Short Track Success

Four weeks after the circus left for the West Coast, NASCAR was back in the Commonwealth with it's first short track race of the 2016 season. With Bristol and Richmond on the horizon, fans and drivers alike have short track racing on the brain, and most couldn't be happier. Drivers working to find an opening, lead changes during a long green flag run, working to protect track position through a crowded pack. Some of the best racing in the country happens on short tracks, so it's no wonder drivers love it so much.

Jimmie Johnson

But before NASCAR continues on it's short track swing, it takes a pit stop at Texas Motor Speedway where Jimmie Johnson has won three consecutive races and five of the last seven. With the downforce package leading to phenomenal on-track action so far this season, it'll be interesting to see if another driver can rival JJ's dominance or if the six-time champion can make it four in a row at the 1.5 miler.