The Presidents Own, The National United States Marine Band, made their RIR debut with ONE National Anthem performance for the record books.

Military and service member appreciation was everywhere tonight, including the veteran jump team who flew into the RIR Infield with TWO American Flags in tow.

The Air Force was BACK! And their flyover during the National Anthem, combined with the passovers by the Bandit Flight Team during God Bless America and the Command, gave our Pre-Race Show THREE flyovers.


The penultimate moment for Fan Appreciation Weekend happened right before the green flag waved. The entire Sprint Cup field went FOUR-wide for the first time in Series history, saluting the fans for a fantastic 2016 season.
Dear Fans-
Welcome to Richmond International Raceway’s Fan Appreciation Weekend!

RIR has always been one of my very favorite tracks. It produces some of the best, most exciting, door-to-door racing in NASCAR and I was fortunate enough to have a lot of success there, with six wins, 22 top-fives, 30 top-10s and over 3000 laps led.

In fact, Victory Lane at RIR was where my favorite car, Midnight got its name. At Team Penske, we had a tradition in which a car didn’t earn a name until it won a race. Well, in September of 1992 at Richmond, we won a hard fought victory over Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip in the debut of a brand new car, chassis number PSC-009.

We were in Victory Lane—around the stroke of midnight—when my PR representative, Tom Roberts, suggested that we name the new car “Midnight.” I agreed and from there, a legend was born. Midnight went on to be one of the most famous cars in NASCAR history, with 13 wins, 25 top-fives and almost 4,000 laps led in its 31 races. All of that success began at Richmond International Raceway.

Rusty Wallace took home the 1992 Miller Genuine Draft 400 at RIR
But it’s not just my on-track success at Richmond that makes it one of my favorite venues. I really love the city of Richmond as well; it just has a great vibe. Richmond has so many awesome restaurants and entertainment options that make it a favorite stop for all of the drivers and teams.

Even more than that though, YOU—the Richmond racing fans—are some of the very best fans in all of NASCAR. The support that you show for our sport—as well as the passion and loyalty you show to your favorite drivers and teams—really means a lot to me and to everyone involved in our sport.

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank all of you for your support of NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway. We’re looking forward to making even more racing history in Richmond this weekend!

Best regards-

Rusty Wallace
Welcome back race fans! Racing returns to the RVA for the exciting regular season final, and we're here to offer you the inside track to everything going on during Fan Appreciation Weekend! From the moment the haulers arrive until the Federated Auto Parts 400's checkered flag - you'll be able to see content here you won't get anywhere else!


Chesterfield native Denny Hamlin started first and finished first in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The driver of the No. 11 FedEx Racing Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing led 189 laps en route to his third career win at the short-track. The victory is his first Cup win at Richmond since 2010 (continue reading)

Views From the Day:

Now Let's Crown a Champion:

Your 2016 Chase Competitors


Kyle Busch Wins Virginia529 College Savings 250:

For the sixth time in his career, Kyle Busch NASCAR XFINITY series race at Richmond International Raceway. Busch, who a led a race high 197 of 250 laps, dominated Friday night’s Virginia529 College Savings Plan 250... (continue reading)
Views From the Day:

Numbers You Need to Know:
Fastest in NXS Final Practice: Ty Dillon 
Speed: 122.144 Time: 22.105
Fastest in NSCS First Practice: Kyle Busch
Speed: 120.979 Time: 22.318
Fastest in NSCS Final Practice: Casey Mears
Speed: 120.557 Time: 22.396 
NBC12 Pole Sitter: Austin Dillon
Department of Veterans Affairs Pole Sitter: Denny Hamlin 


RIR Goes All in on Fan Appreciation

The driver who finishes first in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 race won’t be the only winner this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. As part of NASCAR’s inaugural Fan Appreciation weekend, more than one lucky fan will have the opportunity... (continue reading)
Drivers Say #ThanksFans

Created with flickr slideshow.

Numbers You Need to Know:

With a win in the Coca-Cola 600 already notched in his belt, Martin Truex Jr. scored a checkered flag in yet another one of NASCAR's crown jewels on Sunday: the Bojangles Southern 500 in Darlington. Driving the throwback No 78 Auto-Owners Camry, Truex was able to hold outrun Harvick to his second win of the season. "We've had a string of terrible bad luck lately," Truex said. "We've had super-fast race cars. ... I knew when the bad luck stopped coming, we would start racking them off. Tonight we weren't the best car, and we won for once. I just couldn't be more excited." He's just the eighth driver to score wins in both the Coca Cola 600 and Bojangles Southern 500 in the same season.

Bubble Drivers at Richmond

If the season ended in Darlington, the Chase field would be set. Chris Buescher, sitting 30th, would be one of two rookies in the Chase - joining Chase Elliott who's sitting 12th in points. Austin Dillon would be making his first-ever Chase appearance and Jamie McMurray would make the NASCAR postseason for the second time. But there's still Richmond - and a pair of NASCAR vets with 12 Chase berths between them are looking to make one final push for the playoffs. Check out the graphic above to see how the Chase bubble looks heading into the regular season finale. If math isn't your strong suit, just remember this: win and get in.

Fan Appreciation is an entire weekend devoted to showing our gratitude to race fans near and far for the enthusiastic support they have given our sport throughout the regular season. As we head into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, there is no better time to tell our fans THANK YOU for another incredible year. From unprecedented driver access, to car decals, to a literal red carpet, this weekend is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Check out to see the cool swag you can win now, and follow us on Twitter @RIRinsider to see the cool swag you can win while you’re here. 

We’re adding more appearances to this list daily so you can plan your weekend schedule accordingly. (Pssst… this doesn’t even include the surprises we have up our sleeves!)

Don't forget, NASCAR’s future stars will be signing autographs from 2-2:45 pm on Friday afternoon. Show your Virginia529 College Savings 250 ticket at the Virginia529 midway display starting at 10:00 am to get a wristband for access. (Limited to the first 350 fans.)
20 RIDE will be kicking off the pre-race festivities with a concert on the track on Saturday night. From southern rock, to Caribbean rhythm and sultry bedroom ballads, these good ol' boys from upstate Carolina definitely know how to entertain. Pick up a Driver Intro pass to see ‘em up close!
Follow us on social media to keep up with all of the appearances, surprise giveaways, and behind-the-scenes content throughout the weekend. Plus, #ThanksFans will have all your Fan Appreciation news from around the sport (think: NASCAR, partners, media, and other fans).
Make sure you’ve got those grills and coolers packed! With acres of free parking and an entire day to prepare for the race, tailgating at Richmond is some of the best on the circuit. See more info here and tweet us when you’re cooking up something delicious…we’re probably hungry.

What could make race weekend even better? How about: garage access, fan hospitality, pit passes, or seeing your favorite drivers up close! If you're looking for a mix of everything, check out 3-Wide Hospitality. It includes a Saturday pre-race pit pass, plus access to a climate-controlled fan hospitality area where you can enjoy food, festivities and special Q&A's with Sprint Cup drivers Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch.
The midway, a fan-favorite every race weekend, will be chock full of fun displays. Show your Toyota, Lexus, or Scion key at the Toyota Owners Hub to grab a quick bite and relax before heading back out to see the Monster Jump Team, Miller Lite Party Zone, or riding the Toyota Ferris Wheel. Bookmark the Midway map here and plan your route.
Whether you’re at the track or at home, our goal is to make sure you feel appreciated. Keep your eyes peeled for signage everywhere – although we don’t think you’re going to have any trouble spotting these:
- Fan Appreciation Restart Zone
- Painted apron
- Car decals
- Miss Sprint Cup’s firesuit
- Pit road
Our friends at Sprint couldn’t be more excited to say #ThanksFans for years of support and lifelong memories. Visit the Sprint display in the Midway to see the Sprint Cup trophy up close and appearances by Miss Sprint Cup. They will also be giving away $5 concessions vouchers AND randomly choosing fans to join them in the Sprint Fan Suite for the race! (While supplies last.)
M&M’S is literally rolling out the red carpet on Friday and Saturday. Snag FREE M&M’S, see Kyle’s No. 18 showcar, meet the M&M’S characters, and more! Don’t miss the gate giveaways and more #ThanksFans opportunities all weekend long.
The flagship event of Fan Appreciation Weekend, Gridside Live! will give you unprecedented access to your favorite drivers – FREE for all ticket holders, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm on the frontstretch. (RICHMOND NATION members can get in early at 1:00 pm and get a free gift.) Check out the schedule here to see when your favorites are appearing.
Bubble Drivers at Richmond International Raceway