You check your email one day and find…it’s time for Track Takeover is coming BACK!

Why is time moving so slowly? You are counting down the days until you get back to the track.

Scrolling through Twitter, checking out all the new things to do and see, until…


It’s like you can’t read about it fast enough.

No other track has EVER done this before. Is it even real?!

Race day morning finally arrives are you’re up like:

Driving up to RIR like…

…when you see RIR in its race day glory.

You beeline straight for the track.


The band is rocking some classic tunes and everyone around you in just as excited as you are.

Look! Over there! Is that Kyle Busch’s show car?!

Exhibits for the kiddos, driver Q&As on the frontstretch…this is basically NASCAR heaven.

To top it all off, you leave your mark on RIR – by signing the Start/Finish line!

Just like this kid:

Finally, you head to your seats knowing you were just on the track before your favorite drivers hit the pavement.

Crazy. Freakin’. Cool.

A look at Kevin Harvick heading into the Sprint Cup Championship weekend.

2015 Rearview: There may not have been a more dominant car week after week than the No. 4. Leading the field in Top-5 (22) and Top-10 finishes (27), tell part of the story. The three wins and 12 second place showings tell the rest. In fact, Kevin Harvick has taken last year's run to his first Cup Championship and gotten even better. No he didn't match the gaudy pole awards (eight) from 2014, but his average starting position is nearly a full spot better than it was last season. He's set a new career marks in nearly every category, and were it not for an expired engine at Pocono (a race he was leading at the time) those numbers could look even better. There's little that Harvick hasn't accomplished this season, and every time a truly great performance has been needed, "The Closer" answers the call. He needed a win at Dover to advance in the Chase, and 355 laps led later he had just that. Now he has the opportunity to do what only 10 drivers have done in their careers, and repeat as NASCAR Champion. 

His Career: They say things get better with age, and that can certainly be said for Harvick's career. Since 2010, his age-34 season, he's seen multi-win campaigns every year but one (2012), and has finished third or better in points in those same seasons. Only Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart have more Chase wins to their name, and he has the chance to add a second Cup Championship trophy to his mantle. 

History at Homestead: Harvick's rattled off seven straight Top-10's, including the most important one of his career in last year's Sprint Cup Championship performance. In fact, the No. 4 driver has finished outside the Top-10 just twice in his 14 starts at the track. No other Chase competitor has dominated South Florida quite like the reigning champ, making him the odds-on favorite to take home the win this weekend.
A look at Jeff Gordon heading into the Sprint Cup Championship

2015 Rearview: Donations, cars, an 18-liter wine bottle and even his own blackjack table - Jeff Gordon's victory lap season has been a remarkable showcase of gratitude from one of the most influential drivers in NASCAR history. The retirement circus followed "The Kid" from track-to-track throughout the season, leading to tears shed and memories shared by all. But that was off the track, on the track Gordon was held winless through the first 33 races, and was in danger of missing the Chase for just the second time in his 24-year Cup career. Once he qualified in Richmond however, the switch flipped. Riding high on the back of his Martinsville win and six consecutive top-10 finishes, Gordon has scored more points (334) than any other driver in the Chase.   

His Career: What more can be said about Gordon's storied career. Only David Pearson (105) and Richard Petty (200) have more career wins than the future Hall of Famer (93), and a victory this weekend would net Gordon his fifth NASCAR Championship trophy. Considering he was winless in his final full season until two weeks ago, his sudden resurgence has the No. 24 team confident they can end his career in a big way.

History at Homestead: How's a win and seven Top-5 finishes (most ever at Homestead) for kicks? He's led more laps at the track than any of the other remaining Chase drivers, he's focused and he's determined. The man is a living legend, and he'll look to put an exclamation mark on his storybook season this weekend.
A look at Kyle Busch heading into the Sprint Cup Championship

2015 Rearview: After an XFINITY Series crash left Kyle Busch with broken right leg and left foot, sidelining him for the first 11 Sprint Cup races of 2015, it felt like a run at his first Cup title would have to wait another year. Four weeks after his return Busch went on a Petty-like run, winning four out of five races in June and July - including three straight wins at Kentucky, Loudon and Indianapolis. He followed up the string of victories with some of the most point-savvy driving the Chase era, with 10 Top-10 finishes through 15 races and Top-5 showings in each of the Eliminator Round races. All four JGR drivers raced their way into the original Chase field, but it's Busch, playing with house money and maybe driving better than he has at any point in his career, who's the last one standing.

His Career: Busch has just one Chase race win to his name over the course of his career, coming 10 years ago (his rookie season) at the 2005 Checker Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix when he wasn't even Chase eligible. Yet he isn't without some measure of success, with two top-five Championship finishes, including fourth in 2013. With what he's overcome this season, 2015 might already go down as a career-defining year for the No. 18 driver. A Sprint Cup Championship would cement that.

History at Homestead: Of the Championship Four, Busch has the hardest time figuring out the South Florida track. An average finish of 23.1 (19th or worse showing in 10 career Cup starts at Homestead) and just one Top-5 finish to his name, he'll need to re-write his tumultuous Homestead history. But after the season he's had, would you really be surprised if he kept the magic going?

A look back at the 1997 Pontiac Excitement 400

Sunday, March 2, 1997 – The Pontiac Excitement 400 at RIR was nothing less than exciting on a crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon. While some folks may remember it as the last regularly-scheduled day race at RIR before moving to a night-races-only schedule for the next eighteen years, others are probably more familiar with the on-track action that took place that day.

After starting 7th, Rusty Wallace tangled early with Ricky Rudd on lap 6, immediately putting him all the way in the back of the field.

371 consecutive green flag laps later – yes, you read that right – without any help from a caution flag, Rusty working his way through traffic all the way up to P1.

Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett controlled much of the first half of the race, especially Jarrett who racked up 172 laps led over the course of the 400-lap event, until Rusty jumped back on the scene to take over the lead on lap 159. The two battled it out for the next 43 laps when Jarrett finally snatched it back.

At that point, it looked like Jarrett might be able to hold on to the lead for the rest of the race, even with the momentum clearly in Rusty’s favor less than 100 laps ago. But, during Jarrett’s final green flag pit stops he lost nine seconds due to dropped lug nuts, costing him the lead and putting Rusty back in prime position for the checkered flag.

Remember now, the last – and only – caution flag up ‘til now flew back on lap 6. With 19 laps remaining in the race, Kenny Wallace’s engine blew, giving Jarrett a huge break, much to his brother’s chagrin. At this point, there were only four cars still on the lead lap: Rusty, Jarrett, Geoff Bodine, and Ernie Irvan.

In the top spot one lap down, Jeff Gordon connected with Irvan while trying to line up for the restart. Seven laps later, Irvan hit the wall in Turn 4 hard with a cut tire, for which he blamed Gordon.

Later, Rusty would say: “I was real surprised at Gordon. He might have thought he was racing for the win. I don't know. I've never seen anybody race like that with the leaders when he's a lap down, but he did."

Back to lap 398 – we’ve got three to go ‘til the end, putting Rusty, Jarrett, and Bodine in a three-car shootout for the win. Rusty’s long history of short-track racing served him well – he smoked Jarrett to hold on to the lead.

"You think about those old short-track days," Wallace said. "I laid back about a car length and a half, and, just about the time I thought [Jarrett] was going to pick it up, I nailed it. It worked out perfect."

Jarett would claim a third-place finish, after losing both the chance at the win and a rough battle with Bodine for second.

"Rusty just got the best of me there," Jarrett said. "I thought I had a good start. I saw him drop back and try to get a run on the restart. I thought I had him, [because I] had him slowed down. I just messed up. It's my fault we didn't win the race.”

Don’t feel too bad for Jarrett thought, he returned to the fall race at RIR with a vengeance. On top of winning the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400, his average speed of 109.047 easily topped Rusty’s during the spring event.

However, you’d be hard-pressed to find another performance like Rusty’s during that final day race. In Rusty’s own words: "You know the [car] is stout when you go from 41st to first, and pass them all and take the lead. I'm used to taking the lead via pit stops and maybe passing one or two, but I've never passed 41 of them. That was a tough one."

Indeed; an RIR tradition of exciting, tough racing on Sunday afternoon we’re excited to see return in 2016 and beyond.

Be there to witness Sunday short-track racing make its historic return to Richmond International Raceway on April 22, 23, and 24th.

Need tickets? Sign up here to be the first to get yours before they go on sale to the public January 15th
A look at Martin Truex Jr heading into the Sprint Cup Championship

2015 Rearview: Despite a career year from the 35 year old driver out of Mayetta, New Jersey, Martin Truex Jr is considered the "underdog" of the Championship Four. It's a spot the single-car team has found themselves in all year, and they've responded with career marks in Top-5 and Top-10 finishes for Truex.  A memorable start to the season saw the No. 78 driver score a Top-10 finish in 15 of his first 16 races, highlighted by a win at the Tricky Triangle in the beginning of June. Things tapered off somewhat in the second half of the season, but Truex has rounded into form through the first nine Chase races with five Top-10 finishes and a third place showing at another 1.5 miler, Charlotte. 

His Career: It's truly been a career year for the 12-year vet. As someone who's never finished higher that 11th in points in his entire career, NASCAR's Cinderella Man now has a chance to win it all. In a season where four teams (Stewart-Haas, Hendrick, Penske, and Joe Gibbs) took home 34 of the 35 races, Truex has the chance to lead a single-car team to a NASCAR Championship for the first time since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. 

History at Homestead: This "underdog" has got some HMS bite. His average finish at the track (10.0) is stronger than either Gordon or Busch, and he's finished sixth or better in three of his last four South Florida contests. His best finish (2nd) came in the Ford 400 back in 2006. 

A look at the chances of Keselowski, Harvick and Logano this weekend in Phoenix.

Last Week: After leading a track-record 312 of the race's 334 laps in dominating fashion, Brad Keselowski saw his Championship Round ticket flutter away into the Texas air when Jimmie Johnson took the lead with four laps to go. While the AAA Texas 500 was a rebound from the 32-place finish at Martinsville the week before, Keselowski still sits 19 points behind the fourth place Martin Trux Jr. Still, with a Top-10 finish in six of his last seven races at Phoenix point towards a strong showing from the No. 2 in the final Eliminator Round race.

Earlier This Year: It was the Kevin Harvick show. And the year before that. And the year before that. The defending champ has four straight wins at the one miler, and his seven total victories in Avondale are more than any other driver. Ever. Things look like a lock for the No.4 driver, but just remember -  folks were saying the same thing about Jimmie Johnnson heading into Dover.

Who To Watch: After dominating the Contender Round, things haven't gone as planned for Joey Logano's team during the first two legs of the Eliminator Round. Sitting 63 points behind Truex, his game plan is simple: win and get in. With four straight Top-10 showings at Phoenix, only Harvick and Keselowski have collected more points at the track during that span. Look for him to go after more than just points this time around.

A look at Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch this weekend in Texas

Last Week: It took 33 races, but the Jeff Gordon swan song hit its highest note yet with a dramatic win in Martinsville. Leading 35 laps en route to his ninth grandfather clock, the future Hall of Famer described the victory “unlike anything he'd ever experienced.” But if we know Gordon, he's already turned his focus to the Great American Speedway. His lone Texas win came back in 2009, but he's nabbed two top-10's in his last three races at the Fort Worth track, so the odds of him building on his Chase momentum are strong.

Earlier This Year: Stop me if you've heard this before, but Kevin Harvick was certainly one to watch at the Duck Commander 500 earlier this year. While the No. 4 driver does have three wins on the year, it feels like he could have had a dozen. One of his twenty top-5 showings came back in April at Texas with a second place finish. While he has yet to find a win at there, his average finish is stronger than any other driver remaining in the Chase. This weekend is a good opportunity for the defending champ to secure a spot in the Championship Four and defend his title.

Who To Watch: There was a time earlier this season when it felt like Kyle Busch could run the table on the 2015 NASCAR Season. Momentum has slowed down a bit since the Joe Gibbs driver won four in a five race stretch back in June/July, but this weekend could be one where he kicks the tires and lights those Chase fires. With a win, eight top-5 finishes and a fourth place showing in last year's AAA Texas 500, he has a better Texas resume than any remaining Chase driver.

A look at the chances for Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon this weekend in Martinsville.

Last Week: Get your brooms out, cause we had ourselves a sweep. Logano took not one, not two but all three of the Contender Round races, culminating with his victory at Talladega. With four top-5's in just 13 Martinsville starts, including three in a row, he has the ability to keep the streak going this weekend.

Earlier This Year: While it was Denny Hamlin who took home his fifth grandfather clock after winning the STP 500 back in March, it was actually Kevin Harvick who paced all drivers with 154 laps led. Gordon is the only remaining Chase driver with more top-10 finishes at Martinsville, and he's earned three in his last four contests at the track.

Who To Watch: The same guy eyes have been on all season long. Jeff Gordon. IIt's hard to find a track on the circuit at which the ol' 24 hasn’t had a long line of success… that history just hasn't translated into a 2015 win. But with eight wins, seven poles and more top-10 finishes than any other driver at the half-miler, maybe Jeff can punch his ticket to the Championship round with a win at one of his favorite tracks.
Rusty Wallace dishes on day racing at RIR
NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace shares his thoughts on Richmond's shift to a Sunday race.
When I heard about the possibility of a Sunday race coming back to Richmond, I got really excited about it.

It really brings back the history of Richmond. When I came into NASCAR it was always Sundays; bright, sunny, everyone saw the cars gleaming under the sunshine – it was a NASCAR tradition. I remember the days when night racing started, and it was definitely dramatic. We'd see flashes going off around the track when someone took the lead, and it was exciting, it was really cool. But sometimes change is good, especially when we're going back to tradition, and there's nothing wrong with tradition.

I moved down from St. Louis, Missouri to chase my NASCAR dreams, but my whole family would come out on Sunday afternoons to watch me race. I remember people piling onto the tailgate of our truck and everyone being there for the big event that day. There's just something about being under the bright sunshine that seems right to me.

Rusty Wallace dishes on day racing at RIR
Wallace has six wins at RIR, three of those coming during the day.
I won a lot of races on Sunday afternoons, and had a good time doing it. I think it's going to be exciting and something different to the fans of RIR.

Now, I know there might be some of you who have never seen a scheduled day race at RIR. Let me tell you what to expect: you're going to see more cautions, you're going to see more action and more passing. I can say that because I know the track is going to be slicker, it's going to be hotter, there's not going to be nearly as much grip and it's going to be more exciting- that's just all there is to it.

It's a win-win for fans at the track and at home. The drivers and owners can bring more people out to the track now, so I expect we'll see more going on around the race, more entertaining and more fan festivities. Personally, I can see myself coming into Richmond earlier and spending time with the fans on Saturday nights.

For the fans at home, Sunday afternoons are when they have a little time to sit down and spend some time watching some really good NASCAR racing at Richmond. With this change there's going to be a lot more eyeballs on the track on a Sunday afternoon.

I think it'll be fun and I think there are a lot of positives ahead of us. We can't forget where the sport came from, so I'm all for this change. 
Joey Logano, Dale Junior and Brade Keselowski's chances at Talladega

Last Week: He did it again. After picking up his fourth win of 2015 in Charlotte, Joey Logano tacked on his fifth last week in Kansas. For the season, the No. 22 driver has earned a victory on a short track (Bristol), road course (Watkins Glen), a restrictor-plate track (Daytona) and the 1.5-milers (Charlotte and Kansas). He's fast everywhere, and has shown he's a threat week in and week out.

Earlier This Year: Few drivers have the kind of track success like Dale Earnhardt Jr does at Talladega. With six wins at the track, Junior is always one to watch when NASCAR rolls into Alabama. After a remarkable streak at the Lincoln track early in his career (a streak of seven races where he collected five wins and two second-place showings), Junior found himself back in 'Dega's winner's circle earlier this season. With his history at the track and the need for a big-time performance, he's certainly one to keep an eye on this week.

Who To Watch: This season's been one of hot streaks. Joe Gibbs Racing rattled off six wins in a row back in August and September, while the Hendrick crew took three of four races in May . With Joey Logano racking up The Chase wins, maybe Brad Keselowski decides to join the party. Without a win since March, look for the defending GEICO 500 champ to make some noise and advance to the Eliminator Round with his Penske teammate.

Also... if I told you a driver led 225 laps over the past two races, you'd think he'd be a lock to advance in the Chase, right? Unfortunately for Matt Kenseth, that's not the case. Banged up cars forced Kenseth out at Charlotte and into a 14th-place showing at Kansas, meaning he now sits on the outside looking in. But with how he's driven this season and in the Chase (plus a win and six Top-10's at 'Dega), he's not one to count out just yet.

Matt Kenseth isn't one to count out

Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon at Kansas

Last Week: We called Penske making some noise, and while Keselowki managed a top-10 finish it was teammate Joey Logano who brought the hammer in Charlotte. Five-time winner Matt Kenseth had the early advantage, but contact with Ryan Newman sent him into the outside wall and the No. 20 driver was forced to leave the contest early. Logano seized the opportunity and lead a race-high 227 laps en route to his fourth win of the season.

Earlier This Year: It might have been Jimmie Johnson who took home that killer Spongebob trophy back in May, we all remember the one, Kevin Harvick had an equally impressive showing at Kansas earlier this season. The 56 laps led was just the latest in a string of strong performances in Kansas City. The defending champion has earned the pole in three of the last four races, with a win and a pair of second place finishes during that span.

Who To Watch: Remember Ryan Newman's 2014 run? Well Jeff Gordon is putting on a remarkably similar show. Even without a 2015 win, Gordon still sits inside the top-8 of the standings with several strong tracks on the horizon. Kansas is one such track, where Gordon has three wins and more top-10 finishes than any driver not named Jimmie Johnson. After a fourth place showing back in May, Gordon is one to keep an eye on if he can continue to build on that success.
Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski

Last Week: It was a wild one. Race favorite Jimmie Johnson was forced out early, Kevin Harvick brought out the hammer and four fewer names have a shot at the 2015 Sprint Cup Championship. It was a true win-to-get-in scenario for the reigning champ, and he responded with 355 of 400 laps led in the most dominant performance of his career.

Earlier This Year: After a string of Top-10 finishes, Carl Edwards finally found his way into Charlotte’s Victory Lane at the Coca-Cola 600 back in May. He’s followed it up with some eye-opening finishes on the 1.5-milers, and his average finish ranks only second to Kevin Harvick over the past eight Charlotte contests. Teammates Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth already have Chase wins this season; so don’t be shocked to see Edwards add his name to the list.

Who To Watch: Team Penske has been rather quiet through three Chase races, but Brad Keselowski might change that this weekend. The No. 2 driver nabbed his first Charlotte win in October of 2013, and secured a Top-10 finish earlier this season.
Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon all have reasons to smile at Dover
Last Week: Can anyone stop JGR? Another week, another win for the Joe Gibbs Racing machine as Matt Kenseth found his way to Victory Lane for a NASCAR-leading fifth time this season. With defending champ Kevin Harvick running out of fuel with three laps to go, Kenseth took advantage and punched his ticket to the Contender Round alongside teammate Denny Hamlin.

Earlier This Year: Six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag at the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks back in May. Johnson has had unparalleled success on the Delaware track, with 10 wins, almost 3,000 laps led and his best average finish (6.8) of any track. Experts have Johnson pegged as the odds-on favorite to secure his spot as one of the 12 Contenders with another strong performance in Dover.

Who To Watch: Jeff Gordon currently finds himself sitting inside the top-12, but not comfortably. Currently 10th in points, there's no time like the present for Jeff to pick up his first win of the season. Just a year ago "The Kid," picked up his fourth and final win of the 2014 season at the Monster Mile. Hopefully it won't be the last win of his full-time racing career.

Last Week: Bum knee? No problem! An ACL injury wasn't enough to cool Denny Hamlin last week in Chicago and the Joe Gibbs Racing machine continued it's 2015 dominance (a current three race win streak, and 12 collective wins on the season).  With Hamlin's ticket to the Contender round already punched, odds of JGR sending multiple drivers onward into the Chase are high because...

Earlier This Year: Hamlin's teammate Kyle Busch took home the checkered flag in Loudon back in July, the second of three straight wins during that stretch. Kyle's comeback this season has been one for the ages, and with how well the No. 18 driver has performed this season (four wins, four straight Top-10 finishes including a second place showing in Richmond's Last Race to Make the Chase), there's a strong chance there's more magic to come.

Who To Watch: While he hasn't racked up the wins like he did last year, Harvick has still had arguably his best season yet. He’s on the top of his game in terms of average starting position and Top-5 finishes, and only in 2010 was his average finish better (9th). But after contact with Jimmie Johnson cut down the defending champ’s tire last week in Chicago, Harvick finds himself in need of a strong showing to keep his name in the Chase Championship discussion.

Music, food, craft beers? Sign us up! 

We're partnering up with the Barton Malow Foundation and the Richmond Flying Squirrels for the RVA Field of Dreams Fest, a true showcase that everything the River City has to offer. With a lineup of soulful musicians, local craft brews and decadent treats, what better way is there to close out Richmond's summer festival season?

Culminating with headliner Charles Bradley, the heart and soul behind "Not Time for Dreaming," one of Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of 2011, the upcoming festival will be the first concert held at the Diamond since Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan kicked up the infield dust over 10 years ago.


Tickets for the event can be purchased on the event website, and all proceeds from the festival will go towards the Barton Malow Foundation, RIR Cares and Flying Squirrels Charities. So come on out, help out the community and enjoy the tastes from a heavy-hitting lineup of craft brews who'll be there with us. 

Thank you for helping us close out the NASCAR regular season in style! You've proven time and time again that you're the best fans in motorsports, and it wouldn't have been the season it was without you.

 We want to give you an inside look about everything that went down during the Federated Auto Parts 400 weekend - so be sure to check out the RIR Race Hub, and check back in with us throughout the Chase for interesting storylines and the inside scoop of what's happening in our sport!
Welcome back race fans! It was an exciting time out at your favorite short track for the 2015 Federated Auto Parts race weekend. To relive some of the best sites, sounds and stories from the Last Race to Make the Chase, check out our Race Hub below!

Post-Race Party - The Battle is Set

On Saturday, September 12th, the stage was set for a 10-week battle between 16 driver nations that would crown the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion. The field was set in Richmond, and we're so glad to have had you along for the ride. And while the night was filled with confetti, smiles and cheers all around, eyes now turn to Chicagoland and the first race in the Chase.

Saturday September 12 - Federated Auto Parts 400

Matt Kenseth Wins 2015 Federated Auto Parts 400
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, scored his fourth win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at the Federated Auto Parts 400 "under the lights" at RIR Saturday. 

In dominating fashion, Kenseth led 352 laps tonight leading to his victory over his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch, who finished second tonight. Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rounded out the top five.

The victory in the "Last Race to Make the Chase" moved Kenseth to the second seed on the Chase Grid. Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, and Clint Bowyer raced their way into the Chase tonight at RIR. All 16 drivers who made the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup took to the stage at Post-Race Party. Confetti, pyro, thunder sticks, and big heads made fans pumped up to see all 16 drivers in one place for the first time. These drivers will move on to the Challenger Round, and battle it out to see who will be crowned the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.

Sights From The Day

Numbers You Need to Know:
Department of Veteran's Affairs Pole Qualifier: Joey Logano; 21.349; 126.470
NSCS Fastest Practice: Kevin Harvick; 21.526; 125.430

Media Interviews

Federated Auto Parts 400 Winner Matt Kenseth

Chase for the Sprint Cup Qualifier Kevin Harvick

Chase for the Sprint Cup Qualifiers Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson,
Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray

The Stories You're Hearing:
• Now or Never: This is it. For those winless drivers, there’s one more chance to lock up a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Eleven drivers already have clinched a Chase spot. For four others – Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Paul Menard – certain finishes will lock up a spot no matter who wins the race. For others, it’s likely a win-or-else proposition. 
• Clinch Scenarios for Richmond: Jamie McMurray will lock up his first career Chase berth simply by starting the race on Saturday. For three others, it’s a little tougher. Ryan Newman clinches with a top- 31 finish; Jeff Gordon with a top-17; and Paul Menard with a top-nine. If there’s a new winner, a Richmond win is realistically the only path to the Chase for winless drivers beyond Menard.
• Bonus Points Still Up for Grabs: For those 11 drivers who have locked up a Chase spot, there’s still plenty on the line – in the form of three Chase bonus points for a victory. After the race at Richmond, each Chase driver will have his/her points reset to 2,000, with three bonus points tacked on for each win during the regular season. Currently, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch, both with four wins, would enter the Chase with the most points (2,012).

Friday, September 11 - Virginia529 College Savings 250 XFINITY Series 

Chase Elliott Wins the 2015 Virginia529 College Savings 250
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, took home his first checkered flag of the XFINITY series season at RIR Friday, winning the 2015 Virginia529 College Savings 250. It was also Elliott's first win at RIR, who managed to hold off a late surge from a determined Kyle Busch down the stretch. 

"It's been a really solid weekend overall," said Elliott. "You never know when you'll get back to Victory Lane, so we'll try to take the momentum and learn from what we did so we're even better next time."

The victory marked the first time a non-full time Cup driver won the Richmond XFINITY Series event in over 10 years. It was actually Busch, race pole-sitter and runner-up, who was the last driver to do so - winning the FUNAI 250 back in May 2004. 

But that wasn't the only drought broken tonight, it was also Elliott's first win in 39 races. 

"Chase put the pressure on (himself) this weekend," said JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. "He told me 'If I only won by 21 points last year then I can definitely make some things happen.'"

Rounding out the top-5 were Brian Scott (No. 2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet), Joey Logano (No. 22 Hertz Ford) and Erik Jones (No. 20 Gamestop/Lego Dimensions Toyota).  Josh Barry, Elliott's JR Motorsports teammate, finished 7th in just his second career XFINITY Series start. 

Sights From The Day

Numbers You Need to Know:
NBC12 Pole Qualifier: Kyle Busch; 122.073 mph
NXS Fastest Practice Time: Austin Dillon; 22.227; 121.474 mph

Media Interviews

Virginia529 College Savings 250 Winner Chase Elliott

Virginia529 College Savings 250 Winning Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr

Coors Light Pole Winner Joey Logano

The Stories You're Hearing:
• Buescher Commands Championship Lead with Nine Races Remaining After watching his points lead dwindle for three consecutive weeks in August, Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher needed to turn up the heat at Darlington and he did just that. Buescher earned his 11th top five this season while his closest championship contender finished 15th. He now holds a 29-point lead over second-place Ty Dillon and 35 points over third-place Chase Elliott.
• Virginia Natives: Sadler, McClure Right at Home at RIR Virginia is home to some of NASCAR’s most talented drivers and this weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race is no exception. Local fans will have a chance to cheer on two drivers entered in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 that have their home state recorded as Virginia – Elliott Sadler and Eric McClure.
• Suarez Earns Third Top-3 Finish of Rookie Season Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings leader Daniel Suarez earned his third finish of third or better this season at Darlington. The Mexico City native has posted six top fives, 11 top 10s and two poles during his rookie year in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

It's here.

We've come to the Last Race to Make the Chase, and Jeff Gordon still finds himself without a win in his final full-time season. Although we're sure he'd like to have earned more hardware over the course of the 2015 season, he still finds himself sitting 14th in points with a couple different ways he can clinch a spot in the Chase at Richmond:   

A- Win and he's in. Plain and simple. 

B- If a driver inside the current top-16 in Chase points finds their way to Victory Lane, Gordon qualifies regardless of where he finishes. 

C- If a driver outside the top-16 takes home the checkered flag AND Clint Bowyer finishes 2nd place while leading the most laps, then Gordon would need to finish better than 17th. 

D- If scenario C comes to fruition and Gordon finishes worse than 17th, he could still make it into the Chase so long as he finishes no more than seven spots below Paul Menard.

Head hurting yet? For simplicity's sake Jeff, why don't you just pick up your third Richmond win. 

As part of our initiative to live a more active lifestyle, we want you to join the RIR staff in our weekly Wellness Wednesday walk around property! Lace up your sneakers, grab a water bottle and come on out!


Who: RIR staff, all campers and guests
Where: The Bus Lot near Lot D
When: Wednesday, Sept. 9 1:00 PM

Darlington has been more than kind to the Chesterfield, Va driver
By most accounts Denny Hamlin has had a strong season. His eight Top-5 finishes are already more than he's had in three of the last four seasons, and he's already led more laps this year that in either of the past two.

Denny hasn’t had a multi-win campaign since 2012 – his lone 2015 win came back in March at Martinsville. If he can borrow some of his team’s momentum this weekend at Darlington, Denny might just be able to slap a second winner’s sticker on the No. 11. With a win, four Top-5's and seven Top-10's in his nine races at Darlington, there isn't a track on the circuit where Hamlin has a stronger average finish.

Fueled by some JGR mojo and a special Cale Yarborough throwback scheme (he had five Darlington wins), maybe Denny can channel some of the "Timmonsvile Flash" spark this weekend.

RIR has acres of FREE parking – a tailgate enthusiast’s dream. You’ll want to make sure to get here early (lots open at 7 am) to avoid traffic. Go ahead and follow @HenricoPolice – they’ll be providing route and traffic updates throughout the weekend.

Skipping the drive? The Richmond Coliseum provides a free shuttle service from the Coliseum parking garage at North 7th Street downtown.

Post-Race Party is loud. It’s hype. It’s NASCAR America meets downtown nightclub. It’s celebrating the newly set Chase field WITH the newly set Chase field. DJ? Check. Glowsticks? Check. Beach balls? Big heads? Thundersticks? Yeah, we’ve got all that. When the burnout smoke clears, you’ve got to get to the Post-Race Party.

Score autographs from NASCAR’s brightest rising stars. Ryan Reed, Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, and Regan Smith are all slated to attend the XFINITY Series autograph session, and that list is growing. Be there on Friday prior to the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.

And get this – the entire UNOH 100 field will be giving out autographs prior to the start of the Thursday night race. Better bring an extra pen.

Click here to see the rest of our race weekend appearance schedule.

The perfect place to soak in the day? RIR’s must-see Midway and Commonwealth Mall. Located just outside the Frontstretch gate, we’ve got displays, food, and entertainment, plus the brand new Fanatics Trackside Superstore which you HAVE to see for yourself. Take a breather at the Miller Lite Party Zone before heading back out for more.

We’ve got family fun on deck all day for your newest NASCAR fans. If you’ve got kiddos, put this at the top of your must-see list: the Virginia 529 Kids Zone. Packed with interactive displays emphasizing on science, technology, engineering, and math, you’ll leave the track with a little crew chief of your very own.

We also have a grandstand section devoted just to families on both Friday and Saturday. Your family can soak up the NASCAR experience in the Family Section presented by Virginia529, located in the Colonial Grandstand, Section E. Leave the brews behind though – alcohol is prohibited in this section.

Short Track Sliders, Pork Belly Monty Cristo. YUM.

Developed with local ingredients, these in-house smoked pulled pork sliders are seasoned with chef’s own BBQ spice and slow smoked for 14-18 hours. We use Smithfield pork butts and provide a choice of BBQ sauces to accommodate each fan’s personal flavor.

The Pork Belly Monty Cristo is a slow-roasted pork belly sandwich layered with shaved ham, crisp bacon, pound cake, Swiss cheese and Texas toast. This deep fried masterpiece gets a drizzle of our pecan and bacon maple butter to finish off this masterpiece.

Trust us, don’t be that guy. At RIR, we’re committed to providing a memorable, enjoyable, and safe race day experience for all our guests. Guests who act in an unruly manner will be subject to removal from the facility, possible loss of ticket and/or camping privileges and, in some cases, arrest. Instead, we recommend leaving with good memories, some photos, and maybe an autograph or two.

Make the most of your race day experience. Give out some high fives at Driver Introductions to wish your favorites good luck. Watch practice and qualifying from the pits. Get a behind-the-scenes view of the action with a COLD Garage Pass. If you’re a hardcore NASCAR fan, these upgrades put you as far inside the action as we can get you.

Got a problem on race day? No worries, we’ve got your back. Stop by any of our Guest Services booths for assistance. You can also send a text to 69050, include RIRFAN in the body of the message, and your issue and we’ll help ASAP.

#Federated400 | #PostRaceParty | #VA529 | #UNOH100 

We’ve got some pretty neat things happening in the social media world. Have FOMO? Let us be everywhere for you – follow along as we document everything from the garages to the parking lots and everything in between (literally).

Want to join the conversation? Here’s a handy list of event hashtags to use so you can make sure your voice is heard.

Finally, download our free app to make sure you receive up-to-the-minute news and track alerts.