Arena Racing USA
|Arena Racing USA|
|Sport||Stock car racing|
The concept of arena racing started in 1993, when Ricky Dennis was watching a Richmond Renegades hockey game at the Richmond Coliseum. The first attempt at creating the series occurred in 1993, but shut down due to financial troubles. In 2002, a second attempt at the series was created. To assist the series with financial backing, Dennis consulted Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs, and also added Interstate Batteries president Norm Miller and PACE Entertainment and PACE Motorsports' Gary Becker as investors. To help promote the series, James Ukrop, former chairman of Ukrop's Food Group and First Market Bank, was hired as a business mentor for Dennis. JGR drivers Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and J. J. Yeley also became investors. Regarding the series, Stewart stated, "I love any kind of racing, but arena racing struck me as something that could really take off. I've raced Midgets and Sprint Cars indoors, and there's definitely an added level of excitement. When I found out you could do the same thing with a half-scale stock car, but on a banked track with 14 other cars around you while making laps in 10 seconds, I was in."
Arena Racing uses stock cars half-scale of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars at 9 feet (2.7 m) long, and can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). They weight about 740 lb (340 kg) and have 22-horsepower engines.
Events are scheduled in a heat style format, as opposed to NASCAR's format of one long race. Each event consists of a minimum of four races: 3 main races and a "Top Dog" race. The 2011–2012 Arena Racing season runs from November - April, much of which is the off season of major series such as NASCAR and Formula One. There is currently one venue, the Richmond Coliseum, hosting the 2013–2014 season races.
- Hallman, Randy (January 3, 2013). "J. Ukrop brings business savvy to Arena Racing USA". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- "Arena Racing USA - Stepping Up". Stock Car Racing. October 1, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
- Walk, Roger (February 12, 2014). "Chesterfield racers take to the oval in arena race". The Village News. Retrieved April 6, 2014.