Richmond Raceway

Coordinates: 37°35′30.08″N 77°25′15.28″W / 37.5916889°N 77.4209111°W / 37.5916889; -77.4209111
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Richmond Raceway
"America's Premier Short Track"
"Strawberry Hill"
"Action Track"

Layout of the Richmond Raceway
LocationHenrico County, Virginia, United States
Time zoneUTC−5 (UTC−4 DST)
Coordinates37°35′30.08″N 77°25′15.28″W / 37.5916889°N 77.4209111°W / 37.5916889; -77.4209111
OwnerNASCAR (2019–present)
International Speedway Corporation (1999–present)
Opened12 October 1946; 77 years ago (1946-10-12)
Former namesRichmond International Raceway (1988–2017)
Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway (1969–1987)
Virginia State Fairgrounds (1964–1968)
Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds (1953–1963)
Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds (1946–1952)
Major eventsCurrent:
NASCAR Cup Series
Toyota Owners 400 (1953, 1955–1957, 1959–2019, 2021–present)
Cook Out 400 (1958–present)
NASCAR Xfinity Series
ToyotaCare 250 (1982–1984, 1990–2020, 2022–present)
Go Bowling 250 (1982–2021)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Worldwide Express 250 (1995–2005, 2020–present)
IndyCar Series
Indy Richmond 300 (2001–2009)
ARCA Menards Series East
UNOH 100 (2011–2015)
D-Shaped Oval (1988–present)
Length0.750 miles (1.207 km)
Banking14° in turns
8° on frontstretch
2° on backstretch
Race lap record0:15.9368 seconds (169.423 mph) (United States Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara IR-03, 2004, IndyCar)
NASCAR Cup racecars before the start on the 1/2-mile configuration in September 1984
The pits during a 1985 NASCAR Cup race
Richmond Raceway as seen from the stands.

Richmond Raceway (RR) is a 0.750 mi (1.207 km), D-shaped, asphalt race track located just outside Richmond, Virginia in unincorporated Henrico County. It currently hosts two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends, hosts the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.[2] It formerly hosted events such as the International Race of Champions, Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, and the USAC sprint car series. Richmond Raceway's unique "D" shape allows drivers to reach high speeds. The tracks racing grooves, and proclivity for contact make Richmond a favorite among NASCAR drivers and fans.[3]

Nicknamed the "Action Track" and "America's Premier Short Track", Richmond sold out 33 consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races before the streak ended in September 2008 due to the Great Recession as well as the impact of Tropical Storm Hanna.[4] Richmond has hosted the final "regular-season" race, leading up to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, each year since the format was introduced in 2004 until 2018 when its second weekend was moved into the playoffs. In 2022, their second race weekend was moved into the Summer.

Before 2019, the raceway had a track seating of 59,000.[1]


Early history[edit]

Racing sports has a long tradition in Virginia, dating back to colonial English times.[5] From 1898 to the First World War, the Deep Run Hunt Club in the Northside area of Ginter Park was the site of the club's somewhat annual steeplechase race.[6] After a decade hiatus, the annual races were moved to Curles Neck in 1928.[6]

The 1946 AAA Championship Car season was unique in that it was the first post-war IndyCar race and because the Atlantic Rural Exposition had built a new state fairgrounds at the old Strawberry Hill Farm near Ginter Park.[7][8][6] The ½ -mile[9] dirt track would be suitable for both annual "Strawberry Hill" horse races and car races, and was known as the "Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds Track", "Strawberry Hill",[10] and "Strawberry Hill Raceway"[11] On October 12, 1946, Ted Horn gained the distinction of winning the track's first race in an open-wheel Indy-style car.[12]

Two years later, when the NASCAR schedule was being formed, this short track joined several others on the circuit.[13] In 1953, the track began hosting the Grand National Series with Lee Petty winning that first race in Richmond.[14] The original track was paved in 1968.[14] In 1988, the track underwent a major renovation into its present D-shaped configuration, with a wider surface, banking in the turns, and expansion in length to .75 of a mile.[12]

The name for the raceway complex was "Strawberry Hill" until the Virginia State Fairgrounds site was bought out in 1999 and renamed the "Richmond International Raceway". The Strawberry Hill Races, which are a series of steeplechase horse races, were formerly held on the third Saturday of April at the Richmond Raceway Complex. In 2001, the races were moved to Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia's first Thoroughbred racetrack.[15]

Recent history[edit]

Track president Dennis Bickmeier announced that RIR was renamed to "Richmond Raceway", part of a $30 million renovation of the infield known as Richmond Raceway Reimagined.[16]

In 2021, after NASCAR partner and online sports gambling company WynnBET launched a mobile betting app accessible to Virginia residents, it was announced that a sports betting lounge would be built at Richmond Raceway.[17]

Former track logo

NASCAR-sanctioned races[edit]

Richmond Raceway is home to two NASCAR races in both the Cup Series and Xfinity Series.

There are a pair of spring races, usually held on the first weekend of April. The Xfinity race is currently 250 laps (187.5 miles) and is named the ToyotaCare 250.[18] The NASCAR Cup Series race is currently 400 laps (300 miles) and is named the Toyota Owners 400.[18]

There are a pair of fall races, usually held on the second weekend of August. The 250-lap (187.5 miles) Craftsman Truck Series race is currently sponsored by WWEX and is named the Worldwide Express 250.[19] The 400 lap (300 miles) fall Cup race is currently sponsored by Cook Out and is named the Cook Out 400.[20]

Until 2005, Richmond was home to a fall Craftsman Truck Series race. Starting with the 2006 schedule, that date was transferred to Talladega Superspeedway, and the series did not return to Richmond until 2020.[21]

Races and events[edit]

2019 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

Current races[edit]

Previous races[edit]


  • NASCAR Cup Series qualifying: Jeff Gordon, 20.674 sec. (130.599 mph, 210.180 km/h); 2013
  • NASCAR Cup Series race: Dale Jarrett, 2 hrs. 45 min. 4 sec. (109.047 mph, 175.494 km/h); 1997
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying: Kyle Busch, 20.874 sec. (129.348 mph 208.165 km/h); 2004
  • NASCAR Xfinity Series race: Dale Jarrett, 1 hr. 47 min. 13 sec. (104.928 mph, 168.685 km/h); 1995
  • IndyCar Series qualifying: Sam Hornish Jr., 15.3197 sec. (176.244 mph, 283.637 km/h); 2005
  • Rusty Wallace Race Experience Fastest Non Professional Driver: Paul Delagrange, 20.894 sec. (129.412 mph): 2020

NASCAR Cup Series records[edit]

(As of 9/10/11)

Most wins 13 Richard Petty
Most top fives 34 Richard Petty
Most top tens 41 Richard Petty
Most starts 63 Richard Petty
Most poles 8 Richard Petty, Bobby Allison
Most laps completed 21135 Richard Petty
Most laps led 5142 Richard Petty
Highest avg. start* 3.7 Bobby Isaac
Highest avg. finish* 5.0 Kyle Busch

* minimum 10 starts

Race lap records[edit]

As of September 2020, the fastest official race lap records at Richmond Raceway (formerly Richmond International Raceway) are listed as:

Category Time Driver Vehicle Date
D-shaped Oval: 1.207 km (1988–present)[24]
IndyCar 0:15.9368[25] Sam Hornish Jr. Dallara IR-03 2004 SunTrust Indy Challenge
NASCAR Cup 0:21.849[26] Kevin Harvick Ford Mustang GT 2019 Toyota Owners 400
NASCAR Xfinity 0:22.712[27] Christopher Bell Toyota Camry 2018 ToyotaCare 250
NASCAR Truck 0:22.774[28] Austin Hill Toyota Tundra 2020 ToyotaCare 250


  1. ^ a b Page, Scott (January 27, 2019). "International Speedway Corporation continues to reduce track seating". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "NASCAR Truck Series returning to Richmond in April, 2020". Richmond Times-Dispatch. April 3, 2019.
  3. ^ " Tony Stewart's favorite track is Richmond.=". September 6, 2012.
  4. ^ "Hurricane Hanna Stalls Sellout Streak". Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
  5. ^ "History".
  6. ^ a b c Peter Winants (August 17, 2000). Steeplechasing: A Complete History of the Sport in North America. Derrydale Press. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-1-4617-0822-3.
  7. ^ "The Mitchell Touch". The Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 28, 1953. p. 152. ISSN 0006-2510.
  8. ^ Francis Marion Bush (November 4, 2011). Colonial Downs and More. iUniverse. pp. 81–. ISBN 978-1-4620-5575-3.
  9. ^ "Richmond International Raceway Packages – Track Seating Chart, Race Tickets & Hotel Travel Package to RIR".
  10. ^ Lew Freedman (March 14, 2013). Encyclopedia of Stock Car Racing. Abc-Clio. p. 641. ISBN 9780313387104.
  11. ^ Nigel Kinrade, Steve Casper (2007). Nascar. MotorBooks International. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-1-61673-061-1.
  12. ^ a b "In 1988, the track was totally redesigned and banked into its present D-shaped configuration."
  13. ^ "Memories from Richmond".
  14. ^ a b "Richmond International Raceway".
  15. ^ Strawberry Hill Races Traditions[dead link]
  16. ^ Phillips, Michael (July 11, 2017). "NASCAR's rebranded Richmond Raceway announces $30 million infield redevelopment project". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  17. ^ "New sports betting lounge coming to Richmond Raceway". WWBT. March 16, 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Toyota to Sponsor Two NASCAR Races at RIR in April 2013 – Richmond International Raceway".
  19. ^ Announcing entitlement for Fall Nationwide race 2009
  20. ^ "Federated Auto Parts 400 – Richmond Raceway".
  21. ^ Pearrell, Tim (April 3, 2019). "NASCAR Truck Series returning to Richmond in 2020". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  22. ^ "Winston Twin 200".
  23. ^ "Richmond International Raceway".
  24. ^ "Richmond - Motorsport Magazine". Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  25. ^ "2004 Richmond Indycars". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  26. ^ "NASCAR Cup 2019 Richmond Results". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  27. ^ "NASCAR XFINITY 2018 Richmond". Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  28. ^ "NASCAR Truck 2020 Richmond". Retrieved June 1, 2022.

External links[edit]