Richmond Raceway will host the first NASCAR Heat 2 video game competition with a 64-person tournament prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Participants will try their luck at the Xbox One version of the game with prizes awarded to the highest scoring players. 704Games, NASCAR’s official video game licensee, along with GameStop and Aaron’s are joining forces with Richmond over Fan Appreciation Weekend to offer gamers an exclusive chance to see and play the game before its public release on Sept. 12.

The NASCAR Heat 2 Tournament will be held in The Classic Amphitheater on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. Gates open at 9 a.m. for open play with the green flag dropping for the tournament at 9:30 a.m. The final two competitors will meet in the NASCAR Heat 2 Tournament Championship at 11:30 a.m. with prizes awarded to the top eight at the conclusion.

The grand prize winner will be awarded a Richmond Raceway “Champion Experience” for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race with pre-race, suite, and Victory Lane access. The champion and top eight finishers will also receive a copy of NASCAR Heat 2. All 64 participants will receive a downloadable content code for NASCAR Heat 2.

“We continue to look for innovative ways to reach new fans,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Our tournament will give gamers the first opportunity to play NASCAR Heat 2 ahead of the official release. It will bring new fans to the track to compete with NASCAR on the video game before they witness the iconic Richmond racing experience later that night under the lights.”

NASCAR Heat 2 is the sequel to the successful NASCAR Heat Evolution, published by 704Games and developed by Monster Games. Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, is featured on the cover. The game will include the three NASCAR national series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and be available on Xbox One, the PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC via Steam.

“Richmond Raceway is home to some of the most intense NASCAR racing of the season,” said Paul Brooks, CEO of 704Games. “There's no better place to kick off the upcoming launch of NASCAR Heat 2 than this fantastic track, and we're excited for fans to experience all the action, rivalry and triumph of NASCAR for themselves with this one-of-a-kind event.”

This year’s game will include a new split-screen multiplayer mode, so two players can race together in head-to-head racing action. Expanded online gameplay returns with 40-player online races and for the first time ever, the ability to complete the field with AI. The game also includes six new tracks to make racing more diverse, including three road courses, two ovals, and one dirt track to join the 23 updated Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series sanctioned tracks for a total of 29 tracks. To learn more about NASCAR Heat 2, visit nascarheat.com.

“We are excited to offer gamers this exclusive opportunity to get their hands on NASCAR Heat 2, before it is available to the public,” said Bob Puzon, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “NASCAR fans are going to love this title, and our partnership with Richmond Raceway is a great way to honor GameStop's commitment to giving power to the players.”

Aaron’s has a long history of supporting NASCAR, so we look forward to promoting the track in a unique way with the NASCAR Heat 2 Tournament at Richmond Raceway,” said John Robinson, Aaron's, Inc. CEO. “We are proud to connect with loyal NASCAR fans through this innovative Esports competition.”

Registration for gamers and fans to participate opens on Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. (ET). To learn more or register to participate in the NASCAR Heat 2 Tournament, visit richmondraceway.com/esports.

Richmond Raceway hosts NASCAR for two nights of racing “under the lights” on September 8-9. The fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will see history on display as Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final, career, two-race appearance as a driver.

The weekend gets started on Friday, Sept. 8, with on-track practice for both series and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for both weekend races. The action then dials up as the rising stars of tomorrow compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., the sport’s best take to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as NASCAR crowns its regular season champion.

Tickets are available now for both races and can be purchased online at richmondraceway.com or by calling the Richmond Ticket Office, toll-free, at 866-455-7223.