Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Field to be Set over Fan Appreciation Weekend at Richmond Raceway
Fall race week has officially arrived at Richmond Raceway. From the final drivers making the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs to the crowning of NASCAR’s regular season champion to the return of Fan Appreciation Weekend to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final, career, two-race appearance to the largest Driver/Crew Chief Meeting (DCCM) in NASCAR history to the PWBA Tour Championship to Barrett Baber and Kayla Adams concerts to an Esports Tournament debuting NASCAR Heat 2 to the Rally in the Alley charity event, race week at Richmond will be an action-packed week from start to finish. To preview race week, we’ve put together a list of what to expect at Richmond.
Richmond’s fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, hosts NASCAR for two nights of racing “under the lights” on Sept. 8-9. 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. The action dials up as the rising stars of tomorrow compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) 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. For the full race weekend schedule, go to richmondraceway.com/weekendschedule.
The Federated Auto Parts 400 is the final chance for drivers to make the Monster Energy Series playoffs. With a tight race for the final playoff spots, there is still the opportunity for a driver to make the playoffs. Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, and Jamie McMurray currently hold the final three positions with Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all looking for a victory to claim their spot in the Monster Energy Series Playoffs.
NASCAR will officially crown Martin Truex Jr. as the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Champion following the Federated Auto Parts 400. NASCAR is rewarding one driver for their success over the course of the entire regular season. The achievement will be celebrated with a presentation following the race. This is an exclusive racing experience fans will not want to miss at Richmond.
The sport will come together to say “Thank You” to NASCAR fans around the world over Fan Appreciation Weekend. The Classic Amphitheater will be the epicenter of entertainment as it hosts the NXS autograph session, Driver/Crew Chief Meetings, NASCAR Heat 2 Tournament, musical performances by Kayla Adams and DJ Michaelis, and Gridside Live! featuring drivers who have qualified for the playoffs. The 4-Wide Salute will also return prior to the green flag for the Federated Auto Parts 400. Richmond are rewarding fans with exclusive giveaways and prizes throughout Fan Appreciation Weekend. To register for giveaways and prizes, fans can visit richmondraceway.com/fanprizes.
Fans will have one final regular season opportunity to say “Thank You” to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. The 14-time most popular driver will retire at the end of the 2017 season after an impressive career, including three Cup wins and four NXS victories at America’s Premier Short Track. Fans will get to cheer on Earnhardt Jr. in both the Virginia529 College Savings 250 and the Federated Auto Parts 400 races.
For the first time, the Monster Energy Series and NXS pre-race Driver/Crew Chief Meetings move to The Classic Amphitheater. The Cup Driver/Crew Chief Meeting on Saturday is expected to host 6,000 fans to become the largest in NASCAR history. The Classic Amphitheater has hosted top national recording artists including Aerosmith, Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Elvis Costello, Hank Williams, Jr., and Florida Georgia Line.
Before NASCAR takes to the track, the season finale of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour comes to the historic Old Dominion Building at the Richmond Raceway Complex on Sept. 4-6. The 16-player field will be comprised of PWBA members who have won a 2017 event and completed by point earners for the season. Monday and Tuesday’s best-of-five matches will take place two at a time as contenders compete in a single-elimination, best-of-five match-play bracket. The final four competitors will compete in the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship televised live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. To learn more about the PWBA Tour Championship, visit PWBA.com.
Award-winning country music artist Barrett Baber will be the headline performer at Richmond’s pre-race concert prior to the start of the Federated Auto Parts 400. Baber, best known for being a finalist on season nine of NBC’s “The Voice”, will be ending his summer “Room Full of Fighters” tour in the Capital City.
Reviver Records recording artist Kayla Adams will perform the national anthem at Richmond prior to the Virginia529 College Savings 250. Adams will also bring her authentic, edgy country music sound to the stage for a concert in The Classic Amphitheater prior to the start of the Cup Driver/Crew Chief Meeting.
Richmond will host the first NASCAR Heat 2 video game competition with a 64-person tournament in The Classic Amphitheater prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400. 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 to offer gamers an exclusive chance to see and play the game before its public release on Sept. 12. To learn more, visit richmondraceway.com/esports.
Rally in the Alley, a pro-celebrity bowling tournament featuring NASCAR drivers Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will take place on Thursday, September 7 in the historic Old Dominion Building. Each team will be led by a NASCAR celebrity, local Richmond personality, and a PWBA pro bowler. The Barton Malow Foundation, Richmond Flying Squirrels Charities, and Richmond Raceway Cares have partnered for this third annual event to support RVA Field of Dreams Fest. To learn more, visit richmondraceway.com/rallyinthealley.
Tickets are available for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race and the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at richmondraceway.com or by calling the Richmond Ticket Office, toll-free, at 866-455-7223.
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3-Time Cup Champion & Co-Owner of Stewart-Haas Racing