Richmond Raceway Previews First-Ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend, Presented by Who’s Your Driver, on September 21-22
Richmond Raceway plays host to its first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, with the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Playoff race, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Pole Qualifying, and Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race on Sept. 21-22. The Monster Energy Series race will be the second race of the playoffs and the NXS race will be the first race of their playoffs, and the only playoff race in either series “under the lights.”
As the 16 Monster Energy Series Playoff drivers come to the first of two short tracks in the playoffs, Richmond’s ¾-mile D-shaped oval is expected to be as action-packed as ever for the Federated Auto Parts 400. With Toyota drivers winning four of the last six Cup races at the track, including 2018 Monster Energy Series Regular Season Champion Kyle Busch’s TOYOTA OWNERS 400 victory in April, the tandem of Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Erik Jones will be contenders to watch. Kyle Larson will also look to defend his 2017 Federated Auto Parts 400 win with a repeat that would take him to the next round of the Playoffs.
The NXS will wave the green flag for the first race of their playoffs in the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond. As the top drivers in the NXS compete for the championship, all eyes in Racing Virginia will be on Elliott Sadler of Emporia, Va., who announced his retirement from full-time racing at the end of the NASCAR season. He looks to finish his final season bringing home a NXS championship for JR Motorsports after finishing second each of the last two seasons. Sadler also hopes his final race at Richmond will be his first trip to Gatorade Victory Lane at his home track.
Return of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The Go Bowling 250 will also welcome back one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers as Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaves the NBC broadcast booth to return to the track and compete. This will be Earnhardt’s first race since his retirement in 2017, and it could be his last. In an interview last weekend in Indianapolis, Ind., Earnhardt said, “It’s the only time I’m going to race a car this year. And it may be the last time I race a car.”
Earnhardt has won seven races at Richmond in his career. Earnhardt has won four NASCAR Xfnity Series races at Richmond with his most recent victory coming in the ToyotaCare 250 in 2016. He is also a three-time Monster Energy Series race winner at Richmond with victories in the Crown Royal 400 in 2006, Chevy American Revolution 400 in 2004, and Pontiac Excitement 400 in 2000.
Grand Opening of DC Solar FanGrounds
The DC Solar FanGrounds, part of Richmond Raceway Reimagined’s $30 million infield redevelopment project, will host its grand opening over the first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend. With the official ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Sept. 19, the modernized infield will bring new attractions and enhanced amenities for fans to the modernized infield. New attractions in the DC Solar FanGrounds previously announced, include the Markel Entertainment Plaza, M&M’s Neighborhood, Virginia Tourism Visitor Center, Eternal Fan Pedestrian Tunnel and Fan Memories program, and the all-new Gatorade Victory Lane, which will provide fans the opportunity to be a part of the post-race celebrations.
A DC Solar FanGrounds pass also includes Saturday pit access from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., all-new pre-race introductions, and activities before the race with driver appearances including Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Steinhouse Jr., and other interactive programming. One-day ($70) and two-day ($125) tickets are available. For more information on the DC Solar FanGrounds, visit richmondraceway.com/fangrounds. For the full NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend schedule, visit richmondraceway.com/schedule.
CLIMAX CORNER Party Deck in Turn 4
The CLIMAX CORNER Party Deck in Turn 4 returns for the Federated Auto Parts 400 race. Tim Smith, CLIMAX SPIRITS founder and personality from the Discovery Channel television series “Moonshiners”, will be back as the race night host in the party deck along with the brand’s Fire Engine No. 32. CLIMAX CORNER is an exclusive experience with tiered viewing, drink rail, and specific benefits to provide the lowest priced ticket at Richmond. Tickets are available exclusively for fans 21 years or older.
A ticket includes a non-transferrable commemorative lanyard that will be a fan’s pass to additional benefits in the party deck. Benefits include exclusive access to purchase signature cocktails with CLIMAX SPIRITS as well as rollback concession prices offering between 25% and 50% off of regularly priced menu items. No coolers or outside food and drinks are allowed in the smoke free party deck.
Richmond and CLIMAX SPIRITS will continue to donate $1 from each CLIMAX CORNER ticket sold to first responder causes in the greater Richmond region. For more information on CLIMAX CORNER in Turn 4, visit richmondraceway.com/climaxcorner.
Federated Auto Parts 400 Trophy
Richmond has brought back the iconic state of Virginia trophy for the Federated Auto Parts 400. The new trophy is comprised of wood and an airbrushed metal. The wood represents our past, when the winner would receive a trophy made of solid wood in the shape of the Old Dominion. The metal represents the original Federated Auto Parts 400 that was used since the auto parts store became the entitlement sponsor of the September Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race date. Tying these two elements together has brought the Federated Auto Parts 400 trophy a new iconic, modern life with a base.
Fans can drop by the Richmond Ticket Office during race week to get a ticket to the first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend, and get a photo with the new modern start of Virginia Federated Auto Parts 400 trophy.
Driver/Crew Chief Meetings
Fans are again invited to the Driver/Crew Chief Meetings for both the NXS and Monster Energy Series. On Friday, fans with a Go Bowling 250 race ticket can attend the Driver/Crew Chief Meeting beginning at 5:40 p.m. with red carpet access starting at 5:10 p.m. On Saturday, all Federated Auto Parts 400 ticketholders are invited to witness the Monster Energy Series Driver/Crew Chief Meeting at 5:30 p.m. with red carpet access at 5 p.m. RICHMOND NATION Season Ticket Holders will receive premium access by showing their 2018 Membership Card upon entry. For more information, visit richmondraceway.com/driversmeeting.
David Lee Murphy Concert
Million-selling country singer-songwriter David Lee Murphy will perform on the Virginia Credit Union LIVE! stage prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver/Crew Chief Meeting on Sept. 22 at 3:30 p.m. The concert will be free to all fans with a Federated Auto Parts 400 race ticket at Virginia Credit Union LIVE!, located just off the midway near the frontstretch gate.
Murphy, best known for his timeless hits “Dust on the Bottle” and “Party Crowd”, recently had the No. 1 song on the Billboard and MediaBase’s Country Singles chart with “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”, a duet with Kenny Chesney. The song is the lead single on Murphy’s new album “No Zip Code” produced with Chesney and Buddy Cannon for Reviver Entertainment Group.
The Whiskey Rebellion Rolling Concert
The Whiskey Rebellion, a rocking bluegrass band will perform on Friday, Sept. 21 following the Go Bowling 250 NXS Playoff race in Richmond’s Rolling Concert presented by CLIMAX SPIRITS in the GEICO Campgrounds. The Whiskey Rebellion combines traditional bluegrass music with contemporary covers of well-known songs. The band made their race weekend debut over the Toyota Spring Race Weekend at Richmond.
Eternal Fan Fan Memories Program
Richmond has partnered with Eternal Fan™ to launch a Fan Memories™ program for loyal fans to preserve their treasured memories and keepsakes at the track for generations to come. The new Fan Memories program will allow fans to secure their eternal relationship to Richmond with Fan Memories Plaques in the new Eternal Fan Pedestrian Tunnel or safeguarding their precious objects and memories in the world’s largest Eternal Fan Piston that is installed near the Frontstretch Gate. Learn more at richmondraceway.com/fanmemories.
Portugal. The Man
The GRAMMY® award winning band, Portugal. The Man, will bring its smash hit “Feel It Still” to Virginia Credit Union LIVE! to start the entertainment for the first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend on Thursday, Sept. 20. Virginia Credit Union LIVE! is the only covered amphitheater in RVA and the region’s only covered outdoor concert venue. Tickets are available on vaculive.com, axs.com, or The National Box Office at 708 East Broad Street in Richmond.
PWBA Tour Championship
The Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour Championship returns to the Richmond Raceway Complex to launch a week of playoff competition in the Capital City. The 16-player field for the PWBA Tour Championship is comprised of PWBA members who won a 2018 event and was completed by point earners for the season. The PWBA’s pinnacle event will be held Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 17-19 in the historic Old Dominion Building at Richmond.
Shannon O’Keefe, the defending 2017 PWBA Tour Championship winner, is the top seed and the 2018 PWBA Player of the Year. She had two victories this season, including the United States Bowling Congress Queens. Danielle McEwan, who won the PWBA Fountain Valley Open, earned the No. 2 seed. As the top two seeds, O’Keefe and McEwan will receive byes to the semifinal matches. The finals will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the PWBA Tour Championship can be purchased at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondracewaycomplex.com. To learn more about the PWBA Tour Championship, visit PWBA.com for information about the PWBA Tour, including the Tour Championship bracket, news, player biographies and more.
Richmond Raceway 2018 NASCAR Season
NASCAR returns for Richmond’s first-ever Fall Playoff Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, with the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Pole Qualifying, and Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race on Sept. 21-22. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his return to competition in the Go Bowling 250. The track will also make history with the grand opening of the DC Solar FanGrounds as part of Richmond Raceway Reimagined, a $30 million infield redevelopment project.
The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) will run the inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic on Saturday, October 20 at Richmond. The race will be the penultimate race of the PASS National Championship Series. PASS Super Late Models will headline the day with feature events for Tour-Type Modifieds, Late Model Stocks, Limited Late Models, and Street Stocks. To learn more, visit richmondraceway.com or proallstarsseries.com.
Tickets for the Fall Playoff Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, and PASS Commonwealth Classic are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondraceway.com.
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3-Time Cup Champion & Co-Owner of Stewart-Haas Racing