Richmond Raceway Cuts the Ribbon on the DC Solar FanGrounds
Richmond Raceway (Richmond) officially cut the ribbon on the new DC Solar FanGrounds, as part of Richmond Raceway Reimagined (Reimagined), a $30 million infield redevelopment project. The new project brings new attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, teams, sponsors and other stakeholders to the historic Richmond infield. The grand opening of the DC Solar FanGrounds will be over Richmond’s first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22.
The official DC Solar FanGrounds ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the new Gatorade Victory Lane near Turn 1. Guests for the groundbreaking included Delegate Lamont Bagby of the Virginia House of Delegates, John Vithoulkas, Henrico County Manager, Frank Thornton, Vice Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors, and Rita McClenny, President & CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
“Thanks to International Speedway Corporation for their commitment to the future of the sport and our loyal fans through Richmond Raceway Reimagined,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “The transformation of the infield is going to take the iconic Richmond racing experience to a new level in the infield. The track has been a racing destination for over 70 years, and the new DC Solar FanGrounds will help ensure the bright future of the facility for the next 70 years.”
Long-time season ticketholder and RICHMOND NATION member Thomas Enroughty, who dug the first hole at the Reimagined groundbreaking on Sept. 14, 2017, returned to assist with today’s official ribbon cutting. Enroughty has attended every Richmond race since 1959; watching his first race from a tree on the backstretch.
The DC Solar FanGrounds provides Richmond with a completely redesigned and modernized infield. Race fans will be able to get closer than ever to NASCAR’s best with new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages and a fan-viewing walkway providing full immersion into the sport. Earlier this week, Richmond unveiled the new Garage Walk of Honor sharing the history and icons of Richmond and Racing Virginia in the new Monster Energy Series garages.
The modernized infield brings new attractions and enhanced amenities for fans to the modernized infield. New attractions previously announced in the DC Solar FanGrounds 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 near Turn 1, 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 immersive car and driver pre-race introductions, and activities before races. Prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400, there will be driver appearances with Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Steinhouse Jr., and other interactive programming. Fans will also be able to watch race cars complete their runs through inspection stations in the new infield.
The new Victory Lane Club, is an exclusive hospitality area providing unprecedented access and action in the infield. With rooftop viewing overlooking Gatorade Victory Lane, this unique experience provides premium amenities like an invitation to the Driver/Crew Chief meeting, pre-race pace car ride, preferred parking, food, beverages, and more. On Saturday, Sept. 22, 2015 Monster Energy Series champion, 2018 Monster Energy Series regular season champion, and winner of the 2018 TOYOTA OWNERS 400 race Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, will stop by for an appearance.
Fans will start their DC Solar FanGrounds experience by using the new Eternal Fan Pedestrian Tunnel to access the infield. The tunnel has an expanded width to make traveling from the grandstands to the infield more convenient. Fans can purchase plaques as part of the Fan Memories program by Eternal Fan that will be placed on the infield side of the tunnel. These plaques are to honor Richmond’s dedicated fans who want to share their memories at the track. To learn more about the Fan Memories program, visit richmondraceway.com/fanmemories.
The new Virginia Business Systems Media Center is approximately 16,000 square feet, including a 3,600 sq. ft. hospitality space with a 700 sq. ft. patio. The old Media Center was approximately 6,300 sq. ft. The new media center has individual work rooms including the Randy Hallman Deadline Room, John Harrelson Photo Room, and Race Team PR Room totaling 200 work stations. Richmond’s staff will work in the Kenneth Campbell PR Office. The media center has four interview rooms including one for video production as well as one green room for VIPs and guests.
Additional amenities and enhancements include a new vehicle crossover gate on the backstretch, a relocated tram route delivering fans closer to the front door of the track, 80 new consumer RV spaces, and infield drainage improvements.
Barton Malow, one of the leading sports facility builders in the nation, was the contractor and the DLR Group was the architect for Richmond Raceway Reimagined. Richmond-based HG Design Studio was the civil engineer on the infield redevelopment project.
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.
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