At the 19th annual NASCAR Safety & Operations Summit presented by American Medical Response in Concord, N.C., Richmond Raceway (Richmond) track services personnel were honored for their exemplary support during the 2018 season. Chris Alberta and Ivan Lawson were recognized with the Security Award of Excellence and Dr. Jeffrey Ferguson of VCU Health received the Medical Director Award.
“It is an honor for our dedicated, hardworking track service professionals to be recognized by NASCAR for their outstanding support keeping our loyal fans and motorsports family safe and healthy,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “We are thankful for Chris Alberta, Ivan Lawson, and Dr. Jeffrey Ferguson’s service representing the best in their field at Richmond Raceway.”
In the fall of 2018, Richmond completed Richmond Raceway Reimagined, a $30 million infield redevelopment project. The new project brought new attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, teams, sponsors and other stakeholders to the historic Richmond infield. The modernized infield brought NASCAR fans closer to the action than ever before with unparalleled access in the infield including fan-viewing walkways in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages and new Gatorade Victory Lane near Turn 1.
The infield amenities provided the Richmond security and operations staff with new challenges blending fan access with the fundamental principles of event security. The security team spent countless hours refining their security plans for the modernized facilities. For their successful security planning and implementation over Richmond’s first-ever NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend, Chris Alberta, Manager of Security, and Ivan Lawson, Security Supervisor, were honored with the Security Award of Excellence from NASCAR. Our International Speedway Corporation colleagues at ISM Raceway were also recognized with the Security Award of Excellence.
Alberta has supported Richmond’s security efforts since 1977. He honorably served the Henrico County Police Department (HCPD) for over 40 years, retiring at the rank of Captain. His service included over 10 years as Incident Commander in support of Richmond’s NASCAR race weekends. He retired as Captain of the HCPD. Lawson has supported the Richmond security team for over 25 years. He recently retired at the rank of Lieutenant of the HCPD after 29 years of service.
One of the keys to a high performing infield care center is the commitment and involvement of its medical director. At Richmond, Ferguson has shown the power of collaboration and relationship building in leading the infield care center. Although he is the medical director, he has never forgotten his roots in emergency medical services (EMS) where at a young and impressionable age he was mentored by the very medics he continues to work with today. He has a passion to learn and to teach and works tirelessly to keep the NASCAR family safe and healthy over Richmond’s race weekends. For his preparation, teamwork, and excellence, Ferguson was honored with the Medical Director Award.
“We are grateful to Chris Alberta and Ivan Lawson for devoting their lives to the protection of the citizens of Henrico County and loyal fans at Richmond Raceway,” said Jeff Hedrick, Richmond’s Sr. Director of Operations. “Thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Ferguson and VCU Health for their valued partnership in providing the best emergency medical care for our NASCAR family and our fans at Richmond. Congratulations to our entire dedicated track service team for this recognition of excellence in service at America’s Premier Short Track.”
VCU Health, under Ferguson’s leadership, began their successful operational oversight and management of Richmond’s infield care center in 2017. VCU Health manages Richmond’s infield care centers for both NASCAR race weekends.
“It was both a surprise and an honor to receive the Medical Director Award from NASCAR,” said Dr. Jeffrey Ferguson of VCU Health. “In a short period of time, VCU Health has been welcomed as part of the Richmond Raceway family allowing us to learn and share with the many partners necessary to make our races successful and safe. As an EMS provider who volunteered here many years ago, it’s amazing to now offer the connection to the best available care to the drivers, staff, and fans at Richmond.”
Ferguson is an associate professor at VCU School of Medicine and an emergency medicine physician at VCU Medical Center, the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region. Ferguson completed his undergraduate education at VCU in 1997. He graduated with his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2002 and Master of Health Evaluation Sciences at the University of Virginia in 2007.
Richmond Raceway 2019 NASCAR Season
The 2019 NASCAR season at Richmond returns “under the lights” for both race weekends hosting the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) at America’s Premier Short Track.
Richmond’s Fall Playoff Race Weekend will start the NXS Playoffs with the Go Bowling 250 playoff race and host the second race of the Monster Energy Series Playoffs with the Federated Auto Parts 400 playoff race on Sept. 20-21.
Tickets for the Toyota Spring Race Weekend on April 12-13 and Fall Playoff Race Weekend on Sept. 20-21 are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondraceway.com.