September marks the one-year anniversary of the grand opening of the FanGrounds, modernized infield, at Richmond Raceway (Richmond) over the NASCAR Playoffs Race Weekend on Sept. 20-21. The FanGrounds will provide fan access and entertainment to bring fans closer to the NASCAR Playoffs than ever by completely immersing them into their favorite sport. Fans will engage from some of NASCAR’s biggest stars from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) before they compete at America’s Premier Short Track for the NASCAR Playoffs.
“The iconic Richmond racing experience goes to a new level with the immersive entertainment experience available in the FanGrounds at Richmond Raceway,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “As we celebrate the second year of the modernized infield, we are continuing to raise the level of entertainment and NASCAR celebrity engagements for the NASCAR Playoffs at America’s Premier Short Track.”
Fans will start their FanGrounds experience with a walk through the Eternal Fan Pedestrian Tunnel to access the modernized infield. 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. To learn more about the Fan Memories program, visit richmondraceway.com/fanmemories.
The FanGrounds’ fan-viewing walkways in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages gives fans the opportunity to get up close with every Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team as they work on their race cars in preparation for the NASCAR Playoffs. Fans get a behind-the-scenes look at the sport, and see what it takes to be a top-performing team. The fan-viewing walkway also puts fans closer than ever to their favorite drivers, where they can interact and engage as teams work on the race car.
Prior to the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy Series Playoff race, fans can access the Start/Finish Line and pit road for a memorable experience. Whether it’s a finding their favorite driver’s pit box or signing their name to the historic Start/Finish Line, fans will have access as part of their FanGrounds pass. Fans with a Saturday or Weekend FanGrounds pass can access pit road from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the Start/Finish Line from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Both pit road and Start/Finish Line access are subject to weather.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, Richmond will offer Open Garage Access to over 300 FanGrounds passholders. Wristbands will be handed out on Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Markel Entertainment Plaza in the FanGrounds. Open Garage Access will be on Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fans will need to sign a waiver, and minors will need a waiver signed on-site by a parent or guardian. This will provide another opportunity for FanGrounds passholders to get even closer to the sport.
Fans in the FanGrounds will enjoy NASCAR celebrity appearances, music, Pre-Race Ceremonies presented by Virginia811, and more in the Markel Entertainment Plaza located in Turn 1. New for September, the Richmond Raceway Simulator will be located within the Markel Entertainment Plaza. This will fans’ opportunity to test their skills around Richmond’s famed ¾-mile D-shaped oval using our in-car iRacing simulator. A DJ located in the Markel Entertainment Plaza will provide fans with the latest songs in between driver appearances scheduled throughout the NASCAR Playoffs Race Weekend.
Below is a schedule of NASCAR celebrity appearances in the Markel Entertainment Plaza over the NASCAR Playoffs Race Weekend at America’s Premier Short Track:
Friday, Sept. 20:
- 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 for JR Motorsports in NXS
- 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 22 for Team Penske in NXS
Saturday, Sept. 21:
- 3:25 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. – Chris Buescher, driver of N. 37 for JTG Daugherty Racing
- 3:40 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. – Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing
- 3:50 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. – Chris Buescher Garage Chat at his garage stall along the fan viewing walkway in the Monster Energy Series garage
- 3:55 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. – Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 for Stewart-Haas Racing
- 4:20 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. – Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the No. 95 for Leavine Family Racing, will challenge fans in the Richmond Raceway Simulator
Time and driver availability are subject to change. For updated driver appearances and times, visit richmondraceway.com.
Fans can also visit the various neighborhoods in the FanGrounds, including the Virginia Lottery Neighborhood and the M&M’s Neighborhood. Visitors won’t be able to miss the colorful M&M’S Neighborhood located at the shade structure to the left of Victory Lane, along with exclusive activations and concession branding in the neighborhood. Mars, Incorporated confections and products will be available at concessions in the FanGrounds.
Virginia Tourism Corporation brings Virginia is for Racing Lovers to the FanGrounds. A standalone Virginia Tourism Visitor Center is located in a space outside the Monster Energy Series garage in the modernized infield to help fans make the most of their travel experience in Virginia.
Richmond’s Pre-Race Ceremonies presented by va811.com take place in the FanGrounds. Fans can join in on the excitement by standing beside the stage and cheering on their favorite driver as is introduced. Fans can also experience the thrill of the smoke and lights as they wish drivers good luck with a high-five. Race Car Intros will also return on Saturday night prior to the start of Driver Introductions for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy Series Playoff race. Members of the top 16 Monster Energy Series Playoff teams will roll their cars through the pre-race tunnel to the grid for fans to enjoy.
Richmond will also showcase how NASCAR is a team sport. In addition to team members pushing out the cars during Car Intros on Saturday night, crews in the NXS Playoffs will join their drivers on stage as part of Driver Intros in FanGrounds prior to the Go Bowling 250.
To finish off the day in the FanGrounds, fans can experience the winning feeling with the victor’s race team by watching the Gatorade Victory Lane festivities from inside the FanGrounds. Located in Turn 1, fans can see the winning driver and crew celebrate conquering America’s Premier Short Track. Fans will feel the Gatorade fly and watch as the race winner takes part in the very special hat dance.
FanGrounds passes are available to purchase for the NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend. Fans must have a race ticket in order to purchase these passes. Friday or Saturday only passes are $70, and weekend passes are $125. Kids 12 & younger are only $25 for single day passes and $40 for weekend passes.
For more information on the FanGrounds, visit richmondraceway.com/fangrounds.
Richmond Raceway 2019 NASCAR Season
NASCAR returns “under the lights” to Richmond for the NASCAR Playoffs Race Weekend presented by Who’s Your Driver on Sept. 20-21. America’s Premier Short Track will start the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs with the Go Bowling 250 playoff race on Friday, Sept. 20. Richmond will host the second race of the Monster Energy Series Playoffs with the Federated Auto Parts 400 playoff race on Friday, Sept. 21.
Tickets for the NASCAR Playoff Race Weekend are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondraceway.com.