We made some amazing Fan Memories in 2019 and look forward to many more in 2020! Thanks to everyone who submitted their stories all year long. Here’s to a great year of racing at America’s Premier Short Track.
KELLYE - ELIZABETHTOWN, NC
Kellye has been going to races since she was 6 years old. Kellye has a passion for the sport like I've never seen before. She averages 6 races a year, and loves to go to Richmond. When Kellye comes back from a Richmond race, she is always so excited because the track is so fan friendly and she gets to meet drivers and just have a great time. Kellye takes her parents and friends with her when she travels to Richmond. Her NASCAR enthusiasm is like no other. She is definitely worthy of being fan of the month.
JAMES ANDERSON - NEW KENT, VIRGINIA
My son has been a diehard Kyle Larson fan since he was two years old, and he is six now. This was my son's first ever NASCAR event, and he was excited to meet his driver Kyle Larson, but we couldn't get FanGrounds passes. This was all made better once he saw the Globetrotters. He went crazy. He met Handles, and asked for a sweatband. He gave him the one right off his arm. It was so sweaty, but he wore it the whole night. Thanks for having such an awesome experience for kids & adults alike. This picture is of him getting ready to see Kyle come out at driver introductions. He had such a blast at his first race, and I can't wait to hopefully take him back again.
ANDREW LENGUA - GLEN ALLEN, VIRGINIA
I’ve attended a NASCAR race since I was 8 years old, which was 35 years ago. I went to my first race with my grandfather when Richmond was 1/2 mile. We sat in turn 4. I loved it and I was hooked. Since my grandfather was friends with Junie Donlavey, we rooted for Ken Schrader. He drove Junie's typical #90 car. Red Baron was the sponsor for Junie. Ever since that first race, I tried to make every race at Richmond.
When I started dating Kendra, my wife, she told me that she was a NASCAR fan. I loved her even more. We when we got married, we knew that we wanted to bring our child to the races. Unfortunately, we could not have a child on our own. We had to go through IVF. We had Keagan five years ago. We started bringing Keagan out to Richmond as an infant to just walk around. We never went to a race until last year. We took him to a Friday night race and just like me, he thought it was awesome. This past race weekend, Keagan was able to go to the track with some friends. They were able to secure some infield passes. He was able to meet a number of drivers. He was interviewed by Monica Palumbo from NASCAR. She gave him a new NASCAR toy racetrack. We went to the race on Friday night and had a blast. We spent all day at the track, walking around looking at all the vendors. We went to the Red Carpet Event before the drivers meeting, where we got a lot of pictures and autographs from a lot of the drivers. As we were leaving, a gentleman approached us asking if we needed tickets. We told him that we couldn't afford tickets. He saw Keagan's face and the disappointment. He gave us three tickets and when he saw Keagan's face light up, he said "That right there just made my week!" We were overly gracious for him. We sat in turn 2 and had an unbelievable time. This prize would be an unbelievable experience for me and my family. We always have an awesome time at Richmond Raceway.
HUBERT LEWIS - ELIZABETHTOWN, NC
My Dad is 75 years old, and has been going to races since he was 16. NASCAR is his sport as he never misses watching a race. We have been to Richmond several times, and he really enjoys going there. He takes his adopted grandchildren to every race he goes to. September 2019 will be their third trip to Richmond. He has taken them to 14 races in total. The picture I used is from Richmond last September.
Hubert was nominated by his daughter, Kellye Lewis.
HAILEY MARTEL - KINGSPORT, TN
I took Hailey to her first race last year. Since then, she has become an avid NASCAR fan, and especially enjoyed our visit to Richmond. We even brought my baby grandson before the rain started this year for our first trip as three generations to any track. We made such wonderful fan memories. I know she'd like to come back with myself, her son & her niece, and my 6 year old granddaughter to cement those three generations of fans. We want to make it a family tradition.
Hailey was nominated by here mom, Valerie Hausauer.
JOSH RIDDLE - DUNN, NC
Josh is a dedicated father and a NASCAR fan. He shares his love of NASCAR with my son (he is his step dad), and then also our daughter. We took them to the Richmond race this past April and they enjoyed it so much. My daughter is a Kyle Busch fan, my son is a Dale Jr. fan ever since he started going to races, and Josh is a Martin Truex Jr. fan.
RAD DOBSON - CHRISTIANSBURG, VIRGINIA
One of my best memories from attending Richmond Raceway, came from the Spring Race weekend of 2018. It was midday on Friday and I was sitting in the Toyota Owners Driver area about to eat with my friend, when I decided to look at my phone on Twitter. I was scrolling down seeing if any drivers were making any appearances around the midway and any updates on practices. As I was scrolling through Twitter, I caught a post by the Richmond Raceway account. Matt DiBenedetto had a video message saying that he was in the midway with Richmond Raceway doing a scavenger hunt. The first fan that found him in the midway would win a pair of Hot Passes for the weekend at Richmond. In my 17 years (that weekend), now 18 years, of coming to Richmond, I have always tried to get Hot Passes for Richmond. I had an opportunity once before, but at that time I was not 18 years old and could not sign my pass out. When I saw the post and saw that he was over at the Ford Display, I jumped up from the table, told my friend that I would be right back, left my stuff with my friend, and bolted out of the Toyota Owners Driver area as fast as I could. I got to the Ford Display and did not spot Matt. I got back on Twitter to see that he had moved over to the Monster Display, so I ran over there and still could not find him. I checked again on Twitter and saw that he was over at Who's Your Driver display. I ran over there and found Matt and the representative from Richmond Raceway with Matt. I asked if anyone had claimed the Hot Passes and with great luck I was the winner. I called my best friend from high school, Thomas, and had him meet me at the display to sign out the Hot Pass. I was so excited about getting Hot Passes for Richmond that I could use. I really could not believe my luck in winning the Hot Passes.
For the reminder of that afternoon, I was down in the garage and pits hanging out during the cup final practice and qualifying for both series up to the start of the Xfinity race. I had so much fun being able to be on the other side fence for the first time in 17 years. I did not think it could get better, but it did on Saturday. I got to hang out and watch Driver Intros from the back side of the stage before the race with my buddy. When the race started, I decided that I would stay in the pit box area of my driver, Daniel Suárez, for first part of the race then go back to my seat. But when the green flag dropped, I decided that I would stay and watch the entire race from the pit box area, because I would not know if I would ever have this opportunity to do it again. I had a blast listening to the scanner of Daniel and his crew chief talking about the car, watching the race from pit road, and watching every single pit stop. It was a different experience seeing the crew members getting ready before and what they did after each pit stop. I had an amazing time on pit road watching the race. One of the crew members gave me several lug nuts that came off after a pit stop. During the final pit stop, that same crew member let me come in to the pit box area and stand side by side with the box and watch the pit stop. It was so amazing to see a pit stop up close and almost feel like your apart of it. Another cool thing that I saw during the race, was that Joe Gibbs was stopping by the box and checking in on team. Daniel finished 10th that night and I was extremely happy, I had a great time watching the race and pit crew. I even had the chance to walk over to the temporary Victory Lane and got to watch Kyle Busch celebrate. My best friend was with me in the Victory Lane area and we both caught a bag of M&Ms that the crew members were throwing out to the crowd.
Overall, that weekend was one of the best memories that I cherish from Richmond Raceway. I got Hot Passes for the first time, I got to bring my one of my best friends from high school with me, got to hang out in the garage and hauler area for the first time, and watch the race from green flag to checker flag from pit road. I would not have had this opportunity if it was not for the great staff of Richmond Raceway. When I am at Richmond or another track, I constantly talk up Richmond Raceway to other fans who have never been to Richmond or are coming for the first time. This memory along with other memories over the course of the past 18 years, I share with other race fans.
RICHARD MATTHEW - RUTHER GLEN, VIRGINIA
I’ve been a huge NASCAR fan my entire life. My full name is Richard Kyle Matthews because my dad named me after Richard and Kyle Petty. He was a die-hard Petty fan. I go to both Richmond races every year, Row 37 in the Commonwealth Tower. They are the best seats at the track by far. Both of my daughters are interested in NASCAR and they love attending the races with me. I've been a Kevin Harvick fan since before Dale Earnhardt died as I watched him come up through the ranks. When he took over in the No. 29, I knew he'd be one to watch.
JOSEPH SMITH - CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA
I had really the most perfect weekend in the Fall of 2016 at Richmond Raceway. I could not plan a more insanely awesome race weekend. Started out with a hot pass and a trip to qualifying on a very warm Friday. By the end of the day, I'm standing in front of my favorite driver’s car who's on the pole. Got some great pictures of the hat dance and pole flag presentation. I was also gifted an extra hat that was left over after pictures. I was on cloud 9. I’ve never been to a race where the driver I pulled for won the pole let alone was there to get pictures like that. Return Saturday and meet up with friends by Denny's car before the start of the race. Emotions were up and down and we had the lead... lost it and near the end got it back. I left my seat to head down to the infield with 50 to go. Feeling just a feeling I never felt before like I knew before the race was over this race was ours. After it was all said and done with the crazy amount of cautions, I see Denny Hamlin take the checkered flag that night. I am just ecstatic. Then I meet with my friends and what I never dreamed would happen, happened that night. I'm in Victory lane with the team. To say I made a memory that will never fade at Richmond is an understatement as I have this picture printed out, framed and signed with the hot pass on my wall. I will never forget that awesome time I had there. As I stand on the other side of the trophy with my driver taking a picture from victory lane... it was just insane!
LIZ CAMPBELL - ELKRIDGE, MARYLAND
Richmond Raceway is my husband, Mark, and my absolute favorite race track (and we've seen races at 7 other tracks)! Not only is the racing fun to watch, but the atmosphere and fan activities are, by far, the best, compared to every other track we've been to. I even decided to buy a Toyota when I traded in my Honda last summer, so that I could feel even more connected to Richmond!
My best memories at Richmond are from the Fan Appreciation Weekend in September 2016. We truly felt appreciated, so much so that some of our friends were jokingly called it "Mark and Liz Appreciation Weekend." Mark knew all of the people/companies to follow on Twitter, so he got to wave the green flag during qualifying and told me where to go to find an iPad mini, which I have been using in my classroom for one-on-one support with struggling students. We also won passes through Sprint, so we were at the drivers' meeting and driver introductions, and we got to view the race from behind the scenes for the first time ever with our hot passes. We look forward to other fan appreciation events, but, from test-driving Toyota trucks in a course to "taking over the track" before the races and seeing the drivers headed on to the playoffs after the races, we always feel appreciated and have a great time at Richmond Raceway.
September 10, 2020ToyotaCare 250
September 11, 2020Go Bowling 250
September 12, 2020Federated Auto Parts 400