Richmond Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier is attending Speedweeks at Daytona Beach, Fla. He is sending a daily postcard to bring readers of the Richmond Times-Dispatch behind the scenes.
The sounds of spring are here as a new NASCAR season dawns. Sunday, the green flag officially waved for the beginning of Daytona Speedweeks. The haulers and race teams have arrived and race cars have made their first laps around Daytona International Speedway. We now anxiously await The Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on Feb. 16.
The race season has expanded at Richmond Raceway this year. The Toyota Spring Race Weekend has extended to a three-day affair April 17-19. NASCAR’s best will compete for a spot in the playoffs in the Toyota Owners 400 Cup race on Sunday, April 19. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will return to America’s Premier Short Track for the ToyotaCare 250 “under the lights” on Saturday, April 18. This will be the first Truck race at Richmond since 2005. Practice day for both series is on Friday, April 17.
For the first time in 11 years, the NTT IndyCar Series will race at Richmond “under the lights” on Saturday, June 27. Richmond will host a festival headlined by the NTT IndyCar Series, welcoming fans to engage in a speed-themed weekend event on June 26-27.
Finally, the road to the 2020 Cup championship will once again lead through Richmond on Sept. 11-12. It will be the second race of the first round of the playoffs for the ninth annual Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 12. Richmond will also host the Go Bowling 250 Xfinity regular-season championship race on Friday, Sept. 11. This will be the 29th consecutive year the fall race weekend is “under the lights” at Richmond.
On Sunday, the second annual Richmond Raceway road trip began with members of our team departing in a Toyota Camry pace car and Toyota Tundra for the trip south to Daytona Beach, Fla. As part of the trip, Richmond Raceway’s team will visit Racing Virginia’s VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., Lake View Motor Speedway in Nichols, S.C., Golden Isles Speedway in Waynesville, Ga., and New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Our road trip also marks the start of the fourth year of Racing Virginia, which is an unprecedented collaboration among Virginia’s auto racing venues. The program is our long-term commitment to promote grassroots racing across Virginia.
Our first stop on the Richmond Raceway road trip this year was VIR, which was named as one of Car and Driver Magazine’s top six road courses in the nation. Our next stops were at Bowman Gray Stadium and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. With each stop on the road trip, we are honoring our mission to support grassroots racing. Learn more about Racing Virginia at racingvirginia.com.
Over the next week, I’ll be sharing daily postcards in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. While the road trip officially started Sunday, my trip to Daytona begins Monday. I look forward to sharing our experiences from Daytona Speedweeks as we prepare for the return of NASCAR’s best to Richmond Raceway on April 17-19. Get your tickets at richmondraceway.com.