Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Richmond International Raceway History and Notes

At Richmond International Raceway:
· Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953.
· The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
· The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
· The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
· The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
· The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
· The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
· The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
· The first season with both races as night races was 1999.

Notebook· There have been 111 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond since the track opened in 1953.
· The current 400-lap race length was established on the .542-mile measurement in March 1976.
· Buck Baker won the pole in 1953.
· Lee Petty won the first race in April 1953.
· There have been 50 different pole winners, led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty (eight).
· Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five poles.
· 47 different drivers have posted victories at Richmond, led by Richard Petty (13).
· Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson (three) lead active race winners.
· Petty Enterprises has won 15 races at Richmond, more than any other team.
· 63 of 111 races have been won from the top five starting positions, including 22 from the pole.
· The last driver to win from the pole was Kyle Busch in 2010.
· The furthest back in the field a race winner has started was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the 2008 spring race.
· Kyle Busch (5.0) and Denny Hamlin (7.5) are the only active drivers with an average finish in the top 10.
· Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Richmond International Raceway winner: Richard Petty (04/23/1961 – 23 years, 9 months, 21 days).
· Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Richmond International Raceway winner: Harry Gant (09/07/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 28 days).
· Kyle Petty became the first third-generation NASCAR race winner when he won his first race at Richmond, on Feb. 23, 1986. Richard Petty posted his first Richmond victory in 1961 and Lee Petty won the very first Richmond race in 1953.
· Three of the last four races have had a margin of victory less than one second.

Richmond International Raceway Data
Race #: 9 of 36 (04-28-12)
Track Size: .75 miles
Race Length: 300 miles
· Banking/corners: 14 degrees
· Banking/straights: 8 degrees
· Frontstretch: 1,290 feet
· Backstretch: 860 feet

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