Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chevy Rock & Roll 400 @ Richmond Facts

compiled by Mike Forde
NASCAR Media Services

At Richmond International Raceway:
• Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a .5-mile dirt track.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on 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.
• Track was re-measured to .500 miles in April; then to .542 miles in September 1969.
• The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond was Feb. 20, 1982.
• The track was rebuilt as a .750-mile D-shaped oval following the spring race on Feb. 21, 1988.
• The first race under permanent lights was held Sept. 7, 1991.
• The first season with both races as night races was 1999.

• There have been 106 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 first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole in 1953.
• Lee Petty won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race in April 1953.
• Davey Allison won the first .750-mile race at Richmond from the pole.
• There have been 46 different pole winners, led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty (eight).
• Jeff Gordon (five) leads active drivers with five poles.
• 46 different drivers have posted victories at Richmond, led by Richard Petty (13).
• Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson (three) lead the active race winners.
• Petty Enterprises has won 15 races at Richmond, more than any other car owner.
• 60 of 106 races at Richmond have been won from the top five starting positions, including 21 from the pole.
• The last driver to win from the pole was Jimmie Johnson in September 2007.
• 11 of the past 13 races have been won from the top 10. Though, two of the last three race winners have started from outside the top 10, including this May’s winner, Kyle Busch.
• The furthest back in the field that a race winner started was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in 2008’s spring race.
• Kyle Petty became the first third-generation NASCAR race winner when he won his first race, at Richmond, on February 23, 1986. Richard Petty posted his first Richmond victory in 1961 and Lee won the very first Richmond race in 1953.
• Two active drivers have a finish inside the top 10: Kyle Busch (6.1) and Denny Hamlin (9.6).

NASCAR in Virginia
• There have been 264 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
• 158 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Virginia.
• There have been 18 race winners from Virginia in NASCAR’s three national series:

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