Firmly rooted in Virginia, let NASCAR - a favorite American pastime - intertwine with your family traditions.
The 1973 Old Dominion 500 race at Martinsville was filmed for inclusion in "The Last American Hero," a film about the life of Junior Johnson. Additionally, NBC taped the 1978 Dogwood 500 for its "Sports World" series. It was the first Virginia race televised nationally
Richmond Raceway held its first NASCAR race on April 19, 1953. Since then the track has undergone three name changes, five configuration changes and one surface change, from dirt to asphalt. Lights were added to the facility in 1991.
In 2018, Richmond Raceway under went an infield redevelopment project, named Richmond Raceway Reimagined. The project brings new attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, teams, sponsors, and other stakeholders to the historic Richmond infield. The modernized infield launched over NASCAR playoff weekend September 21-22.
Like Martinsville, Richmond also has historic NASCAR claims to fame - Richard Petty, NASCAR's winningest driver, won the first race on the newly paved surface in 1968. He's not the only Petty to win at Richmond. His father Lee won a dirt track race there and son Kyle won a race in 1986 making RIR the only track all three Pettys have won on.
Bristol Motor Speedway
Dubbed "World's Fastest Half Mile," Bristol Motor Speedway opened in 1961 and hosted its first NASCAR sanctioned race on July 30, 1961 - the Volunteer 500. The oval track banks all the way around (36-degree corners and 16-degree straights), allowing drivers to quickly accelerate.
Bristol's 2001 Food City 500 was memorable for the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team from Stuart. They logged a win for the fifth consecutive decade with fellow Virginian Elliott Sadler at the wheel. Sadler set a record that day as the deepest driver to ever win at Bristol; he started in 38th position.
Virginia International Raceway
Virginia International Raceway's 3.27-mile natural terrain road course, rich in history, is one of America’s premier road courses for both professional and amateur racing.
Each season brings at least a dozen exciting spectator events featuring vintage and modern sports cars and motorcycles. Some of the highlights are the WeatherTech United SportsCar Series, MotoAmerica and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-Biscuitville 125. The VIR Drivers Club features a restaurant and pub, meeting rooms and swimming pool.
Virginia Has Race Car Drivers!
Denny Hamlin hails from Chesterfield and drives the #11 FedEx Ground car for Joe Gibbs Racing. In 2006 Hamlin won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award and finished third in the final Cup standings, logging the highest points finish for a rookie in the modern era of NASCAR. Thus, Hamlin became the first rookie to make it into "The Chase for the Cup." Hamlin was also the first rookie to win the Budweiser Shootout.
Gray Gaulding, from Colonial Heights, competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 23 Toyota Camry for BK Racing and part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 54 Camry for NXT Motorsports.
Inactive / Part-Time / Retired Drivers
Elliott Sadler is from Emporia. The former driver of the #19 Cup Series car, Sadler is currently running the #1 Chevy Camro car in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports. Sadler was fortunate to race in the inaugural "Chase for the Cup" in 2004. He has three career Cup wins and nine career Xfinity Series wins, finishing as Champion in 2017. Sadler was voted the Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver in 2011, 2016 and 2017.
Brother to Elliott and fellow Emporian, Hermie Sadler is a reporter for FOX Sports and was the 1993 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year. Sadler logged two wins, three poles and 44 top ten finishes in his Xfinity Series career. Sadler occasionally jumps behind the wheel in any of the three series.
Jeff Burton is from South Boston and most recently drove the #31 Caterpillar car for Richard Childress Racing. Burton was the 1994 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and recorded 21 wins over his career. He logged his last race in 2013.
Older brother of Jeff, Ward is also from South Boston and previously drove the #4 State Water Heaters car for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. In addition to driving race cars, Burton serves on the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries and is the founder and president of The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation.
Retired Xfinity and Cup series racer Rick Mast is from Rockbridge County. Mast grasped the first Brickyard 400 pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and while he never secured a Cup win, Mast clenched four poles and 36 top ten finishes over 15 years. His Xfinity career produced nine wins, 95 top tens and five poles.
Chesapeake native Ricky Rudd is the retired driver of the #88 Snickers car of Robert Yates Racing. Rudd is known as the "Ironman" of NASCAR, as he holds the record for most consecutive starts in NASCAR racing. He was named the 2006 "Virginian of the Year" and is a 2007 Virginia Hall of Fame inductee.
Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Last seen driving the #90 D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports car in the 2011 Xfinity Series, Coeburn son Danny O'Quinn, Jr. was the 2006 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year and inked five top ten finishes.
Richmond native Jason White drives intermittently in the Xfinity Series. He has competed in the series since 2001 and claims nine top fives and 21 top ten finishes. He has also won a pole.
John King II
Having one of the greatest wins under his belt (Daytona 2012, Camping World Truck Series), John King II, a Scott County native, found himself out of a ride mid-season in 2012 due to a lack of sponsorship for the #7 truck. In 2013 we saw King driving the #33 truck for Eddie Sharp Racing (Daytona), but 2014 plans have yet to be seen.
Hurt native Stacy Compton has competed across all three NASCAR series. He was the Truck Series' Most Popular Driver in 1998 and his accolades include one top ten finish and two poles in the Cup Series, 33 top tens and one pole in the Xfinity Series, and two wins, 65 top tens and 9 poles in the Truck Series. Most recently Compton qualified for the 2012 Pocono 400 in the Cup Series for Turn One Racing.
Cup Rookie of the Year in 1973, Lennie Pond is an Ettrick native whose only Cup Series win came at Talladega Superspeedway in 1978. Amazingly, the 500-mile race was caution-free. It was during that race that Pond set a then-world record speed of 174.700 miles per hour.
Wendell Oliver Scott, from Danville, was an American stock car racing driver. He was one of the first African-American drivers in NASCAR, and the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series, NASCAR's highest level.
Last Updated: 2/27/2020