Odds & Ends - Richmond
September 3, 2012
By VI News
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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.
-- There have been 112 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 and Mark Martin lead all active drivers with five poles each.
-- 47 different drivers have posted victories at Richmond, led by Richard Petty (13).
-- Kyle Busch leads all active race winners with four.
-- Petty Enterprises has won 15 races at Richmond, more than any other team. Hendrick Motorsports has the second most wins with 10.
-- 63 of 112 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 on May 1, 2010.
-- The furthest back in the field a race winner has started was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the 2008 spring race.
-- Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch (4.7), Denny Hamlin (7.3) are the only active drivers with an average finish in the top 10.
-- 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 five races have had a margin of victory less than one second.
-- 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)
-- Four drivers have come from outside the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cut-off to make the Chase at Richmond:
+ Jeremy Mayfield in 2004 made up a 55-point deficit
+ Ryan Newman in 2005 made up a one-point deficit
+ Kasey Kahne in 2006 made up a 30-point deficit
+ Brian Vickers in 2009 made up a 20-point deficit
-- Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are the two drivers that clinched the Wild Card in 2011 to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Richmond International Raceway Data
Race #: 26 of 36 (09-08-12)
Track Size: 0.75-miles
Banking/Corners: 14 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 8 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 1,290 feet
Backstretch Length: 860 feet
Race Length: 400 laps / 300 miles
Top 12 Driver Rating at Richmond
Denny Hamlin 117.2
Kyle Busch 116.1
Kevin Harvick 111.6
Tony Stewart 97.4
Clint Bowyer 96.4
Jeff Gordon 96.2
Ryan Newman 92.4
Mark Martin 91.7
Kurt Busch 90.8
Jimmie Johnson 89.6
Carl Edwards 89.1
Kasey Kahne 86.6
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2012 races (15 total) at Richmond International Raceway.
2011 pole winner: David Reutimann, Toyota (127.383 mph, 21.196 sec., 09-08-11)
2011 race winner: Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet (89.910 mph, 3:20:12, 09-10-11)
Track qualifying record: Brian Vickers, Chevrolet (129.983 mph, 20.772 sec., 5-14-04)
Track race record: Dale Jarrett, Ford (109.047 mph, 2:45:04, 9-6-97)
NASCAR in Virginia
-- There have been 276 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
-- 165 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: