Richmond International Raceway Celebrates 60 Years of NASCAR in 2012

Six decades of NASCAR memories, and many more to come. That’s the theme at Richmond International Raceway this year, as 2012 marks 60 years of NASCAR at RIR. The venue has hosted the third-most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races ever (111), making it one of the most historic landmarks in motorsports.

To commemorate the milestone, Richmond International Raceway unveils a special “60 Years of NASCAR” logo to be used throughout 2012. The logo will be incorporated into marketing materials, as well as merchandise that will soon be available for purchase.

“NASCAR at Richmond International Raceway has a storied history, dating all the way back to 1953,” said track president Dennis Bickmeier. “Since that first NASCAR race, the track has undergone three name changes, five configuration changes and one surface change. But one thing that remains a constant is the incredible racing action our fans love.”

The first NASCAR race at what was then known as Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, took place on April 19, 1953. Lee Petty, the patriarch of the famous Petty family, won the race and took home $1,000 with an average speed of 45.535 mph on the ½-mile dirt track.

Fast forward to 2012 and the track is a bit different, measuring at ¾-mile of asphalt. When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Richmond International Raceway on April 28, 2012, the 60th year of NASCAR at Richmond International Raceway begins.

Richard Petty, Lee’s son, holds virtually every major NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career record at Richmond International Raceway, including most wins (13), most poles (8 [shares record with Bobby Allison]), most top-five finishes (34), most top-10s (41), most starts (63), most consecutive starts (46), most races led (34), most laps led (5,136).