Joined by Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz and Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell today declared April 2011 as Virginia Motorsports Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In his recognition, Gov. McDonnell cites Virginia’s rich motorsports history and serving as home to more than 20 local speedways, raceways and motorsports parks, including Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway – both of which host two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events annually. Virginia is the only state to currently host four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each year.
Virginia has also produced many contributors to NASCAR history, including Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and two current Sprint Cup drivers—Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin. Additionally, Wood Brothers Racing – the latest winner of the Daytona 500 – was founded in Virginia and was based in the Commonwealth for 53 years. It is the oldest continuously operating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.
In total, the NASCAR weekends at both Richmond International Raceway and Martinsville Speedway generate annual economic benefit of $584 million for the Commonwealth.
The governor’s proclamation comes during race week at Richmond International Raceway, which begins tomorrow with a doubleheader featuring the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, followed by the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Tickets for Thursday are $25; children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
The weekend continues Friday when the NASCAR Nationwide Series returns for the BUBBA burger 250 race “under the lights.” Friday’s ticket includes Wawa Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as NBC12 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. Advance tickets start at $30; children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult.