RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond Raceway and International Speedway Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for Richmond Raceway Reimagined, a $30 million infield redevelopment project.
The new infield will offer a variety of enhanced amenities for fans, teams, sponsors and other stakeholders to the iconic Richmond infield. Fan access is the focus of the Reimagined project, which will showcase new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages with a fan-viewing walkway.
“It is a momentous day for Richmond Raceway and ISC, and the future of the iconic racing experience for our loyal NASCAR fans at Richmond,” said track president Dennis Bickmeier. “Today’s groundbreaking is the beginning of the next chapter in Richmond’s storied history in motorsports, as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Central Virginia region.”
The official groundbreaking ceremony was held on the frontstretch at the edge of the infield near turn one. Guests for the groundbreaking included Todd Haymore, Secretary of Commerce & Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia; Delegate Lamont Bagby of the Virginia House of Delegates; John Vithoulkas, Henrico County Manager; Frank Thornton, Vice Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors; and Rita McClenny, President & CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
The last groundbreaking in the Richmond infield was held on Feb. 21, 1988, when the track was redeveloped into the three-fourths-mile D-shaped oval.
Today, long-time season ticket holder Thomas Enroughty dug the first hole for the project. Enroughty has attended every Richmond race since 1959, watching his first race from a tree on the backstretch.
“It was an honor to welcome longtime season ticket holder Tom Enroughty to represent RICHMOND NATION by breaking ground today,” said Bickmeier. “We look forward to opening our new infield to thousands of RICHMOND NATION members and race fans for our first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff weekend on Sept. 21-22, 2018.”
The new modernized infield will also include fan viewing of the inspection stations, new interactive fan engagement areas, an 80-person club experience with rooftop access that will overlook victory lane and two new garage suites with a view into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages.
Victory lane will also get a transformation and move locations in order to be more visible to race fans. The new victory lane will be near turn one and moved closer to the grandstands. The location and modernized infield will provide new opportunities for pre-race access, driver appearances, and entertainment programming.
A new media center will be built to include expanded space, broadcast booths, a conference room and hospitality space. Additional amenities and enhancements include a new vehicle crossover gate on the backstretch, a relocated tram route delivering fans closer to the front door of the track, a new pedestrian tunnel, 80 new consumer RV spaces, and infield drainage improvements.
CREDIT: Richmond Raceway