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Richmond is one of the best dates on the 2011 Sprint Cup schedule. The track brings history, as racing began in Richmond 64 years ago at Strawberry Hill Speedway. NASCAR has run at Richmond since 1953.
Three name changes, four configuration changes and one surface change later, the .75-mile D-shaped oval layout still draws crowds in excess of 90,000. Richmond is the fastest short track on tour. Fans get a combination of speed and side-by-side racing, along with the physical nature of short tracks. Plus, they run at night.
This is the final race before the Chase. There isn’s a single team thinking about a second place finish.
Now some random facts from the track’s website that you can impress your friends with Saturday night as ABC provides broadcast coverage.
- The banking is 14 degrees in turns, eight degrees at the starting line and two degrees on the back stretch.
- The front stretch is 1,290-feet long, and the back stretch is 860 feet in length.
- The track seats 97,912 fans.
- Lights were added at the track back in 1991.
- Richmond is the only track to run both races at night.
- I like night racing too.
- Kyle Busch won here earlier this year.
- Denny Hamlin won this race last year.
- Busch has the highest average finish at Richmond, with three wins and eleven finishes inside the top-10.
- Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman have the second through fifth highest average finish.
- Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson have each won here three times.
- Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Hamlin are the only active drivers to have won here twice.
- You’re only allowed to bring one plastic bag into the race. It’s not allowed to have ice.
- Why would you put ice in a plastic bag? That’s bad science.
- You’re allowed to bring a video camera, but it must be worn separately over the neck or on the belt. Otherwise you will be punched in the face.
- You’re allowed to bring a flag, but not a flag pole.
- You’re not allowed to bring pets, fireworks, beach balls or strollers to the track.
- Dierks Bentley will perform a concert the Thursday before the race.