Henrico County sports

RIR to host playoff race in 2018

Track also returning spring race to evening time slot
For the first time in its history, Richmond International Raceway next year will host playoff races in both of NASCAR's top two series, track officials announced May 23.

The track will host a NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race Sept. 21, 2018 and a Monster Energy Cup Series playoff race the following day. (The Monster Energy Cup Series is the highest level of NASCAR competition.)

RIR also will move its spring Monster Energy Cup Series race – which has been held on Sunday afternoon the past two years – back to Saturday night, on April 21. RIR previously had hosted night races since 1991 but moved the spring race to the afternoon in an attempt to attract more families. But attendance at least month's race was one of the lowest in recent memory.
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RIR to host Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship


The season finale of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour will take place at Richmond International Raceway during the track’s fall NASCAR race week festivities. QubicaAMF, whose U.S. headquarters are in Richmond, will install four state-of-the-art lanes inside the Old Dominion Building for the event as part of its new sponsorship of the PWBA.

The Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship is set for Sept. 3-6 in the Old Dominion Building at the Richmond Raceway Complex. The 16-player field will be composed of PWBA members who win a 2017 event and completed by point earners for the season.
> Read more.

RIR bringing back red stripes to track walls


Richmond International Raceway is bringing back classic red stripes on the track's walls this year.

It will be the first time since February 1988 that the stripes appear on the walls. At that time, RIR was only a half-mile track with metal guardrails striped in red.
> Read more.
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Athlete of the Week – May 8: Strib Walker

Collegiate, varsity boys' lacrosse
The Collegiate Cougars, at 20-0, have had many vital moments in the quest for an undefeated season. One of the closest calls came against Paul VI on April 23. The teams were tied, playing in sudden-death double overtime. Senior captain Strib Walker, 18, scored the game-winning goal.

Although this may have been the biggest goal of the season, Walker downplayed the drama of it all. “I was just the lucky guy who got to finish the game with the goal,” he said. “Our defense- they were the ones killing it.”

Although he plays midfield, Walker said he gets most excited during games when he sees the Collegiate defense gelling.
> Read more.

Athlete of the Week – May 1: Cierra Turner

Highland Springs High School, varsity girls' tennis
Cierra Turner began playing tennis in sixth grade, when her mother told her she had to pick up a school sport. The only two options were basketball and tennis. She doesn’t like basketball, so tennis became her main sport by default.

This year, the 16 year-old Highland Springs High School sophomore has gone 6-3, and said she has learned a great deal about herself on the tennis court. She said that she has become aware of how her speed can help her win matches. “Most people can’t run back and forth and side to side as much as I can,” she said.

She also has found herself getting mentally tougher.
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Athlete of the Week – April 24: Brooke Carter

Varina High School, varsity girls' soccer

Brooke Carter had not won a soccer game in more than two years. But on April 17, when Varina played Highland Springs, everything she had worked for as team captain came together. The Blue Devils left the field victorious by a score of 5-0 that day, and Carter contributed one goal and three assists. After the game, the team celebrated at Romaʼs restaurant.

A two-year losing streak and annual coaching changes (three coaches in three years) could damper the competitive fire of most athletes. But Carter took each loss over the two years as if it were the first.

“I get furious when we lose. The coach usually talks me down on the bus ride back home from losses,” she said.
> Read more.

Athlete of the Week – April 17: Sukrija Dudic

Hermitage High School, soccer
Sukrija Dudic, forward for the Hermitage varsity boys' soccer team, is determined to rebrand the Panthers' image. While Deep Run and Freeman have historically been more successful at soccer, Dudic has spent four years working to change the perception of Hermitage.

“I always tell my teammates, ‘We’re not the Hermitage that sucks,’” he said. “Other teams can’t stomp all over us. We’re here to fight and to win.”

Last year the seventh-seeded Panthers upset Lee Davis in the first round of the playoffs, and Dudic said that was a pivotal moment for the squad.

“I think Lee Davis viewed us as an easy win,” he said. “That game was a turning point. They realized that we don’t joke around. We just ended their season.”
> Read more.

Benedictine-Saint Christopher’s benefit baseball game scheduled for April 18 in Glen Allen


For the sixth consecutive year, the annual Benedictine-St. Christopher's varsity baseball game will take place at RF&P Park in Glen Allen as a way to raise money for the River City Buddy Ball program, which provides sporting opportunities for youngster in the metro region who have special needs.

This year's game will take place on Saturday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m., and the public is invited to help "pass the hat" to collect funds for the RCBB. There will be balloon pops, auction items and more, including a special guest appearance by Sophia Nadder, who will sing the national anthem.
> Read more.

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