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Toyota to sponsor 2 RIR races in 2013

Toyota and Richmond International Raceway announced yesterday multi-year race entitlements, beginning with the April 26-27, 2013 doubleheader weekend at America’s Premier Short Track. The weekend will feature the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

“This partnership allows us to align with a premium brand that has been supporting NASCAR for nearly a decade,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. “These multi-year entitlements will allow Richmond International Raceway to continue delivering the high-quality events our fans have enjoyed for 60 years. To put on these NASCAR spectacles, we require two core ingredients: the fans and the sponsors – both of which drive our business and allow us to provide top-notch events.”

“Exclusive title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Races at Richmond International Raceway provides Toyota with unique opportunities in terms of activation with fans and spectators throughout the weekend," said Keith Dahl, Toyota National Manager-Engagement Marketing and Motorsports. Toyota has a rich history at Richmond International Raceway. The auto manufacturer has seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins (Kyle Busch, four; Denny Hamlin, two; Clint Bowyer, one) and five NASCAR Nationwide Series top finishes (Kyle Busch, two; Denny Hamlin, two; Kurt Busch, one), and has served as the Official Pace Car at RIR.

Toyota made its NASCAR debut in 2004 when it became the first new engine manufacturer to compete full-time in one of NASCAR’s top three levels of competition in more than 50 years, when it entered the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 2007, Toyota entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series by debuting the Camry in both series.

The Camry is built at Toyota manufacturing facilities in Georgetown, Kentucky and Lafayette, Indiana, and has been the best-selling car in America for 10 straight years, and 14 of the past 15. The 2013 NASCAR season will feature the introduction of the new 2013 Camry race car with an updated and more unique identity.

Tickets for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race go on sale Friday, Dec. 7.For details, visit http://www.rir.com


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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