RIR to host playoff race in 2018

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.

Each year since NASCAR introduced its playoff format, RIR's fall race has served as the final race before the playoffs begin. NASCAR officials wanted to include a second short track in the playoff format, which prompted them to move the RIR race.

“We heard from many fans about returning the spring race to Saturday and getting back ‘under the lights’ for both our 2018 race weekends,” said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. “A big part of our identity for 18 years is racing ‘under the lights’ as there is a different energy in the air on Saturday nights at Richmond. We look forward to bringing back the iconic race weekend experience generations of Richmond fans remember.”

The fall Monster Energy Series race will be the second race in the first round of the playoffs, while the Xfinity Series race will be the first rate in that series' playoffs.

“Richmond has always been a tremendously supportive market for NASCAR,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “Adding it to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, along with the return to Saturday night racing, only will enhance the competition at the track as fans continue to enjoy the iconic Richmond racing experience.”

Official start times for 2018 NASCAR races will be announced at a later date.

RIR will host its second race weekend of this year Sept. 8-9. To purchase tickets, visit http://rir.com or call 866-455-7223.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

July 2017
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