Richmond Fast Facts: Racin' Under the Virginia Lights
The first race at what is now known as Richmond International Raceway was an open-wheel event on October 12, 1946. Ted Horn was the winner on the half-mile dirt track that was then known as Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds.
The track has been reconfigured several times to lengths of 0.500-, 0.542-, 0.5625-, 0.625- and finally, in 1988, 0.750 miles.
The first NASCAR Grand National Division -what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Series- race took place 60 years ago. Lee Petty won the first race with an average speed of 45.535 mph. By comparison, Matt Kenseth won the pole for tonightâs Toyota Owners 400 at RIR with a track-record speed of 130.334 mph.
Tonight's race will be the 114th NASCAR Sprint Cup event at RIR.
Forty-seven different drivers have won races here. Kyle Busch has won the last four spring Sprint Cup races at this track.
Richard Petty has won the most Sprint Cup races here, with 13 victories. Petty also holds the record for top-five (34) and top-10 (41) finishes at RIR.
Kyle Busch is the active leader in race victories at RIR with four.
If Mark Martin can complete 282 of 400 laps tonight, he'll become the all-time leader in laps completed at RIR. Petty holds the record now at 21,135. Martin comes into tonight with 20,854 laps completed.
How good was Petty at RIR? He led 5,136 laps here. The active driver with the most laps led is Jeff Gordon, with 1,415.
Hot drivers: Kasey Kahne has had an average finish of 4.833 in the last six races, while Jimmie Johnson has finished sixth or better in six of eight races this year. Kyle Busch finished 38th last week; in the prior five races, his average finish was 2.600.
Not hot drivers: Tony Stewart is off to the worst start of his career, with only one top-10 finish so far. He's 21st in points. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has fallen from first to fifth in points over the last three races, when his average finish has been. 23.00.