BUSCH: RIR ready to race

NASCAR Drivers Describe Richmond as Fun, Perfect, Cool, Exciting Richmond, VA May 12, 2005 - Richmond International Raceway has always been a favorite among drivers, fans and the media. The track's unique, ¾-mile configuration produces...

NASCAR Drivers Describe Richmond as Fun, Perfect, Cool, Exciting

Richmond, VA May 12, 2005 - Richmond International Raceway has always been a favorite among drivers, fans and the media. The track's unique, ¾-mile configuration produces tremendous side-by-side racing, yet drivers obtain high enough speeds to give it a superspeedway feel. That rare combination still allows for the beating and banging that fans love, with the drivers' skill playing a major role in winning.

A recent NASCAR.com poll revealed that Richmond International Raceway is the favorite track among NACAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers, owners and crew chiefs. The following is a sample of driver quotes leading into the FUNAI 250 NASCAR Busch Series race set for this Friday, May 13 and Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race. Both events, like all races at Richmond International Raceway, will be held "under the lights."

"Richmond is the perfect balance of the size of the race track, how many grooves you can run, the fans are close to the action. Bristol is fun to watch, but in all honesty, it's a lot of wrecking with not as much racing as Richmond. I think it's the best compromise of all things: speed, competition, and being close to the action."-Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet

"If you asked everybody - teams and drivers - what is their favorite place, Richmond would be in the top five. It's such a cool race track. We all grew up racing on short tracks, but not on short tracks that are that nice. For the drivers, it's just fun when you can run different grooves and search around and find places where your car likes to be more than others. It's really competitive there. The restarts are really fun and competitive. It's just really the best balance and mix of everywhere we go."- Jeff Burton, No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet

"Richmond is a great short track, probably the best short track we race on. The track offers a lot of tight racing, but there is still room to pass. But, with all short tracks, the opportunity for a lot of beating and banging exists. It's going to be a great race, but it always is at Richmond. And, I'll say it again, the fans can't get anything better than a Saturday night race. The car's look faster, and the race, overall, just seems more exciting."-Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge

"Richmond International Raceway may just be the most-perfect track on the schedule. If you talk to drivers, they'll tell you this is what a speedway should be like. It's a short track that requires a speedway mentality. The best part is, it's one of the few tracks where you need a 50-50 balance between car and driver. The crew has to be on their game; the driver has to be on his."-Stacy Compton, No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford

"I think you can't argue with the fact that short-track racing at night is probably some of the most exciting racing we do. Richmond is a great track and it's one that I think anybody who is building a new track should look at and try to mirror. Richmond is just a great track that even though it is a small track there is room for cars to race side-by-side. They repaved the track a year ago but it's had a few races on it since then and it's back to the same old Richmond that has always produced great racing and we should see more of the same this weekend."-Dale Jarrett, No. 88 UPS Ford

"A lot of people seem to think that Richmond is the best track or venue on the circuit. Even in NASCAR's expansion efforts, you hear a lot about building a new track that resembles Richmond* and why not? Richmond's one of the best tracks we run. It's wide, smooth, and multi grooved; there's plenty of room to race. Believe it or not, most of us like it when we don't have to run all over each other in order to pass."- Ken Schrader, No. 49 Schwan's Dodge

"It doesn't matter what they do at Richmond - change the configuration, repave the surface, whatever - the track always manages to produce side-by-side racing. The Sawyer family always made sure the place was second to none for the drivers as well as the fans, and ISC has kept up that tradition. That's why Richmond is one of the most fan-friendly tracks on the circuit."- Ken Schrader, No. 49 Schwan's Dodge

"If you kept doing polls about the best tracks, or favorite tracks, Richmond is always going to be at or near the top for the drivers. The fans love the Bristols and Daytonas, but a good many of the drivers don't. I think Richmond is where we find that common ground. The fans enjoy Richmond probably just as much as the drivers do."-Kyle Petty, No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge

"The track, through all of its changes over the years, has really become one of the most unique tracks on the circuit. It stands out as being different than a lot of the other tracks, and that is where it has laid its foundation. It's not too big, but it's not too small. It's not super fast, but it's a little bit bigger than a place like Martinsville, so it doesn't really have that shortest short track mentality. It fits into a category all to its own, and that is what makes it so different and unique."- Kyle Petty, No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge

"It has cornered an area that no other track has. Daytona has Talladega, Infineon has Watkins Glen, Lowe's has Atlanta, but you can't really compare Richmond to anything else. It doesn't have a counterpart. The same is said about Darlington. There are just a few tracks that we race at that are unique - Richmond is one of them."- Kyle Petty, No. 45 Georgia Pacific Dodge

"I love short track racing, especially at Richmond because there are multiple grooves. Racing under the lights is a lot of fun. We had a great test here a few weeks ago. Ever since that test I have been really pumped about this race. Two years ago this weekend I made my first start with Chance 2 Motorsports, so this track will always rank as one of my favorites."-Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet

"I grew up in Chesterfield (20 miles south of Richmond), so I am going to have a chance to see a lot of family and friends," said Hamlin. "My family purchased 125 tickets for all of our family and friends, so I should have a pretty good cheering section. The other reason I'm looking forward to Richmond is it is a short, flat track similar to what I cut my teeth on. Richmond is the type of track I should excel at."-Denny Hamlin, No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Dale Jarrett , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Ryan Newman , Stacy Compton , Martin Truex Jr.