50TH SEASON BRINGS MILLION DOLLAR PURSES & MORE TO RIR; TRACK RECLASSIFIED AS "SuperRaceway" ACCORDING TO SAWYER RICHMOND, VA - 50th seasons usually conjure up things golden, and the 50th season of auto racing at Paul Sawyer's Richmond ...
50TH SEASON BRINGS MILLION DOLLAR PURSES & MORE TO RIR; TRACK RECLASSIFIED AS "SuperRaceway" ACCORDING TO SAWYER
RICHMOND, VA - 50th seasons usually conjure up things golden, and the 50th season of auto racing at Paul Sawyer's Richmond International Raceway is no exception. In Sawyer's case, the key word is "gold" as he offers Virginia' first $1 million pay day to racers entered in his March 5 Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race.
Since the first race was staged at the Raceway's fairgrounds location in 1946, and since Sawyer promoted his first Richmond Winston Cup race in 1955, purses have climbed steadily.
"When we opened the 'new' Richmond International Raceway in 1988, folks didn't know how to classify us. We didn't fit the traditional definitions of a 'short track' or a 'superspeedway' as used by the news media,' declares Sawyer.
"With a seating capacity that'll exceed 82,000 before year's end with sell out crowds; with 34 luxury V.I.P skyboxes; with 6 races televised live nationally from here in 1995; with $million dollar purses; with races in NASCAR's top three series, events in USAC's two most exciting divisions, the Electric Vehicle Grand Prix for high school and university students, and two weekends of local stock car racing, I'll tell you what I'll going to call RIR from now on."
"RIR is a 'SuperRaceway'. There's nothing like it. When the press asks what to call it, I'm telling them to call RIR what drivers, owners, and fans call us - 'Fan Friendly' & 'The Action Track'. But classify us as a 'SuperRaceway' - the only one around," laughs Sawyer.