Richmond Testing Begins

RICHMOND, Va. (Aug. 12, 1998) With Virginia's largest spectator turnout of the year slated to take place at Richmond International Raceway during three consecutive nights of NASCAR racing on Sept. 10 through the 12, top race teams have begun to...

RICHMOND, Va. (Aug. 12, 1998) With Virginia's largest spectator turnout of the year slated to take place at Richmond International Raceway during three consecutive nights of NASCAR racing on Sept. 10 through the 12, top race teams have begun to book the Sawyer family's "Fan Friendly" 3/4-mile oval for private test sessions leading to the big weekend.

Richmond's upcoming NASCAR three-nighter begins with the Thursday, Sept. 10 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Virginia Is For Lovers 200; continues with the Friday, Sept. 11 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Autolite Platinum 250; and culminates with the Saturday, Sept. 12 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 main event.

Nearly 200,000 fans will watch as 120-plus drivers from NASCAR's three elite divisions contest posted awards in excess of $2.5 million.

Five different teams have already booked test time at Richmond and each is expected to be joined by a number of other teams. First on the test grid will be Buckshot Jones in the Stavola Brothers Racing NASCAR Winston Cup ride. The team -- which attempted and failed to qualify for the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond in June with Jones at the wheel -- is slated to tour the banks of RIR Aug. 18-20.

The Akins-Sutton NASCAR Busch Series team will bring Chesapeake, Va., driver Elton Sawyer and his No. 38 NBS mount to RIR on Aug. 24.

On Aug. 25-27, rookie Kenny Irwin, who made a spectacular series debut in this event a year ago by qualifying second and racing into the top-10 at the finish, will return to the site of his highly successful debut in the always potent Robert Yates No. 28. That car won the first NASCAR Winston Cup race on the 3/4-mile Richmond configuration in September 1988 with the late Davey Allison at the wheel.

Allison brought No. 28 to Victory Lane at Richmond again in the spring of 1993 -- his last win before losing his life in a tragic helicopter crash. The No. 28 win saga continued at Richmond with Ernie Irvan piloting for Yates and emerging victorious in spring 1994 and September 1996 as he returned to the series following recovery from near fatal injuries sustained at Michigan Speedway.

Dale Jarrett in NASCAR Winston Cup car No. 88 carried the Yates Richmond win tradition on last September. Jarrett will be at Richmond Aug. 26-27 testing his No. 32 NASCAR Busch Series Ford.

Rookie Kevin Lepage will open the first three days of September with a Richmond NASCAR Winston Cup test expedition at the wheel of Jack Roush's No. 16 PRIMESTAR Ford. That session concludes on Thursday, Sept. 3, exactly one week before the green flag falls on Thursday night's action.

Grandstands are open to spectators at no charge during all Richmond NASCAR testing. Tickets to Thursday's Virginia Is For Lovers 200 and Friday's Autolite Platinum 250 are available at the RIR ticket office or by phone at (804) 345-7223. Accompanied children ages 12 and younger are admitted free all day and all night Thursday and Friday with a ticket purchaser.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Kevin Lepage , Elton Sawyer , Buckshot Jones , Jack Roush , Robert Yates , Davey Allison