IRL: Richmond International Raceway expanison plans

* Expansion Project Update Construction Update: New Grandstand Taking Shape. Construction crews are hard at work adding to Richmond's skyline, as nearly 1/3 of the framework for Richmond International Raceway's new 7,800-seat, ...

* Expansion Project Update

Construction Update: New Grandstand Taking Shape. Construction crews are hard at work adding to Richmond's skyline, as nearly 1/3 of the framework for Richmond International Raceway's new 7,800-seat, 18-story frontstretch grandstand is now complete. (See hi-res, downloadable photos at

Beams for the lower mezzanine seats and for the stairs leading to the lower mezzanine and club levels are also in place. Workers have also poured the concrete for the elevator shaft and kitchen floors.

According to David Wright of Taylor and Parrish, Inc., the lead construction and design company for the project, close to 40 workers are working full-time during this phase. As the work intensifies and the framework nears completion, the workforce will double to nearly 80, as contractors for specialties like electricity and plumbing will be needed.

Some upcoming key milestones and their approximate completion dates include:

November 25: Begin framework of elevator shaft.

November 30: Framework for entire grandstand completed.

December 15: New light poles erected.

The project will be finished in time for the track's NASCAR doubleheader weekend May 4-5, which will include the Crown Royal presents Your Name Here 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race and the Circuit City 250 Presented by FUNAI NASCAR Busch Series race.

More updates will be provided in the coming weeks.

Track Staff Again Participates in Meals on Wheels: On Tuesday, the Richmond International Raceway staff delivered meals to more than 100 area residents as part of the

Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area's Meals on Wheels program. This is the fourth consecutive year the staff has participated in the program. During that time, staff members have dedicated more than 250 hours of service to the Meals on Wheels program alone. (See hi-res, downloadable photo at

More Community Outreach as Blood Drive Set for Sunday, November 19 in Richmond International Raceway's Infield: Richmond International Raceway will team up with Virginia Blood Services, the Hendrick Marrow Program, the National Marrow Donor Program, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation next month for Richmond International Raceway's Drive For Life. Everyone is encouraged to come out to Richmond International Raceway's infield on November 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to donate blood and sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program. Lots of prizes will be up for grabs for those who donate, as well as Pace Car rides around the ¾-mile track. One lucky donor will walk away with a 20" LCD television provided by the FUNAI Corporation!

Thirteen other NASCAR facilities have participated in this initiative this season and only 107 pints of blood are needed to reach the collective goal of 2,000 among all of the tracks. Richmond International Raceway is the last track on the schedule.

To register and learn more about this event, visit For specific information about giving blood, contact Virginia Blood Services at 800-989-4438 or visit To learn more about joining the National Marrow Donor Program Registry of volunteer marrow donors, call 804-288-9483.

Track President Makes Very Strong Showing at State Fair Demolition Derby: Maybe it was the lingering aroma of funnel cake and pulled pork at the Virginia State Fair. Whatever the inspiration, four members of the Richmond International Raceway staff, led by track president Doug Fritz, participated in the Virginia State Fair Demolition Derby on Friday. The three-class derby was held at the Richmond Raceway Complex, site of the annual Fair and also home to Richmond International Raceway.

Fritz and Chris Clary of the track's maintenance department participated in the V6/V8, non-station wagon class. Brian Hagerman in marketing and sales was in the Small V6/4-cylinder class. Tommy Johnson in maintenance was scheduled to do some beating and banging in the station wagon class but could not get his car started.

The Derby took place during a driving rainstorm and on an extremely muddy course, but Fritz won his class and advanced to the feature before finishing second overall. Fritz was cheered on by a number of stunned employees who braved the elements to see Fritz place second in his first Derby against a number of seasoned veterans.

-credit: rir

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Series IndyCar , NASCAR , USAC
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Tommy Johnson