Aug 12, 2022 - Sports

Something new for NASCAR starts in Richmond

Bubba Wallace takes a selfie with a fan who looks thrilled.
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace poses with fans Thursday in richmond. Photo courtesy Richmond Raceway.

It's race weekend in Richmond, once again. But this year's event is not your grandpappy's NASCAR race.

Driving the news: NASCAR hits Richmond Raceway every April and August for two days, but this summer's race kicked off with Bubba's Block Party — an event featuring NASCAR star Bubba Wallace, live music from rapper Wale and DJ Domo and food from some Richmond Black-owned food trucks.

  • The event was Thursday night and reached capacity almost as soon as ticket registration was announced.

State of play: Wallace chose Richmond as the kick-off location for the block party that NASCAR hopes to replicate in other cities, Richmond Raceway president Lori Waran told Axios.

  • Wallace is NASCAR's sole Black driver and was the driving force behind the sport banning Confederate flags at its events in 2020.

Of note: Waran, a former local media executive, is another sign of changes afoot in racing — she's the first female president at the Richmond track in its 76-year history. And this weekend is her first race as track president since she started the role in June.

Details: The gates open Saturday at 11am for food and entertainment with the first race starting at 8pm; Sunday, gates at 9am, the race at 3pm. Tickets start at $25.

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