Richmond isn’t the only racing capital in Virginia this weekend

The days of dirt being doled out around the fairgrounds in Virginia’s capital city are long gone, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of dirt races in and around the Commonwealth, as the traveling circus of NASCAR makes its annual pilgrimage to Richmond Raceway.

While part of me is sorry to see my hometown’s biggest track decline in stature on the Cup circuit, the other part of me has to acknowledge that Richmond, despite being a real short track, hasn’t been able to deliver a product on the track consistently for at least the last decade.

So for those looking for grassroots racing at a grassroots track, here’s a list of dirt offerings that have nothing to do with NASCAR, or the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track.

Biggest money late model show this side of Bristol?

Two hours and 15 minutes nearly west of Richmond is Natural Bridge Speedway, a stalwart track in Virginia dirt racing that is putting big money on the line in its season opener, with the late-model Renegades of Dirt tour of 55 laps, $10,000 to win on Saturday night.

The strong bag has already received confirmed entries from prominent regional models Dale Hollidge and Rick Eckert, and the field looks to go from strength to strength. Already on Thursday afternoon, the cancellation of the latest model World of Outlaws at Farmer City Raceway in Illinois over the weekend prompted rookie WoO contender and recent Rock Gault Memorial winner Max Blair to confirm that he would be racing Natural. Bridge on Saturday.

Natural Bridge will also take place on Friday night with the modified Renegades of Dirt tour contesting a $1,500 to win feature for those looking for a short track fix.

Bang Banger! Winchester returns with big money, heavy hearts

Saturday night’s (April 2) racing schedule at Winchester Speedway, two hours and 15 minutes north of Richmond, will mark the first race at the track since the ill-fated season opener two weeks ago that resulted in the third fatality in the track’s history, occurring after a crash on the backstretch during a U-Car class heat race. The track will raise money at the race to support the family of driver Jimmy Billmeyer.

One thing to note about this race, speaking of money, is that the main event will consist of a Sport Compact Dirt Racing Association (SCDRA) compact car race for $5,000 to win. Not only is that a lot of money for such a class, but it’s also as big as the Bristol Dirt Nationals, which are offering $5,000 to win this week for their Hornet class based on an 84-entry car count.

I highly doubt Winchester will come close to that number of cars, but a night at the Winchester races will be had for a lot less money than a night at Bristol.

Is the nearest dirt race outside the commonwealth?

For racing fans looking for the shortest distance traveled between Richmond and dirt racing, the solution is to leave Virginia. Less than an hour and a half to the north is Potomac Speedway in Maryland, which will host its season-opening oval race on Friday night, with two late-model classes highlighting a six-class schedule.

Two reasons to see this show. First, it was previously announced earlier this year that the resort’s oval track is on its final clock, with the facility going full motocross by 2025. Second, a pit stop may be worth it if you have any interest in cars. race, as the track is aggressively pushing safety inspections ahead of next season.

I would hate to think that this safety push is solely a product of last month’s tragedy in Winchester, a long history of peers in Potomac. Regardless of motivation, good practice and potentially entertaining to watch from the pits.

NASCAR Regulars

In this wonderful world of dirt racing that is available to stream on demand, for those looking to follow NASCAR regulars playing on asphalt, it has been announced that Kyle Larson will be participating in the super late model show at the Bristol Dirt Nationals. on Friday and Saturday night.

the bottom dollar

At the time of this writing, the cheapest seat available for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond is $31 for a general admission ticket to the Chaos Corner booth at Turn 4, including fees.

By comparison, grandstand prices for the venues listed above are as follows:

Natural Bridge Race Track – $25
Potomac Expressway – $15
Winchester Expressway – $15

Pit passes are available for the public to purchase at the three locations listed above, though for the first time in 2022, not at a price lower than a Cup ticket; pit passes at Winchester will set you back $35, Natural Bridge $45.

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