Rusty Wallace Sheds Some Light On Day Racing at RIR

NASCAR Legend Rusty Wallace discusses the return of Sunday afternoon racing to RIR.

Rusty Wallace

Rusty Wallace won the last scheduled day race at RIR on March 2, 1997


When I heard about the possibility of a Sunday race coming back to Richmond, I got really excited about it.

It really brings back the history of Richmond. When I came into NASCAR it was always Sundays; bright, sunny, everyone saw the cars gleaming under the sunshine – it was a NASCAR tradition. I remember the days when night racing started, and it was definitely dramatic. We’d see flashes going off around the track when someone took the lead, and it was exciting, it was really cool. But sometimes change is good, especially when we’re going back to tradition, and there’s nothing wrong with tradition.

I moved down from St. Louis, Missouri to chase my NASCAR dreams, but my whole family would come out on Sunday afternoons to watch me race. I remember people piling onto the tailgate of our truck and everyone being there for the big event that day. There’s just something about being under the bright sunshine that seems right to me.

I won a lot of races on Sunday afternoons, and had a good time doing it. I think it’s going to be exciting and something different to the fans of RIR.

Now, I know there might be some of you who have never seen a scheduled day race at RIR. Let me tell you what to expect: you’re going to see more cautions, you’re going to see more action and more passing. I can say that because I know the track is going to be slicker, it’s going to be hotter, there’s not going to be nearly as much grip and it’s going to be more exciting- that’s just all there is to it.

It’s a win-win for fans at the track and at home. The drivers and owners can bring more people out to the track now, so I expect we’ll see more going on around the race, more entertaining and more fan festivities. Personally, I can see myself coming into Richmond earlier and spending time with the fans on Saturday nights.

For the fans at home, Sunday afternoons are when they have a little time to sit down and spend some time watching some really good NASCAR racing at Richmond. With this change there’s going to be a lot more eyeballs on the track on a Sunday afternoon.

I think it’ll be fun and I think there are a lot of positives ahead of us. We can’t forget where the sport came from, so I’m all for this change.

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