Richmond International Raceway has played a significant part in the history of the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Much like the history of the Sprint Cup Series at RIR, the Xfinity Series has its own tale to tell.
Here’s some facts about NASCAR’s junior league and its tenure at RIR, courtesy of Racing Insights:
* Friday’s Virginia529 Richmond College Savings 250 will be the 64th time the NASCAR Xfinity Series has raced at RIR.
* RIR is one of the six original tracks that debuted on the original schedule when the NXS was first formed in 1982.
* Sprint Cup drivers like racing in the NXS at Richmond, and for good reason: The last 22 Xfinity races there have been won by a Sprint Cup regular. Five drivers have combined to win 21 of the last 25 Xfinity races there – Kevin Harvick (seven), Kyle Busch (five), Denny Hamlin (three), Brad Keselowski (three) and Carl Edwards (three). Only Busch is expected to compete in Friday’s race.
* Speaking of Kyle Busch, he’s the last non-Cup driver to win at Richmond (May 2004). This was before Busch moved full-time to the Cup Series in 2005. That 2004 triumph was also the first of Busch’s NXS career. Since then, he’s won 72 more races in NASCAR’s junior league.
* The last two NXS races at RIR have been dominating affairs. Denny Hamlin led all but two of the 250 laps when he won this past April’s NXS race, while Kyle Busch led from wire-to-wire (all 250 laps) in last September’s NXS race there.
* Brian Scott will be making his 200th career start in the Xfinity Series Friday night at Richmond. In six full-time seasons, Scott is still seeking his first career NXS win. Richmond would be a great place for him to do so, and potentially wipe out a less than auspicious historic mark: he led 239 of the 250 laps at RIR in September 2013, the most ever led by a driver in a Richmond race who failed to win. In that race, Brad Keselowski passed Scott on a restart with 11 laps to go and motored on to victory, while Scott finished second, arguably the closest he’s been to win in his NXS career.
* Even with the lengthy history Richmond has had with both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity series, there have only been three weekend sweeps with the same driver winning in both series on the same weekend. The last to do it was Kyle Busch in May 2009.