The NASCAR Fueling Your Dreams Tour stop in Richmond, VA was a great success. The entire area was already abuzz with racing fever and we were able to jump right in and join the fun.
Our first event of the weekend was an Opinion Leaders Reception, sponsored by the NASCAR Diversity Department, and held at the Hippodrome Theater in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond. This event introduced the sport of NASCAR and it’s diversity initiatives to some of the area’s professionals and community influencers, including, but not limited to, 100 Black Men of Richmond, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Henrico Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. The evening offered networking opportunities and featured guest speakers such as Max Siegel (Rev Racing’s CEO), Dawn Harris (NASCAR Diversity), and Dennis Bickmeier (Track President, Richmond International Raceway). A highlight of the night was an appearance by Sybil Scott, daughter of NASCAR legend and recent Hall of Fame nominee Wendell Scott. Rev Racing’s four K&N drivers were on hand to mix and mingle with crowd, answering curiosities and sharing their excitement of racing, gaining a few new fans in the process.
Race day found the Fueling Your Dreams Tour at Richmond International Raceway. Our Toyota show car and popular iRacing driving simulator was set up in the track’s fan area outside of the Commonwealth Grandstand. Fans who came to see our K&N drivers compete that evening were treated to an impromptu appearance by Kyle Larson. On his way back to the garage after an autograph session, Kyle stopped at the iRacing simulator to run a few virtual laps around Richmond before qualifying. It may have proved beneficial because later that day, he qualified in the Second position for the evening’s race!
On Friday, Rev Racing and NASCAR teamed with Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA for a Leadership Symposium offered to their Sports Management and Communications students. Max Siegel and Ryan Gifford participated in panel discussions, sharing their knowledge and experience in the sport with the VSU students, while the Toyota show car and iRacing simulator were on display outside. The university’s student body and faculty took laps around Richmond International Raceway, while receiving a little bit of coaching by drivers Jorge Arteaga and Ryan Gifford. Many took the opportunity to take pictures with the car and drivers as well, and there is a sense that a few walked away with more than a casual interest in what Rev Racing and NASCAR had going on.
The last day of our stop in Richmond found us in the Kid Zone at RIR. We partnered with NASA and their new Rockets to Race cars program, aimed at educating students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Ryan and Jorge were on hand to discuss aspects of STEM and how they relate to the technological and safety advances in racing. They also signed a few autographs and took pictures with the kids.
Overall, the weekend was busy, but we had a blast! The Richmond community was very welcoming to us and we can’t wait to go back and hang out with all of our new friends!