An All-Star Rookie's Look Behind the Scenes at Richmond International Raceway
As a long time NASCAR fan, I've seen my fair share of races at my "home track," but on May 1-2, 2009, I had my first opportunity to take a look beyond the grandstands of Richmond International Raceway as a credentialed member of the media.
It was an experience that I will not soon forget.
Many thanks to Bleacher Report for helping to make this happen. Your support and encouragement does not go unnoticed.
Here is an up close and personal look behind the scenes at what goes on before the race begins.
Once you're in, you'll never want to come out!
Kara Martin, Unprofessional Photographer.
Beyond The Pit Walls
Through the looking glass.
The Inner Sanctum
A look at the Sprint Cup haulers lined up on the infield.
Setting Up Shop
How Pit Crews start their day.
Sprint Cup Garage Area
No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet and No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet.
Sprint Cup Garage Area
The No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet and No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Garage Area
The No. 88 Amp Energy Chevrolet.
Kurt Busch Garage Area
The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.
Kyle Busch Garage Area
The No. 18 M&M's Toyota.
Jeff Gordon Garage Area
No. 24, Dupont Cevrolet
Tony Stewart Garage Area
The No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet.
Michael Waltrip Garage Area
No. 55, Napa Toyota.
Casey Mears Chevrolet
The No. 07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet.
Tony Stewart Hauler
This was the only hauler that had a full service grill in front of it.
Inside Looking Out
A view from the infield looking out.
Stewart-Haas Racing equipment cover.
Chevrolet Camaro. Official pace car of the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Freeman 400.
Two are always better than one
Official Sprint Cup pace cars.
The skies over Richmond threatened to open all afternoon...
...and eventually they did! Many thanks to Casey Mears' hauler for the shelter from the storm.
Team Shock Absorbers
There were tables and tables of these.
There would be no racing without A LOT of spare Goodyear Eagles.
And More Tires.
Told you, can't have enough tires on race day!
Team Gas Can
A much smaller version of the ones they use on the track.
Used at the entrance to pit row for safety.
A line up of 18-wheelers used to haul the race cars.
Spare Racing Hood
We all have one of these just lying around, don't we?
Here Comes The Rain Again
Right before a second downpour.
Headed for Inspection
All cars are manually pushed to the inspection area.
Sprint Cup Inspection Entrance
Every car goes in...
Sprint Cup Inspection Exit
And eventually come out.
All cars must pass inspection before they can race.
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
The No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet.
Heading to the Pits
Every race car is manually pushed to it's individual pit box.
No. 29 Team Pit Box
Home of Kevin Harvick's crew on race day.
No. 18 Team Pit Box
Home of Kyle Busch's crew.
A driver's view.
On the Track
Left Turns Only!
Last turn before the start-finish line.
The Commonwealth Tower.
This is where the magic happens.
The end result.