News & Media

NASCAR tracks spared major damage from Irene

August 29, 2011, Mark Aumann,

RIchmond, New Hampshire, Dover able to host NASCAR events in coming weeks

Hurricane Irene proved to be more than a hindrance to several NASCAR tracks over the weekend, but officials at Richmond, New Hampshire and Dover expect upcoming race weekends to go off without a hitch.

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Although Richmond International Raceway suffered no major damage, as of Monday morning the area around the track remained without electricity.

"Just like everybody else in the area, we have some trees down and leaves and debris, things like that," said Aimee Turner, RIR director of public relations. "Our entire neighborhood here at the track is without power, along with most of the state. We fared well, considering what the rest of the state saw."

Richmond is scheduled to host the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series event on Sept. 9, followed by the Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Sept. 10. Turner said track officials are confident the facility will be ready to host the more than 90,000 fans expected to attend each evening.

"Our operations guys are so busy, trying to get generators up and running," Turner said. "We fared really well compared to what the state has fared. We're thankful and hoping our neighbors will regain their power shortly."

In three weeks, the series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. According to NHMS director of communications Kristen Costa, the facility had minimal damage.

"As did many people in the area, we lost power for a little bit [Sunday] and had some temporary flooding," Costa said. "Our operations and maintenance team worked around the clock last week to prepare the facility for Irene's arrival.

"Unfortunately, many of our fans within the New England area were hit worse and our thoughts are with them."

A similar situation occurred at Dover, where senior director of communications Gary Camp said track officials had enough lead time to stow important items.

"We had no damage here at the track, fortunately," Camp said. "We had enough advance notice that our maintenance team was able to get everything secured and stowed away before it hit."