Richmond International Raceway to Honor America During Wonderful Pistachios 400 “One Last Race to Make The Chase” Pre-Race Ceremonies on September 10

Patriotic Pre-Race Precedes Wonderful Pistachios 400

9/11 Tribute

The Pre-Race Ceremony at Richmond International Raceway Will Honor America

With the Wonderful Pistachios 400 “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled on Saturday, September 10, just a day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Richmond International Raceway has a patriotic pre-race ceremony planned.

The evening will be highlighted by Wounded Warriors saying the pledge, Danny Rodriguez, the singing NY police officer, singing God Bless America and the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band performing the National Anthem.

The pre-race ceremonies will begin at 6:15 p.m. with a “Salute to America” concert featuring patriotic music from the Newport News (VA) Police Pipe and Drums; Mike Corrado, an active duty Marine stationed in Quantico, Virginia, and the U.S. Army 29th Infantry Division Band from Ft. Belvoir.  As fans enter the grandstands on Saturday, September 10 for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, they will be greeted by NASCAR Foundation volunteers handing out 4” x 6” handheld flags provided by Harrisonburg Auto Mall.  Fans are asked to show their patriotism by waving the flags during the “Salute to America” concert.

“Richmond International Raceway is unique in that every year since the 9/11 attacks our September race weekend has fallen on the weekend closest to 9/11,” commented Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier.  “It has always been important to us to recognize 9/11 and remember the victims and survivors, but even more so this weekend as we remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  We are proud of our military and first responders; active, former and retired, and we are honored to have so many join us this weekend.  I think our fans will find that this will be the most patriotic pre-race ceremony they have ever been a part of at Richmond International Raceway.”

Following the concert, the official welcome will be given by Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Frank Thornton, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors – Fairfield District for Henrico County.  As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are introduced, they will cross the stage and exit through a tunnel of first responders from Virginia and enter into a Chevy Silverado, where they will be joined by a member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America for a lap around the track with an American flag. 

Henrico County (VA) Fire Department will display a flag from their ladder truck on the frontstretch apron for the day, along with Charlottesville (VA) Fire Department’s ladder truck flag display on the backstretch apron for fans to enjoy.  Additionally, skydivers will enter Richmond’s ¾-mile facility carrying the American flag.

In addition to viewing the patriotic pre-race ceremonies on the Video Scoring Tower, fans will enjoy five color guards presenting our nations’ flags (Ft. Lee – Army on the pre-race pad, Central Virginia Combo Fire Team in Turn One, Virginia State Police in Turn Two, Newport News Police in Turn Three and Naval Ocean Processing Facility in Turn Four). 

US Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco from Staten Island, NY, the first American to lose all four limbs in combat and survive, and Marine Corps Corporal Todd Nicely who is the second American to lose all four limbs in combat and survive, will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a memorable rendition of God Bless America by Danny Rodriguez, known as the “singing policeman from New York City.”

The 29th Infantry Division Band from Ft. Belvoir will return to the forefront to play our National Anthem. 

Fans are encouraged to wave their 4” x 6” flags during the entire pre-race.

This patriotic pre-race will serve as the “opening ceremonies” for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.  When the checkered flag flies Saturday night, September 10, the field will be set for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  Tickets for Saturday’s event to be a part of the most patriotic pre-race ever start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 866-455-7223.

© 2014 Richmond International Raceway

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