RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It is NASCAR week in Richmond, and once again this weekend's Sprint Cup race is one of the most important on the schedule. This is the last chance for drivers to make their way into the chase for the championship.
Joining us to discuss all of the action is one of the Sprint Cup's primary ambassadors, Amanda Wright. But she is known for at least most of this year as Miss Sprint Cup.
Ryan Nobles: Thank you for being here, Amanda.
Amanda Wright: Thanks for having me.
Ryan Nobles: Are you guys excited for another week of racing in Richmond?
Amanda Wright: It's going to be great with the Air Guard 400 this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. I'm trying to get everywhere pumped up. It's the last race before the chase for the Sprint Cup this year, so I'm very excited. I hope everybody else is too.
Ryan Nobles: We have a pretty big piece of hardware here to your right. Explain what this is and why it's so important.
Amanda Wright: This right here is the NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship trophy. It is made by no other than Tiffany and Company. So we have the blue case in it and it's -- for all you ladies there, it is hand made by Tiffany's. It takes 80 hours just to do the checkered flag etching in the design on the checkers up top.
Ryan Nobles: And this is just for the winner of this weekend's race. This is for the whole thing, right? You have to win the whole thing in order to get this trophy, correct?
Amanda Wright: Right. This is for the entire season so this chase we have after Richmond, the chase for the Sprint Cup, the winner of that 10-race, almost playoff, is going to walk away with that in November.
Ryan Nobles: You're around the drivers a lot, you're in the garages. Just how important -- is it a real tense time right now at the track because this is a make-or-break weekend for these guys?
Amanda Wright: This is a make-or-break weekend for a few of them. We have the 10 locked in right now, so it is going to be pretty interesting. Anything can happen like last year. You don't know until the end of the race is over and then our top 12 are determined. So we'll see.
Ryan Nobles: You know, the economy has been rough for everybody, and NASCAR has seen a bit of that. Have you noticed - have your fans altered the way they enjoy the race because the economy has been so difficult for them.
Amanda Wright: I don't know about every race, but I know here at Richmond they're offering tickets starting at $40, so there's been a lot more affordable ways of getting to the track. And then we also have just ways like the Sprint experience, which is free for everybody, so you can come on in. You don't even -- at most places, you don't even need a ticket to come to the Sprint experience. We have drivers that come out there. We have the championship trophy out there as well, so there's a lot of different ways the fans can enjoy the racing.
Ryan Nobles: Miss Sprint Cup Amanda, thank you for being here and good luck this weekend.
Amanda Wright: Thank you.
See the video at right for the full interview.