Money making weekend with NASCAR in Richmond

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Thousands of people are piling into Richmond International Raceway this weekend, as NASCAR is back in town.

Many people are spending a lot of money, which is good news for vendors along the road. But, many people admit, they are spending less that previous years because of the economy.

Kraig Lassiter is here from North Carolina, spending some time with his NASCAR "family."

"We spend anywhere from $1,500-2,000 easy. You got the gas to get up here, food, go into the track and buy stuff," Lassiter said.

That's a lot of money -- exactly what NASCAR fan turned vendor Shane Sullivan wants to hear. For the first time ever, he's set up shop just steps from the track -- selling shrimp, crabcakes and more.

"We got a lot of race fans coming by, everyone is real excited. We are doing well so far," Sullivan said. 

He hopes to pull in about $40,000 this weekend. Of course, he won't be able to save all of it.

"We have a lot of overhead. But yeah, it's nice to make some money. A chance to make some extra money and feed some race fans," he added. 

But many people like Butch Fincham admit they've cut back lately because of the economy.

"Don't go as much. We used to go to three or four races a year. Now, it's only two," Fincham said. 

And Lassiter makes sure he saves up way in advance. "We have to set aside a little bit each month. Like, this month we will start setting aside for the next race," he said. 

Inside the grounds at RIR, all of the RV and camping spots are sold out. But the race isn't. That's a trend the track has seen since 2008, when the economy started slipping.

Despite that, Sullivan has one goal in mind. "We think we are going to run out early and go home early, which isn't a bad thing as long as we get out money," he said.

Of course another thing to look out for is traffic when you riding around. Check out our traffic page for more information on the best way to get around the race track this weekend.

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