NASCAR fans looking forward to racing under the lights can now also look forward to camping under the stars. This year - Richmond International Raceway is rolling out tent camping for the big event in just three weeks.
Whenever you visit the raceway during NASCAR weekend, you see campers everywhere. To build on that excitement and draw even more campers, organizers said why not welcome a spot just for tents.
It's the thrill of the sport that brings fans coming back. Add to that, the camaraderie among spectators.
"Some people, they've met here over the years and this is kind of their annual get back together and see everybody. A lot of families come out so it's a lot of fun," said director Dennis Bickmeier.
Now, that fun is evolving at the request of those who pack the raceway each year.
"There was a lot of demand, a lot of requests for, how about tent camping. We race at night. Some people may not own a camper or big RV but they'd like to enjoy the outdoors," Bickmeier said.
For the very first time, RIR will now offer just that. In addition to fans being able to bring their RVs, others can now bring their tents.
Organizers say don't expect this to be a free for all. When you pay for your tent, you'll have your own designated space. With all these extra campers comes extra security.
"There's someone whose there around the clock for them to answer their questions, to help them out if they need something, point them in the right direction, obviously we have a big facility."
It's a new feature that may be just the beginning for much more to come.
"As this thing continues to grow who knows where it can go as far as do you put a playground in, do you do corn hole tournaments. I think it's kind of endless."
Endless options for a huge past-time also matched by never-ending enthusiasm.
"People come and they're on the property all day so what's another 8 hours of tent camping?" Bickmeier added.
RIR has already had some advance registrations for this new tent feature and it expects the build up to increase as we get closer to April 25. The cost to register a 20 x 30 tent is $75 dollars. There are also package deals available that include tickets. Organizers say they are hoping the new feature will also encourage local residents to camp out.
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