NASCAR Notes: Why you've got to see NASCAR at RIR

NASCAR Notes: Why you've got to see NASCAR at RIR
(Source: RIR)
(Source: RIR)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Editor's note: Dennis Bickmeier is a guest columnist. The views expressed below are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NBC12.

"NASCAR at RIR – You've Got to See It!"

I am supposed to say that, right?

This weekend's ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday and the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday are our two opportunities to welcome NASCAR to RIR and for us and NASCAR to welcome you to the best racing experience anywhere.

Putting my fan hat on, when I went to my first NASCAR race in 1997 and experienced NASCAR live, I spent months telling people about how it attacked my senses.

I didn't grow up around racing.  I fell into it.

We have so many avid fans here in RVA that know and understand NASCAR and grew up around it, which is awesome, and we are fortunate to have such a solid fan base.  We will have others this weekend that maybe haven't been to the raceway for a few years but are coming back to see what we've been up to and re-engage with the sport.

There are others, like I did, who will fall in love with NASCAR this weekend if they are experiencing it for the first time, and still others, who might just dip their toe in the water to see what this is all about.

No matter the reason or the level of understanding of NASCAR, for me, it all comes back to the sights, sounds and smell of seeing it live.

The Sights – a festival atmosphere; tailgating; a cornhole game; interactive displays on the midway; people watching; thousands of people walking around the track as part of Track Takeover powered by Nationwide; driver appearances; 43 colorful race cars; Pageantry and Patriotism; the massive scoring tower; door-to-door racing action; brake rotors glowing; a burnout by the winner; the trophy; fireworks.

The Sounds – people talking; laughing; music; the sizzle from the grill; drivers answering questions at appearances; driver introductions; the Invocation; the Anthem; the Command; cheering; that heart thumping when all 43 engines start; sheet metal scraping when two cars hit and spin; an announcer's voice; the engine of the winning car straining one last time in a victory burnout; fireworks exploding; more cheering.

The Smells – bacon; burgers; steaks; funnel cake; a favorite drink; fuel; rubber.

These sights, sounds and smells are heightened at RIR given our unique short track layout and setting.  Given our history in the sport, drivers push a little harder for a win at Richmond and tensions seem to climb to a new level when battling for that checkered flag.

It's an exhilarating experience for driver and fan alike.

"NASCAR at RIR – You've Got to See It!"

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved