REV TO EXPERIENCE HIPPODROME THEATRE RICHMOND AND RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY HISTORY
REV Group’s racing schedule takes the company to historic Richmond, Virginia for two days of racing festivities. REV and 50 VIP guests will cheer on Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski and the REV-branded No. 22 Ford Mustang during the Sept. 9 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 race at Richmond International Raceway. The September race marks the second-to-last race in the REV racing season.
The REV celebrations get under way the night before with a special VIP dinner at the Hippodrome Speakeasy, a mansion-turned-speakeasy that sits adjacent to the historic Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, and his wife, Brittany, will attend the cocktail party. Logano drove the REV-branded car during the May Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200.
On race day, REV guests will be treated to a hotel brunch before heading to the track for afternoon garage tours and a 4 p.m. meet-and-greet with Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney. The NASCAR XFINITY race gets under way at 7:30 p.m., and REV will watch from the exclusive Dogwood Tower suite located between Turns 1 and 2, which garners a birds-eye view of Richmond International Speedway. In honor of the approaching Sept. 11 anniversary, REV also gave 30 first responders one pair of grandstand tickets each.
As a primer to the REV VIP racing festivities, here are some facts about the Hippodrome, Brad Keselowski and Richmond International Speedway:
HIPPODROME THEATRE RICHMOND FACTS
- The Hippodrome’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood was the center of African-American commerce and entertainment in the early 1900s, garnering the nickname “Harlem of the South.”
- Built in 1914 as a vaudeville and movie theatre, the Hippodrome Theatre later became a celebrated music venue that attracted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.
- Prior to its speakeasy-restaurant transformation, the adjacent 14,000-sq.-ft. Taylor Mansion was credited as being the largest home of a Black American in the United States at the time with 33 rooms.
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY HISTORY
- The .75-mile, D-shaped track wasn’t always called Richmond International Raceway. During its early years, the track went by the Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds and the Virginia State Fairgrounds.
- Richmond International Raceway wasn’t always a .75-mile, D-shaped track. It began as a .5-mile dirt track, eventually taking on an oval shape, longer lengths and an asphalt finish. In 1988, it was converted into today’s D-shaped track.
- RIR is part of the Richmond Raceway Complex, a 1,000-acre multi-purpose facility, which features six additional buildings, including a 6,000-person amphitheater and a 1,000-seat covered dirt arena.
BRAD KESELOWSKI RACING STORIES
- For a quick primer on Keselowski, read our Aug. 5 feature on the 32-year-old driver before the Zippo 200 race at Watkins Glen, where Keselowski helmed the REV-branded race car.
BACK TO NEWS
- For more reading on the REV driver, check out Keselowski’s blog, hailed by ESPN and USA Today as “destination reading.” The first-person blog takes a look at “Life On and Off the Track.”