Halifax Co., VA - The Virginia International Raceway (VIR) has seen a lot of racing over the years, but in just a few months, they will host the biggest name in the sport: NASCAR.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will have a race there later this year.Tuesday, some Sprint Cup and Nationwide series drivers got to test the track. The action drew some fans, but the real excitement came from the first ever media day for a NASCAR sanctioned race at VIR. Many say this will bring a lot of attention to the track.
VIR is no stranger to the sound of race cars. During their first ever media day for a NASCAR sanctioned race, though, the only thing overpowering the loud engines was the sound of excited drivers.
"I think it is really cool," said driver Gray Gaulding."This is a huge deal," driver Michael McGuire said.
VIR will host their first K&N Pro Series East race in August.
Owner Connie Nyholm says this should do more than just sell tickets.
"I think it's helping put us on the map with the local populace," said Nyholm.
Some young drivers got to check out the course now, months before the race. Getting such a unique opportunity meant a lot for Gray Gaulding, 15.
"I used to come here when I was 7, 8 years old with my father and my grandfather. We used to come here and watch AMA race here. I have a lot of cool memories," said Gaulding.
This time, he got a view from on the track.
"I'm going down to all the different turns and see what I can learn," said Gaulding.
"The drivers will get to learn how to go left and right, up and down. I mean the turns in a road course are interconnected so it's a lot more to it, it's very very different than driving on an oval," said Nyholm.
Nyholm explains days like this are a win-win for VIR, both for the drivers and for the fans.
"We're hoping to bring them out to enjoy some NASCAR racing and cross over to some VIR enjoyment year round," said Nyholm.
The K&N race will be August 24th. These young drivers will test the track the day before.