VIR Holds First Ever NASCAR Sanctioned Race

Alton, VA - With the NASCAR sanctioned race in the background, thousands of fans flock to VIR.

"I wanted to come up and be a part of it, see what it's all about," said David Neff, a fan from Graham, North Carolina.

For the first time, VIR is hosting the K&N Pro Series Race, but it's not the only first at the track.

For many people in the crowd Saturday, they've never even been to VIR before.

"I had never had the opportunity to come and when I heard they were running a NASCAR event out here, I thought it would be pretty interesting to see," said Thomas Chiarello, From Cary, North Carolina.

Like many others, Chiarello drove from North Carolina to be part of the racing action.

"I think this race will bring awareness to the NASCAR community of all that VIR has to offer," explained Owner and CEO of VIR Connie Nyholm.

Nyholm hopes the NASCAR name will bring fans in, but also hopes things like a spa, go-carting, and tavern will help to bring the fans back.

Nyholm expects anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 attending the Saturday race, which could make it the biggest group they've for a one-day event.

"NASCAR has a different following than what some of the races out here do, this is a good crowd," said Danville native Anne Knight.

Knight regularly comes to VIR races, but this time, she expects the crowds to be bigger and the impact to be greater.

"It makes the economy at least break even on a weekend that maybe wouldn't have had anything going on," Knight said.

"I will definitely be back," said Chiarello.