Nitrocross’ announcement that it will start its 2024-25 season at Richmond Raceway is one that takes the series back to its origins.
Before Nitrocross there was Global Rallycross, which – between 2011-17 – raced at a number of NASCAR facilities, including Charlotte, New Hampshire, Bristol, Texas, Atlanta and Daytona. Until now, Nitrocross hadn’t followed the same path, instead largely adopting rallycross and off-road facilities.
Speaking of the decision to add Richmond to its roster of events, Nitrocross general manager Chip Pankow said that the venue’s existing infrastructure, along with NASCAR’s market-leading position in U.S. motorsport, made it an attractive proposition.
“NASCAR has been a mainstay in American racing, and as a part of that, they’ve built amazing facilities,” he said. “One of the things we have with Nitrocross is we don’t lock ourselves into any particular formula of track. Here [in Phoenix] we’re on mostly dirt, we’ll race on snow and ice, and Travis [Pastrana] and I traveled to a NASCAR race and we started looking around and [realized] this could be a really really cool event.
Pastrana wheeling his Global Rallycross Dodge around Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2012. Stellantis Media
“So you take all of that infrastructure that’s there, and we think we can take a really really great race to the fans. That’s the most important thing — to have a great fan experience.”
The Richmond event will also serve as something of a home race for Nitrocross pioneer and occasional NASCAR racer Travis Pastrana, who hails from Maryland.
“For me, Richmond was always one of the tracks we went to as kids, as a family – usually Dover and Richmond were the two closest to the house,” he said. “It’s so cool to be back on the East Coast. We always want to do something north east, everything from Charlotte on up, and we’ve had some good rallycross races in past series up in the northeast. Really excited to go back there, excited to bring all of my family – my dad doesn’t go anywhere he can’t ride his Harley to so it’s going to be good to get him to one of these.”
The agreement with Richmond is a multi-year deal. The track itself is only expected to take 10-12 days to build, and will be a balanced mix of loose and sealed surfaces, according to Pankow.
“We’ve gotten very efficient at building these tracks, so that’s going to be probably a 10-12 day build,” he said. “Richmond has so many great resources and assets already there. We’re going to bring some dirt into the facility – we like that hybrid dirt and pavement – but when we’re done with that one it will probably come out to being about a 50-50 dirt/pavement mix. Just because of where everything is at Richmond, it lays out very well; it really lends itself to one of our tracks.”