Since I’ve started doing NASCARTICLES, I’ve covered a lot of races and weighed in on my thoughts, projections, and feelings. We’ve tasted all kinds of new foods we may never have tried. With this new outlet, we made our way outside of the house; to Watkins Glen, the Daytona 500, the Pocono Double last year, and today…today, we’ve come to the racetrack that I’ve wanted to go to for many years. Christmas came digitally for one of my gifts this time around, 1/3 of a trio of tickets to the 2022 Toyota Owners 400 at the Richmond Raceway. Today is that race.
Here’s what to look for:
–Ryan Blaney is on Pole again, fastest on Saturday with hopes of Sunday success bubbling. He hasn’t done a ton of great work here; his best finish was a 10th that came last Fall, running 11th at this race in the Spring. I guess that is noteworthy, getting better with his recent finishes. No single digit placement yet, but he’ll start better than anyone else today.
–Alex Bowman was our winner last year, a surprise of sorts with so many able drivers in the field. Nevertheless, he was the best and took the checkers that day, and that is ultimately all that matters. He was actually pretty similar to Blaney, carrying a best finish of 9th before hitting Victory Lane in April before bringing it home 12th in the Fall. Bowman will have to #HACK his way through the field today, rolling off 28th.
-Over the last ten races, Martin Truex Jr. is our best driver at Richmond. It wasn’t always that way, but as we just stated with Bowman, current success it ultimately all that matters. And if we’re talking current success, Christopher Bell had a whale of a year in 2021. A 4th in April, and a 3rd in September. His teammate Denny Hamlin calls this track home. Well, one of his homes. He’s got a 5.5 average over the last ten races, and he finished 2nd in both of last year’s events. And then there’s Kyle Busch: a 6.9 lifetime average, six Wins and 25 Top 10s on 32 attempts. If you go with any Joe Gibbs Racing driver this week, you’re probably going to do pretty well and be happy about it. In the Xfinity Series race yesterday, JGR ran 1-2. Not sure what it is about this place and these guys, but they’ve got a really good handle on it.
–Joey Logano is the last guy we’ll pack in here, he’s got a pretty good record, too. He ran 3rd and 5th here last year, and hasn’t run outside the Top 15 since 2013! Eleven Top 5s in that span, two of which are Wins. #22 will start 11th today.
This is the spot where we highlight a food that Lisa has lovingly prepared. Since we’re not at home, this now becomes a highlight reel for cool things we’ve seen and foodventures we’ve gone on. We’ve eaten a lot — I took a sideways pic last night and looked about 4 months pregnant. I’m not. I’m just full of all sorts of local Richmond food!
We arrived on Friday night to our place in The Fan and trotted out not too long after to get in our first nosh of the stay. Went with a classic Bang-Bang, hitting Postbellum and then Pupatella down the street. Chase some Deviled Eggs with pizza? Uhhh, OK! I’m a huge fan of deviled eggs and these had some horseradish in them (don’t threaten me with a good time), and then I constructed my own pizza which featured buffalo mozzarella, soppressata, spicy chorizo, and grilled sausage. YUM.
We picked it up again on Saturday with a slew of food and fun. First things first: the food! I’m about to let you in on a little secret.. Don’t tell anyone.. Yesterday, we were welcomed into..the Secret Sandwich Society. Yes. And they had awesome food! We caught the Brunch Menu so we had access to some meals we wouldn’t have in addition to the great sandwiches and burgers we would have naturally. Following that, we picked up smoothies at The Pit & The Peel (and some Chesapeake Crab chips) before setting out to Belle Isle, a cool island in the middle of the James River beneath the Robert E. Lee bridge. After that, we closed things out with Mason’s choice that day, Chef Mamusu Africanne on Main. Buffet style food here, I went with jerk chicken, curry chicken, mixed greens, mac ‘n cheese, a plantain, lemon chess, and some sweet cornbread (pictured below). Mason got some camera shy fried trout in addition to most of the same. Lisa went a non-meat route with a slew of rice dishes (not pictured). We have run the gamut on food types this trip, and we’ve still got Waffle House awaiting us on the way home.
Alright, I can’t tell you everything in detail, but here are some assorted pictures from Belle Isle, and some from a used videogame store called Bits + Pixels. I also went to another store with a REALLY great selection called the Tech Exchange. Didn’t grab a pic because the store was PACKED, but head on over to their page.
And now we get to go watch the race! Lisa got us pit passes, too! See ya soon, Richmond Raceway!!
Coverage of the race starts on FOX at 3:30pm, green flag scheduled for 3:45pm.