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What to Know About the Virginia International Raceway

What to Know About the Virginia International Raceway

The United States is home to some tremendous racetracks to ride on. You can find one in almost any part of the country, from Wisconsin all the way to Florida. Nestled right in Alton, Virginia, is the Virginia International Raceway. This racetrack sits on the border with North Carolina and hosts many races, riding schools, club events, and private track rentals. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to know about the Virginia International Speedway.

What is the Virginia International Raceway?

The Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is a 3.27-mile-long course with 17 turns. It is a multi-purpose road course where amateur and professional auto and motorcycle racers compete. The full course also breaks up into three other courses: the 1.1-mile Patriot Course with 12 turns, the 2.25-mile North Course with 17 turns, and the 1.65-mile South Course with 12 turns. The Grand East and Grand West courses (4.2 miles and 4.1 miles, respectively) are used less often but are available as well. The track has a front and back straight—the front is approximately 3000 feet long, and the back is approximately 4000 feet. Many racers find the track difficult because of elevation changes, steep downward slopes, and crests at the apex, which make this course notorious in the racing community.

What to Know When Going to the VIR

The racetrack has witnessed many famous and historic moments since its debut in 1957. Wendell Scott, the first African American in NASCAR, raced at the track in 1966 alongside NASCAR legends Richard Petty and David Pearson. The track closed in 1974 but reopened in 2000 when it began to host the AMA Superbike Championship. The first AMA event took place in 2001 on the North Course until 2010. Since 2015, the course has hosted the Yamaha Superbike Challenge of Virginia part of the MotoAmerica circuit. Country singer Reba McEntire, actor Patrick Dempsey, and reality-TV star Caitlyn Jenner have all made appearances at the track, too. Additionally, you can view a wide variety of amateur or professional motorcycle or automobile races, private events, or club days. You can even ride on track yourself using your aftermarket parts at a driving school or private test rental.