Photo credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

Nitrocross shows off Richmond Raceway track design

Richmond Raceway is going to undergo a temporary reconfiguration so that it can host the series "where cars fly."

Once known as The Action Track, Richmond hosts two NASCAR race weekends annually. This September, it will host the Nitrocross season opener. Travis Pastrana will take his packed lineup of drivers and their all-electric race cars to Virginia so they can compete on a mix of asphalt and dirt.

The track construction will not begin until after the NASCAR race weekend in August, but Nitrocross has provided a glimpse at the layout on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Like the other purpose-built tracks on the Nitrocross schedule, there will be two main racing lines. The first will be the main course that incorporates part of Richmond's oval design. Though there will be dirt berms and a crossover gap jump, something that is a signature of Pastrana's racing series.

The second racing line will use the majority of the main course. However, there will be a slower section that sends the drivers through the gap as other cars fly overhead. Each driver must take this secondary racing line, known as the Joker Lap, once before the final lap of each race.

Nitrocross, which ran its first full season in 2021, could soon have ties to NASCAR according to a report from The Sports Business Journal. Adam Stern reported on July 7 that NASCAR remains in "advanced discussions" with Thrill One Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of Nitrocross. This deal, according to Stern, would involve NASCAR investing in the racing series that uses the FC1-X in its top-tier series.

The report comes on the heels of NASCAR unveiling its prototype electric race car in Chicago, which is built on a modified version of the Next Gen chassis.

This vehicle uses three STARD UHP 6-Phase motors (one front, two rear) that supply power directly to all four specially designed Goodyear Racing Eagle tires. The car boasts 1,000 kW at peak power and regenerative braking that converts kinetic energy into power.

According to NASCAR, there are no plans to create a racing series for this electric race car, nor are there plans to have it replace any of the vehicles in the national series. This prototype is just the beginning for NASCAR as it continues to experiment with different powertrains.