Richmond Raceway announces NASCAR on NBC Features Reporter Rutledge Wood as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday, Sept. 9. Wood will lead the field in the Official Toyota Camry Pace Car, while drivers in the Monster Energy Series form the 4-Wide Salute prior to the green flag as part of Fan Appreciation Weekend.
"I look forward to be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway," Wood said. "It is a dream come true, and I am beyond excited to participate in Saturday’s pivotal race in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season."
As part of his day at the track, Wood will be introduced at the Monster Energy Series Driver/Crew Chief Meeting, taking place in The Classic Amphitheater. 2017 RICHMOND NATION members and RICHMOND NATION members who renewed for 2018 are invited to the meeting, making it the largest Driver/Crew Chief Meeting in NASCAR history at the 6,000-seat venue. He will also get a unique view of the track from the pre-race stage as he will be introduced to the crowd. Wood will cap his race day by leading the field to green in the last race to make the Monster Energy Series Playoffs.
“Rutledge is the perfect person to be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for Fan Appreciation Weekend,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Rutledge is a crowd favorite and one our fans will love to see wheeling the pace car around the iconic ¾-mile D-shaped oval. It will be a special moment for all when the drivers line up for the 4-Wide Salute to show their appreciation for the fans.”
In Wood’s role with NASCAR on NBC, he contributes reports on the storied raceways, unique towns and race fans that make NASCAR an American treasure. He made his Olympic debut with NBC Sports as a reporter during the 2016 Olympic Games. Prior to NBC, Wood was a correspondent for Fox Sports 1’s NASCAR Cup Series pre-race show, NASCAR RaceDay, including the annual NASCAR Awards Banquet. Wood has also served as co-host on History Channel’s Top Gear, the American iteration of the legendary BBC Program, and Lost in Transmission.
Woods first experience in NASCAR came during his first job traveling the NASCAR circuit for Country Music Television’s mobile marketing activation. Soon after, he was hired by SPEED, where he worked for ten seasons covering NASCAR.
Richmond Raceway hosts NASCAR for two nights of racing “under the lights” on September 8-9. The fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will see history on display as Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final, career, two-race appearance as a driver.
The weekend gets started on Friday, Sept. 8, with on-track practice for both series and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for both weekend races. The action then dials up as the rising stars of tomorrow compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN, the sport’s best take to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as NASCAR crowns 2017 Regular Season Champion.
Tickets are available now for both races and can be purchased online at richmondraceway.com or by calling the Richmond Ticket Office, toll-free, at 866-455-7223.
Richmond Raceway PR