RICHMOND, Va. — NASCAR and 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace hosted a community block party at Richmond Raceway on Aug. 11, a first-time event designed to engage new fan audiences and bring local families to the racetrack ahead of a full weekend of NASCAR racing action.
Bubba‘s Block Party was free to the public and attended by thousands of Richmond residents who enjoyed NASCAR‘s virtual iRacing experience, pit stop demonstrations and a variety of Black-owned food trucks from the local community. Multi-platinum hip-hop artist Wale headlined the live music performances which also featured DJ Domo, Rob V and the Virginia State University Trojan Explosion Marching Band.
“I feel that our sport as a whole has made real gains in expanding and diversifying our fan base, and with events like Bubba‘s Block Party, my hope is that we can continue to attract minorities that may be curious to see what NASCAR has to offer,” said Wallace, who signed autographs and took photos with fans at the event. “NASCAR fans, both veteran and new, drive our sport and they are the reason I get to do what I love every Sunday. Now, I want others to feel welcomed to experience that thrill that only NASCAR has to offer.”
A first-of-its-kind event, Bubba‘s Block Party was designed to drive awareness and engagement with the sport among the Black community while generating excitement for the race weekend ahead. Richmond Raceway will both NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Cup Series race events this weekend.
Wallace, who last season became the first Black driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race since 1963, engaged the audience as part of a fireside chat hosted by NASCAR Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Brandon Thompson.
“Bubba‘s Block Party is an initiative that will open the door for new fans to learn about our sport in a fun and unique way,” said Thompson. “It‘s been really exciting to work with Bubba and phenomenal partners like DoorDash and Xfinity on this event as we continue to foster a community of inclusion and support.”
NASCAR joined forces with Black Restaurant Week for a food truck village at the event serving up local bites from Black-owned businesses to drive awareness, support and economic impact. Participating business included Traditionz Mobile Kitchen, K & M Salmon Balls & Cakes, Kingzz Water Ice, Fantabulous Chef Service LLC, Taste Good Authentic Jaflava, Hooks Lunchbox and Fries in Disguise.
Throughout the afternoon, attendees enjoyed live pit stop demonstrations hosted by Rev Racing drivers and crew members, took laps on iRacing simulators as part of the eNASCAR Arcade, and received free gear from Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Bubba‘s Block Party was inspired by an idea Wallace shared as part of NASCAR‘s industry-wide DE&I committee, which meets regularly during the season to discuss ways to promote diversity, equity and inclusion across the sport. Thursday‘s event, driven by culture and community, was produced by global creative agency Palette Group.
Richmond Raceway‘s first-ever summer race weekend on Aug. 13-14, features the Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. ET (USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). To join the summer race party at Richmond Raceway, NASCAR tickets are available for purchase via phone at 866-455-7223 or online at richmondraceway.com.