It’s true when they say that racing is a family tradition. Arena Racing USA®’s Founder and CEO Ricky Dennis grew up in racing. His father, Bill Dennis, a former NASCAR driver, was awarded the NASCAR Rookie of the Year award in 1970 at the Grand National Series (now Sprint Cup Series). He also won the Permatex 300 at Daytona three consecutive years (1972-1973-1974), a feat matched only by the late Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Stewart.
Ricky followed his father into racing in 1982. After a few years of driving, Dennis partnered with Rick Townsend to form Townsend Racing Products in 1984. In 1992, Ricky attended his first hockey game. All he could see in his head were cars racing on a high banked track inside the rink. Ricky’s vision became a reality in 1993 when he first tested the concept in the Richmond Coliseum on a $28,000 wooden track and 50 cars with no suspension. Arena Racing USA ® officially debuted in Norfolk, Virginia in 2002.
In the summer of 2005 Ricky Dennis secured the investment and partnership commitment of several key people in the motorsports industry – Gary Becker, formerly of PACE Entertainment and PACE Motorsports, Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and the legendary Head Coach of the Washington Redskins and Norm Miller, Chairman of Interstate Batteries. “I’m a firm believer in this,” Gibbs says. “It provides great competition at a time of year when motorsports is typically dormant. Plus, it’s a cost effective way to get started in racing.”
In November 2011, Arena Racing USA ® returns to the Richmond Coliseum for its first complete 15-event season in Richmond since 1993. The cars, now fully suspended, circle the track in less than 8 seconds! Come watch and cheer as up to 56 teams, racing on a $500,000 steel and aluminum track, compete for their share of over $50,000 in cash and prizes. Arena Racing USA ® —so up close and personal you feel like you are part of the race!