Driving Dominion Raceway

We’re in the middle of a boom in race track construction, with one of the newest completed projects being Dominion Raceway. This 2.0-mile, 12-turn club track, which shares space with both a paved oval and a ⅛-mile drag strip, is located within walking distance of Interstate 95, right between Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

While the site is blessed with some 70 feet of elevation change, it mostly occurs from one end of the property to the other. So while the track isn’t flat, it’s not hilly like Road Atlanta or Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

What is here, though, is a super challenging and extremely fun 36-foot-wide track that’s thoughtfully located within two hours of millions of people.

Dominion Raceway also features a 36,000-square-foot clubhouse that rivals the best out there, perfect for anything from a drivers school classroom to a corporate retreat. It’s even big enough to hold concerts, which it regularly does. (The Nighthawks, a blues and roots band dating back to 1972, are playing the room December 1.)

The building’s rooftop is open as well, providing a clear view of the entire track–perfect for spectating or spotting.

We’re always excited to see new tracks pop up, and this one already has a good foundation. We’d like to see the runoff areas get a little smoother and wider; a few less walls would also reduce the penalties paid by overeager drivers. In the meantime, we can’t wait to get another chance to perfect our line at Dominion Raceway.

Let's Take a Lap of Dominion Raceway

Pit-in and pit-out: The course starts with a well-designed pit-in and pit-out.

1: Turn 1–named Po after the Po River, which borders the property–is a very tight left-hander that fortunately offers lots of runoff area.

2: The short North Chute, which features disconcerting walls on both sides, leads to Turn 2, a full hairpin of more than 180 degrees.

Between 2 and 3: This turn is appropriately named Patience. Wait for that apex to come to you.

3: EZ-Duz-It is a quick right-hander bordered by plenty of runoff area.

4, 5: Little “S” has an autocross-like feel to it.

6: Jack Hammer is another 180-plus-degree hairpin. Again, be patient here.

7, 8: Jack Hammer basically dumps you into South Paw, a tight left-hander. It empties into another right-hander, but there’s just enough space between the two that they can be treated as two separate corners.

9, 10: Time to open it up as the Big Esses are fast and flowing, although that last left feels a little tighter than expected.

11: South Bend offers a sharp and uphill left-right combo that takes you under the bridge.

12: One last tight turn: Mudd Tavern. Once on the quarter-mile-long front straight, you can finally breathe a bit and check those gauges.

Dominion Raceway
(703) 361-RACE

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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
11/9/17 9:42 a.m.

Their clubhouse is amazing. If you ignore the signs that tell you that the leather couches are for special people, it's literally the best trackside seating I've ever experienced. Great view, floor to ceiling glass, outlets for charging phones, and did I mention the couches? Tracks naps were never so decadent. 

Armitage HalfDork
11/9/17 11:34 a.m.

I haven't made the time to get down there yet but I've been meaning to. Meanwhile, Summit Point has been fully repaved this fall and apparently they added new gravel traps and impact barriers. Good time to be in the DC area!

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
11/9/17 2:14 p.m.

In reply to Armitage :

Nice! I really miss running at Summit. I remember the last time they completely repaved the track, like half the class lap records were broken the next NASA weekend.

johndej HalfDork
11/9/17 2:43 p.m.

Dominion track and club house are great. I ran there with NASA and hope to jump into their in house HPDE/Tracknight program. It's fairly technical from 1-8 with several folks going off at 7 and 11 (I looped it myself at 11). Track was a little green the first few events with some broken glass due to the lack of grass if you went off track (tons of rocks lobbed onto the track if you dropped a wheel). They should be rocking and rolling all next year with circle track racing, run what you got drags, drifting, karts, concerts, and probably more. My GF joined for the weekend and loved staying in the AC and watching from the club house.

JBasham Reader
11/9/17 4:36 p.m.
Ed Higginbotham said:

In reply to Armitage :

Nice! I really miss running at Summit. I remember the last time they completely repaved the track, like half the class lap records were broken the next NASA weekend.

I drove it three days last week.  It's hard to tell where we'll come out ultimately, since it started out a little slick due to the absence of rubber and it had only cured just under 4 weeks.  NASA is on tap for this weekend, and it's scheduled to be awful cold too.  It'll be interesting to see  . . . .

irish44j UltimaDork
11/9/17 5:52 p.m.

It's a half-hour south of me, haven't managed to get down there yet. The proximity of inside walls in a few places sketches me out a bit, but maybe they're less sketchy in person. I actually used to run at the OLD Dominion raceway, which was basically just a small local oval track with a little infield and parking lot for autocross. It's been fun watching the owners build this new one up out of hopes and dreams and see it actually become a real thing.

Also, the Nighthawks are very good live, though them playing a place doesn't really mean it's all that big lol. I saw them a decade ago at a biker bar in Arlington :)

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