Ed “Big Daddy” Roth is why I fell in love with cars. The late California artist and cartoonist was a custom car designer and builder best known for his depictions of hot rods in the late ’50s and early ’60s, helping solidify America’s love affair with speedy automobiles. You can get up close and personal with modern motorized mayhem this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. On Friday, April 24, it’s an eight-cylinder battle at the Toyotacare 250 with young gun and defending series champion Chase Elliott taking on veteran Kevin Harvick and others. On Saturday, April 25, the short-track racing under the lights features luminaries of the gas-guzzling sport — Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and other speed demons. They’ll be pushing the competitive pedal to the metal during the Toyota Owners 400. For tickets and race times, call 866-455-7223 or visit rir.com.