Martinsville Speedway Packages
Martinsville Speedway History
Martinsville, VA 24148
Since the very beginning, Martinsville Speedway has been the biggest little track in racing. But to get to the beginning of this track’s history, you have to back a very long way. There was a Martinsville Speedway before there was NASCAR, in fact. On Sept. 7, 1947, H. Clay Earles opened his .526-mile dirt track for modified stock cars. There were 750 seats at the track, but more than 6,000 fans showed up to buy tickets. NASCAR founder William H.G. France Sr. was a competitor in the first NASCAR-sanctioned modified race at Martinsville the next July, finishing eighth. When what is now the Nextel Cup Series began in 1949, Red Byron won the sixth race in series history. And Martinsville Speedway has been making history ever since. It is the only track among those originally sanctioned when NASCAR was formed to still host racing in the series.
Nearly 70,000 tickets sell out virtually every time Martinsville Speedway hosts NASCAR’s top stars. The track is still .526-miles, the shortest used today in NASCAR’s top series. It’s shaped like a paper-clip and often described as a pair of drag strips connected by turns at either end. Those drag strips are Martinsville Speedway’s 800-foot straightaways with 12-degree turns tying them together. Martinsville Speedway was first paved in 1955, but other than that racing here is the same as it has been for nearly 60 years. If it’s true that “rubbin’” is “racin,’” then there are few places where more “racin’” gets done. The shape of the track itself and the way cars race here aren’t the only things that make Martinsville Speedway different.
From Clay Earles right on down to his grandson, current track president Clay Campbell, the track’s management has always worked hard to make Martinsville Speedway a nice place to watch a race. From little things - like having azaleas planted around the track - to bigger ones - like keeping concession prices reasonable and giving the people who guy tickets good service as well as a good time - Martinsville Speedway has always worked to maintain a personal touch. There is, for example, no more famous single item at any NASCAR concession stand than the Martinsville Speedway’s hot dog. Drivers and crew men start heading for the concession stands as soon as they get their cars unloaded on a race weekend, and the flavorful delights are sold by the box loads.
From the original capacity of 750 seats, Martinsville Speedway has grown remarkably over the years. In recent years, more than two dozen corporate suites have been added along greatly expanded hospitality and merchandising areas and a new garage area for competitors. High-rise grandstands now stand on three sides of the track, and more expansion could be in the future now that a railroad line that’s always run parallel to the backstretch has been moved back. Martinsville Speedway has always been a difficult test for Sprint Cup drivers and teams. Seven-time series champion Richard Petty is the all-time leader with 15 career Cup victories at Martinsville Speedway, while Darrell Waltrip is an 11-time winner.