Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA
When racing enthusiasts hear the word Martinsville, they think of Martinsville Speedway.
The motorsports industry is running as smoothly as a fine-tuned engine these days in Martinsville-Henry County, and there is no braking in sight.
The .526-mile oval, affectionately known as The Paper Clip, has been hosting NASCAR races since 1949.
It's the shortest track on the Sprint Cup circuit, but its small size brings some big advantages: Martinsville offers some of the most exciting and close racing in the sport, bringing fans closer to the action than at any other track. The cars are never more than a few hundred yards away.
The track is also one of the most modern, with high-rise aluminum chairback seating for over 63,000 fans, 25 VIP suites and state-of-the-art facilities for the media.
Now owned by International Speedway Corporation, Martinsville Speedway conducts four major race event weekends each year. The track annually hosts the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 and TUMS Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, the Kroger 250 and Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, the Made In America Whelen 300 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race, and the Bailey’s 300 NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race.
“Go back in time 50 years, and Martinsville was known all over the world for our furniture manufacturing and our textile manufacturing,” says Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway. “In the past five or 10 years, textiles have gone away and furniture manufacturing has been drastically reduced. But Martinsville Speedway remains a reliable constant that continues to grow.”
And racing is becoming so much more in Martinsville-Henry County.
“Students who know about performance engines, fabrication and car setup is what racing employers want, so that’s what we teach,” says Jeff Fields, PHCC dean of applied science and engineering technology. “We have some former students now working at Bobby Hamilton Racing and Kevin Harvick Racing. One even became a NASCAR inspector.”
PHCC sponsors a late model car that students build and race at Martinsville Speedway and South Boston Speedway.
“Racing is big these days in Martinsville, and our PHCC motorsports students are big into racing,” Fields says.
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