Martinsville set to hold two Sprint Cup dates for next five years; infrastructure upgrades planned

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Aug. 26, 2010) - Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and state and local officials announced Thursday a Tobacco Commission grant and other initiatives that will help provide an enhanced fan experience at Martinsville Speedway.

The Tobacco Commission awarded Martinsville Speedway a grant of $1.5 million, which will be matched by Martinsville Speedway for a $3 million project to upgrade facility infrastructure.

As part of the agreement with the Tobacco Commission, International Speedway Corp. has committed to two Sprint Cup races annually at Martinsville Speedway for at least the next five years.

Bolling, the Chief Jobs Creation Officer for the Commonwealth, also announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation had already begun work on the construction of a new on/off ramp on US 58 adjacent to the speedway, which will improve traffic flow on race weekends.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation has also committed to help promote Martinsville Speedway’s Sprint Cup events in its nation-wide marketing campaigns. Earlier this summer the VTC announced it would also sponsor Martinsville Speedway’s annual Late Model Stock Car event, which is now The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.

"Martinsville Speedway contributes greatly to the economy of the Commonwealth as a whole, and especially to the economy of Southern Virginia. That's why it was so important for us to make certain that we retained two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville every year,” said Bolling. “I am delighted that we were able to accomplish this goal, and I thank Clay Campbell and our friends at International Speedway Corporation for working with Governor McDonnell and our Commonwealth of Virginia partners to make this possible.  We look forward to their continuing presence in Martinsville for many years to come."

Commenting on today’s announcement in Martinsville, ISC President John Saunders said, “In consideration of this partnership, we’ve pledged to not petition NASCAR for the realignment of a Martinsville Sprint Cup Series date for at least the next five years. We realize that NASCAR awards sanctions on a yearly basis and that a race date is never guaranteed. But, we work hard to ensure our facilities meet NASCAR’s standards for safety, promotion and other factors taken into consideration for awarding sanctions. We are confident in our ability to continue meeting their thresholds for hosting outstanding Sprint Cup Series races for our fans and guests.”

“Martinsville is a tremendously popular track with both fans and drivers and we recognize its importance to the traditions of the sport. We’re especially proud of the partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia to help further enhance the fan experience at Martinsville through capital investments both in and outside the facility.

“Today’s announcement is the result of so much hard work by so many people over the past six months. I’ve never seen so many come together and work together so hard, so well, for such a long period,” said Martinsville Speedway President W. Clay Campbell. “The result is that our fans are going to have a much better experience and the economy of this area is going to benefit in a big way.

“The steps we are taking with help from many partners will ensure we keep fans coming back to Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville and Henry County and the Commonwealth of Virginia for many years to come.”

According to Frith Construction Co., general contractor for the improvement project, the equivalent of 50 fulltime jobs will be created for the duration of that project. Also, 94 percent of all subcontractors and vendors will come from the immediate area.

Work will begin on the first phase of the infrastructure upgrades immediately after the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Oct. 24 and will be finished before Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 on April 3. Campbell said because of time constraints between events, the construction would be done in several phases between events.

Release courtesy of Martinsville Speedway

Photo: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
Martinsville set to hold two Sprint Cup dates for next five years; infrastructure upgrades planned Martinsville set to hold two Sprint Cup dates for next five years; infrastructure upgrades planned Reviewed by Admin on Thursday, August 26, 2010 Rating: 5