Halloween is just around the corner, which means one thing – Martinsville Speedway will be closing its gates for the next few weeks. This year’s event, which is set to run from October 19th to November 2nd, will be its 62nd edition. The historic half-mile oval will close its gates on Monday, October 21st at 5 p.m. for an official race night banquet. Fans are encouraged to attend and take part in the celebration of all things racing.
One of the staples upon which the sport of stock car racing is built is its annual summertime racing series. Beginning in 1953, the National Championship Series (N.C.S.) was created as an extension of the NASCAR Grand National Series. The purpose of the series was to provide drivers with the opportunity to race on some of the most famous oval tracks in the country, including Martinsville Speedway.
Since its inception, the series has been held every year except for 1957 and 1966. In 1963, the series was expanded to include more than just the regular season; now including the Grand National Championship and Rookie of the Year titles, the series’ goal was to provide drivers with a championship-caliber season regardless of whether they finished first, second or third in their respective divisions. It started with 12 races, but has gradually increased in length to 28, 30 and now 32 events. Each year the average attendance at the series’ races increases, as does the overall enthusiasm among fans and participants, proving just how important these events are to the sport.
What Time Does The Banquet Start?
As mentioned above, the 62nd running of the Martinsville Speedway National Championship Series banquet will be held on Monday, October 21st. The festivities begin at 6 p.m., giving fans the chance to come early and take a walk around the track. There will also be a fashion show and food trucks, as well as appearances from current and former NASCAR and series champions. While you’re there, be sure to take in one of the last remaining historic sports events hosted in the country. This event will go down in the record books as one of the largest and most successful gatherings of motor sports enthusiasts ever.
The first practice session for the NASCAR Grand National Series is scheduled for Friday, October 18th, with the pre-race banquet being held the following evening. Practice is set to begin at 7 p.m. on October 19th, followed by the 62nd annual running of the race itself at 8 p.m. on October 21st. The event will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network.
What Time Does The Race Start?
The opening race of the NASCAR Grand National Series season is set for this coming Saturday, April 7th. The 55th Running of the Cup will begin at 12 p.m. (ET), with the last race being held at 6:30 p.m. (ET). The early morning hours of April 8th will see the first race day practice session for the series, which is set to begin at 9 a.m. (ET). Fans can follow all of the pre-race festivities and the actual event on Twitter @NSCARacing and @MartinsvilleSP. Tickets for the race are available from the ticket office at 800-456-9393 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
How Many Miles Is Martinsville Speedway?
Martinsville Speedway is in essence a shortcut to the north from the city of Bristol. The historic half-mile oval is actually located just a few minutes away from the center of town. While most sources claim that the total length of the track is 710 yards, there are those who think it’s actually 710.8 yards. Either way, it’s a straight shot down the center of the track, so it doesn’t really matter which measurement you use.
Is There A Grandstand At Martinsville Speedway?
Yes, there is a grandstand at Martinsville Speedway. It’s one of the best in the country, actually. The grandstand stretches along the backstretch for approximately 500 yards, with an entrance at each end. The stands have high steel girders supporting a deck above. There are no bad seats in the house; in fact, the entire backstretch is covered by a roof supported by steel girders. The entire length of the stands has covered and uncovered sections, with wooden flooring in between. Additionally, there are boxes in the upper deck near the top of the stands. These are great for fanning out in the hot sun during those warm summer months. Standing room may be available, as well. The last lap is usually an exciting moment shared by all as all drivers attempt to beat the other to the flag pole. From the top of the stands, you can look down on the entire track, which can be quite the view.
One of the most historic sports venues in the United States, Martinsville Speedway was originally built in 1927. It originally had a dirt track and was home to motorcycle racing up until the 1950s. The facility then closed down for several years, only to be reopened in 1958. Since then, it has remained a hub of motorsports activity, hosting such events as the All Star Race and the World 500. Its entire history can be found at this link.