It seems that every other week there’s a new rumor surrounding the Martinsville Speedway. That is pretty much because there’s always something new to talk about regarding the legendary racing venue. The following is a quick summary of all the latest newsworthy happenings at the half-mile oval:
Is Martinsville On The Market?
The short answer is no. It seems unlikely that any major race track or sports arena would ever be for sale. After all, places like that have a special place in the hearts of many people. If anything, the opposite is true. As one owner of a racetrack said, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
Is There A New Owner At Martinsville?
According to a report from the Associated Press, Martinsville Speedway is currently being managed by John Kerns and his group. The track previously was run by the Hennen Family, who sold the property in 2012 to businessman and car enthusiast Stan Whitmire. Whitmire had planned on turning the track into a multi-line complex, similar to Texas Motor Speedway. While those plans fell through, he still manages the site as a go-kart track and hosts various events there including car shows and even an annual Halloween carnival. In a nutshell, Whitmire has been doing his best to keep the legacy of Martinsville alive while also making ends meet.
Is Martinsville Really Rerouting?
This one’s a doozie. Rumors are swirling that the entire town could be in for a massive makeover. If true, it could mean the loss of many of its historical buildings. In other words, it would be a tragedy if this beloved track no longer resembled what it was originally built to be. The good news is that this isn’t the case. According to Whitmire, none of the original buildings will be touched during the conversion process. Instead, they’ll all be preserved and showcased as part of the commemoration of the track’s 100th anniversary in 2022. The goal is to keep that historical feel while also giving the fans what they want – fast racing!
Will Martinsville Retain Its Name?
The current owner has publicly stated that he wants to keep the track’s name as it is. Whitmire has suggested that the venue be referred to as simply “Martinsville.” If this is the case, then it would be good riddance to all the gimmicks and quirky names that the speedway has been saddled with over the years. Like many historic racing venues, Martinsville would be better served by keeping its original title. After all, it makes more sense for the sake of business. Why change something that’s worked so well for so long?
Will Martinsville Be Renamed In Honor Of Its Centennial?
Whitmire has announced that he’s considering giving the track a fresh new look in honor of its 100th anniversary. While many have suggested that it be named after the great Jack Johnson, the track’s owner has other ideas. Whitmire plans to name the track after its builder, Joe Travis. According to him, Travis was responsible for much of the original design and construction of the oval. So a lot of the credit goes to him for having the foresight to build such a remarkable track. Still, the name itself will be quite a bit of an honor. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting tribute to the track than having it named after Joe Travis!
What’s The Deal With Martinsville’s Most Famous Horse?
Belle Fleur was the name of the mare that raced there in 1919 and 1920. During that time period, she became the first and only female to win the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup. The famous horse was also the subject of a best-selling memoir by Arthur McBride in 1929, which led to the creation of the Belle Fleur Festival. This year’s festival is being advertised as “The Year Of Belle Fleur.” The annual celebration takes place the last weekend of April each year. It is named after the horse that McBride’s book is named after. The three-day festival includes a parade, fireworks, classic cars, a rodeo, and a variety of other festivities. Although the event has its origins in McBride’s book, it has since grown to become one of the largest celebrations in the state. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area – especially if you have a horse lover among your friends!
Where Does Martinsville’s Grandstand Line Up?
As mentioned previously, Martinsville is a half-mile oval. The grandstands are located along the straightaway – with the starting line directly in front of them. This gives the spectators a great view of the action. Unfortunately, this also means that they’re in the direct line of fire of anyone taking a drive at the track. Due to safety regulations, spectators are prohibited from being anywhere near the racing surface. As a result, the area behind the grandstands is more like a parking lot than it is like a scene from the movies. When the infield is full, additional parking spaces are added around the track’s edge for the fans. The back lot also has a store and picnic tables, making it a popular location for families to spend Friday and Saturday nights. These days, the back lot is a great place to catch some rays and get a drink at the picnic tables. Families with small children often opt for the paved walkways leading to the front gates instead, as they feel safer there. Plus it’s a lot less crowded than the infield. If you’re attending one of the track’s many family-friendly activities, you know what I’m talking about.
When Is The Next Race At Martinsville?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer because the schedule changes quite frequently. The track usually runs on Thursday and Saturday nights, so if you want to attend a particular event, you need to make sure that you either go early in the day or late at night when there are less people there.
Are There Any Scheduled Concerts/Talks At Martinsville?
Yes, there are. The track usually books some of the biggest names in music for these types of events. The best way to find out about them is to check the track’s website or social media accounts for updates. Sometimes promoters will also send out e-mails with information on various shows that are scheduled to happen at the track. Fans of the site and those who follow it regularly would know that this kind of information is often put out a few days before the event so that everyone has time to make their way down there.
Does Martinsville Have A Beer Garden?
Yes, it does. For years, the track’s owners kept the beer garden but removed the picnic tables. This gave the fans more comfortable places to sit down and have a drink. However, the tables have now been put back, so everyone can enjoy a drink at what is still one of the most beautiful beer gardens in America.
Does Martinsville Have A Food Court?
Yes, it does. Located in the middle of the action next to the paddock, the food court was a place where families could grab a quick bite to eat before heading into the grandstand for the race. There’s a Pizza Hut, Red Robin, and Bojangles’ all located in the food court. If you’re a fan of fast food, this is the place to be. Unfortunately, this area is also one of the most dangerous parts of the track. One bump in the wrong place at the wrong time and you could find yourself thrown into oncoming traffic. There’s also a large amount of loose gravel in the area, which makes it very dangerous for anyone driving down there. Despite all this, people still flock to the food court as it provides quick and easy access for those who are parked in the infield.
Does Martinsville Have A Gaming Area?
Yes, it does. In 2004, the track’s owners put in a full-fledged gaming area. However, they took away the pinball machines and transformed them into poker tables. The area is named The Meadows and is open to everyone. On Tuesdays, the casino hosts its own poker league that’s open to the public. On other nights, it’s also open to spectators who want to try their hand at poker.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on all the latest news and rumors surrounding the legendary track. If you have any additional information regarding the subject, please feel free to add a comment below. Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful.