MARTINSVILLE, Va., (March 31, 2011) – With the images of two of NASCAR’S pioneers towering above him, Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell unveiled one of the most fan-friendly complexes in the 64 year history of the track.
With a 20-foot mural of Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles and NASCAR founder Bill France in the background, Campbell and those who had helped with the building project cut a checkered flag ribbon to allow local supporters and media to get this first look at the new buildings and all their trimmings.
And what a first look it was, replete with neon signs, larger than life banners portraying scenes from the speedway’s past and a much wider concourse.
The centerpiece of the grand unveil was the huge new building which houses two sparkling concession stands and two restrooms that rival any in major league sports.
The official opening of the facilities will be when the fan gates open at 9 a.m. Friday for the first day of the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 weekend.
“This is a huge day for Martinsville Speedway and our fans,” said Campbell. “We have always put fans first here, ever since my grandfather first opened the gates here in 1947. This is the next step in that philosophy. It is a step we are very proud of and we think fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.”
The keynote speaker for the ribbon cutting was Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who was instrumental in helping secure funding for the project from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. The Tobacco Commission provided $1.5 million for the project, which was matched by Martinsville Speedway.
Also participating in today’s event were Mark Heath, president and chief executive officer of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., Deborah Buchanan, Chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors and Danny Marshall, member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission.
Local dignitaries and media got a tour of the two, large state-of-the-art concession stands, massive restrooms and got the first look at flashy neon signs advertising the Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog™.
The restrooms are family-friendly, with baby-changing stations. There are also smaller, family restrooms.
Frith Construction Co. of Martinsville was lead contractor on the project, which employed about 50 fulltime workers for the past six months. Ninety-four percent of the subcontractors on the job were from the immediate area.