Martinsville Was on the First Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule
H. Clay Earles built Martinsville Speedway in 1947 as a dirt track before the formation of NASCAR. When Martinsville Speedway first opened, NASCAR was just an idea. When NASCAR was formed, Martinsville Speedway was a charter member, a membership that endures after 70 years.
In fact, the historic Virginia half-mile oval is the only track that was on the schedule in the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season that still hosts the series today.
Without a great deal of capital, but a passion for stock car racing, H. Clay Earles carved Martinsville Speedway out of the Henry County clay in 1947. He opened for business on July 4 of that year with just 750 seats but a crowd of over 6,000 fans.
A year later NASCAR was formed and in 1949 Martinsville hosted the sixth race in the series that eventually became the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
At just over a half-mile in length, Martinsville Speedway is the shortest track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but it’s one of the biggest when it comes to action.
The track has two 800-foot straightaways hooked together by short, tight and almost flat turns with just 11 degrees of banking. The demanding layout consistently produces some of the wildest racing each season.
The facility has grown enormously since Red Byron won the inaugural event, but other than being paved in 1955, the track configuration remains the same. But just about everything else has changed.
.@MartinsvilleSwy is more than a race track. It's a landmark. Coverage begins Sunday at 12:30p ET on @FS1. #NASCARonFS1 pic.twitter.com/pQi2ai9gEG— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 29, 2017
Today thousands of seats reach skyward from the edge of the racing surface, topped by VIP Suites and a state-of-the-art press box. Teams have one of the best garages in the sport in which to service their cars. There is a top-flight care center at one end of the infield and a modern media center in the middle of the infield.
A few years ago a pedestrian tunnel was added beneath the fourth turn. Outside of the fourth turn is a large, paved area for the sports' many displays and souvenir rigs.
This weekend, NASCAR heads to Martinsville Speedway for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Check out the full weekend schedule below.
FRIDAY, MARCH 31:
- -- 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, FS1
- -- 1-1:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice, FS1
- -- 3-3:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1
- -- 4:35 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
We will be having a @NASCAR_Trucks Autograph Session on Friday from 5PM - 5:45PM! #Alpha250 pic.twitter.com/dnGjGJmPHB— Martinsville Spdway (@MartinsvilleSwy) March 27, 2017
SATURDAY, APRIL 1:
- -- 10-10:55 a.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, FS1
- -- 11:05 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
- -- 1:30-2:20 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, FS1
- -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250 (250 laps, 131.5 miles), FOX
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250; the future is now! See the next generation of NASCAR stars tackle the historic “Half-Mile of Mayhem” in the Camping World Truck Series race!
SUNDAY, APRIL 2:
- -- 2 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 (500 laps, 263 miles), FS1
Note: All times are ET
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500; NASCAR’s best will be beating and banging in an attempt to take home the famous grandfather clock.
- Jimmie Johnson - #NASCAR Driver
- The Service King 300 with New #NASCAR Fans
- A Dominant Todd Gilliland Sweeps Doubleheader
- Xfinity Schedule for the Service King 300
- The K&N Pro Series West 'NAPA 500 Challenge" Produces Two Different Winners
Don't forget to download the FREE Martinsville Speedway App! #STP500— Martinsville Spdway (@MartinsvilleSwy) March 29, 2017
Android https://t.co/Fw17QUWequ pic.twitter.com/tEc0dhvdAW