CHARLOTTE, NC – The NASCAR Hall of Fame and Martinsville Speedway unveiled a year-long exhibit honoring the track’s historic 75th Anniversary season at a press conference in the Hall of Honor on Tuesday.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the NASCAR Hall of Fame to recognize the history and tell the story of Martinsville Speedway,” said Clay Campbell, Vice President, Mid-Atlantic Region, NASCAR and Martinsville Speedway President. “Since the first race won by Red Byron in 1947, Martinsville Speedway has been home for our family and generations of NASCAR fans. We invite race fans to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year to learn more about our historic 75 years in motorsports.”
The first-ever display honoring a track’s historic anniversary at the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be open to the public over the next year.
The exhibit showcases many historic Martinsville Speedway artifacts including the first grandfather clock that was awarded to Fred Lorenzen on September 27, 1964, the last non-grandfather clock winner’s trophy awarded to Fred Lorenzen on April 26, 1964, Jeff Gordon Helmet from his 93rd and final career victory (and ninth at Martinsville) on November 1, 2015, and more.
“We are proud of the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s status as the recognized home for honoring NASCAR’s evolving history, celebrated heritage and family-oriented traditions, and we are thrilled to join in the celebration of Martinsville Speedway’s 75th anniversary,” said Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director.
Founded in 1947 by H. Clay Earles, the speedway is a short track known for its distinctive paperclip shape, scenic Norfolk Southern Railway behind the backstretch, iconic Martinsville grandfather clock trophy, famous Martinsville hot dogs and its truly authentic, traditional race experience.
On September 7, 1947, the track held its first race, three months before the creation of NASCAR, with 9,013 fans and 750 seats ready on its original dirt track.
Martinsville Speedway is the only NASCAR track to host Cup Series races every year since its inception in 1949.
The track was paved in 1955 and remains the shortest track on the Cup Series schedule at .526 miles.
After 70 years of racing, it became the first major motorsports facility in the nation to install LED lights in 2017.
In the fall of that year, Martinsville’s Cup Series race was the first to finish under the lights at the track.
To plan your visit to view the exhibit, click here.