South Boston, VA -- On Saturday, December 20th, Paul Sawyer and the late Clay Earles will be inducted into Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame, joining last years inductees, the late Wendell Scott and Ray Hendrick. The induction ceremony will be conducted in conjunction the 2003 awards banquet for Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway at the World of Sports in South Boston, Virginia. Legendary motorsports media personality, Chris Economaki, founder of National Speed Sport News, has agreed to be a part of the festivities. Earles and Sawyer were the visionaries that lead to the development and success of Virginia's two premier NASCAR facilities, Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Selected Media General Newspapers will be publishing a special section commemorating the accomplishments of the Inductees the week of December 15th.
Activities on December 20th will get underway with a Social Hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and award presentations at 8pm, followed by music and dancing. Tickets are currently available and are price at $30 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under. The banquet this year will feature a Christmas theme.
Mr. Earles was promoting races prior to the arrival of NASCAR and made the move to bring sanctioned stock car racing to the then clay surface of Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR sanctioned events are a part of the Virginia Racing Region greatly in part to the efforts of Mr. H. Clay Earles. Earles' efforts in racing did not go unnoticed. He has been honored by NASCAR, Winston, the National Motorsports Press Association with its Myers Brothers Memorial Award, the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia's Governor, the Department of Justice, the City of Martinsville, the Navy, and the Air Force with it's "American Spirit" award, which first was received by Bob Hope.
In 1994, he received the GM Goodwrench / L.G. DeWitt Lifetime Service Award, honoring his lifelong commitment and dedication to NASCAR Winston Cup racing. Earles was proud of the national attention the track receives for itself as well as for the city, county and state. And he knew the millions of dollars that are spent each year by race fans are vital to the area economy. Earl's grandson, Clay Campbell, is carrying on the family tradition and serves as the President of Martinsville.
In 1955, Paul Sawyer took control of what was then called then Strawberry Hill Raceway. After several name and configuration changes, Richmond International Raceway emerged, as is a modern day motorsports monument. Paul Sawyer, his sons, Wayne and Bill, and Richmond International Raceway, have received numerous national and local honors, including the prestigious Myers Brothers Award. In 1999, Sawyer was named one of Richmond's 100 most influential people of the 20th century. He is also an inductee of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. After the sale of RIR to the International Speedway Corporation, Bill Sawyer continues the family tradition at Virginia Motor Speedway, in Saluda, VA.
For more information on the Awards Banquet and Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame, call the Speedway at 1-877-440-1540 or log on to www.southbostonspeedway.com