MARTINSVILLE, VA. (January 22, 2001) -- Race teams won't have to worry about escaping the elements at Martinsville Speedway anymore. Track officials unveiled plans Monday morning for a large garage building in the track's infield...
MARTINSVILLE, VA. (January 22, 2001) -- Race teams won't have to worry about escaping the elements at Martinsville Speedway anymore.
Track officials unveiled plans Monday morning for a large garage building in the track's infield area. "We are excited to announce the garage area being constructed for the teams," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "With us no longer having a backstretch pit, we now have the room to provide the teams with an enclosed area to work on their cars. "We have known in today's time, our pit and garage situation was probably more in line with the 60s and 70s. As we move into this century we plan on keeping Martinsville Speedway growing accordingly."
Rusty Wallace dropped in for Monday's announcement, landing his helicopter in the infield just a few yards from the garage construction. He was impressed with what he saw. "The world of NASCAR Winston Cup racing has been changing and Clay always keeps up," said Wallace, who has won here six times. "This has always been a first-class place and to see a garage area come in here ... that's just great." Work actually began on the project before Christmas. Excavation and grading work has been completed and construction of the building should begin within the next two weeks.
The 600-foot long metal building will be located on the backstretch side of the infield. The building will be divided into 20 two-car bays and will sit atop a concrete pad.
The building's roof will slope upward from 6 feet at the entrance to 11 feet, 6 inches at the rear, which will give teams plenty of overhead clearance to work with car hoods open or to pull engines. The height of the building will not hamper fans' view of the track, though.
The team's big rigs will park in front of the garage, allowing crew members close access to tools and materials they may need.
There will be an 18-foot wide access road behind the garage that runs the length of the backstretch. There will also be a concrete wall at both ends of the garage to protect the building from spinning race cars.
Each garage stall will have six electrical outlets and plenty of overhead lighting. There will also be water hookups located throughout the garage building.
Construction of the new garage is one of several off-season projects at Martinsville Speedway. The work on the widening of pit road is almost complete. The new inside pit road wall, which makes pit road 10 feet wider, has been poured and is ready for a coat of paint.
"Most of the improvements we make here at the Speedway are in response to the desires of our fans, or in this case, our competitors," said Campbell. "We are very pleased that we are able to take suggestions, put our own ideas in with them and come up with what we think will be a safer pit road and one that will enhance the competition."
Wallace also spent some time looking over the new pit wall project. "Pit road was too tight. We needed the extra room," said Wallace. "Now we have more room to move around. I commend Clay for what he has done here. I can't wait to get back here in April I think this is going to be fun." Also work is underway to finish covering the remaining concrete bleachers with aluminum, chair-back seats. That project should be finished in February.
"My grandfather always said that we would never finish improving Martinsville Speedway," said Campbell, referring to H. Clay Earles, the founder of Martinsville Speedway. "And we share that philosophy. Our work here will never be done."
The next racing action at Martinsville Speedway is the Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Sunday, April 8. Tickets are $40-$70 and are available by calling toll free at (877) 722-3849 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.