Dick Thompson Named H.Clay Earles Award Winner Dick Thompson, one of the first public relations representatives in NASCAR, was awarded the H. Clay Earles Award in ceremonies prior to the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway ...
Dick Thompson Named H.Clay Earles Award Winner
Dick Thompson, one of the first public relations representatives in NASCAR, was awarded the H. Clay Earles Award in ceremonies prior to the Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway Sunday.
Thompson was hired by Martinsville Speedway founder Earles in 1966 as the track's first public relations director. At the time he was only the second fulltime public relations person in the sport.
"My grandfather was looking for someone to help spread the name of Martinsville Speedway from coast to coast," said Clay Campbell, Martinsville Speedway president. "He certainly succeeded. It wasn't long before Martinsville Speedway was known internationally. Dick set the standard for public relations in our sport. PR people in this sport all owe Dick Thompson a great debt of gratitude."
Thompson, who retired from Martinsville Speedway on January 1, was more than an employee, though.
"Dick is family," said Campbell. "When I was a young boy and just starting to travel to races with my grandfather, Dick took me under his wing. I learned this sport from my grandfather and Dick Thompson. No one will ever fully understand what Dick Thompson has meant to racing, Martinsville Speedway and my family."
The H. Clay Earles Award is presented each spring to a member of the motorsports community for their dedication and contributions to the sport. Former winners include Bill France Jr., Chris Economaki, Bill Joyner and Junie Donleavy.