MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Sept. 18, 2001) -- Fans will not only notice a couple of additions to the facilities at Martinsville Speedway when they arrive for the Old Dominion 500 Winston Cup race or the Taco Bell 300 Late Model Stock race, they'll also ...
MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Sept. 18, 2001) -- Fans will not only notice a couple of additions to the facilities at Martinsville Speedway when they arrive for the Old Dominion 500 Winston Cup race or the Taco Bell 300 Late Model Stock race, they'll also notice a deletion of sorts.
A pedestrian tunnel has been added in the fourth-turn area to allow personnel traffic in and out of the infield while cars are on the track.
And the pond located adjacent to the fourth-turn area ^Å well, it's no longer adjacent to the fourth-turn area.
The better-than four-acre body of water was filled in during the summer and will now be used for souvenir vendors and drivers' motorhomes.
"We have always tried to move ahead at Martinsville Speedway and I think that's what we've done with these two projects," said Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell.
"The tunnel will give drivers, crews and the media easier access to the infield. The new souvenir area will make it much easier for fans to visit the vendor trailers on race weekend."
The tunnel consists of 26 pre-cast reinforced concrete boxes that are eight feet wide and eight feet high. The 160-foot long tunnel is 15 feet underground in its lowest point.
A section of the track in the fourth turn was torn up to create the tunnel, but has since been replaced with concrete in the bottom two lanes and asphalt in the top two.
The tunnel will alleviate the long waits crews and media members often had while cars were practicing on the track. It also will make it possible for people to get in and out of the infield during the race.
The lake had been slowly filling with silt the past decade or so and speedway officials felt the area would be better used if it were filled.
It took hundreds of dump-truck loads of dirt to fill the area and then another couple weeks to level and put a gravel surface on the area. The area will accommodate more than 30 big-rig souvenir wagons and 80 driver's motorhomes.
"We will be able to get all of the rigs into one area, and that will be easier for the fans," said Campbell. "And the entire area is flat and that should make walking much easier."
The next racing action at Martinsville Speedway will be the Taco Bell 300 Late Model Stock Car race on Sunday, Sept. 30. The Taco Bell 300 offers the largest purse in Late Model Stock racing.
The Advance Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour race is set for Saturday, October 13 while the 46th annual Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race is scheduled for Sunday, October 14.
Tickets for the Taco Bell 300 and Advance Auto Parts 200 are unreserved. There still are excellent reserved seats available for the Old Dominion 500 in the towers from $40-$65.
Tickets may be ordered by calling toll free at 1-877-722-3849 or (540) 956-3151.
Tickets for the Old Dominion 500 also may be ordered online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.