TR - Weekend Race trip to Martinsville Speedway

Here’s my trip report on my weekend trip with three other buddies to the Nascar Martinsville spring races. Travelling from NE British Columbia I had some weather related travel delays so I arrived into CLT Friday noon, 14 hours later than planned. My buddies who arrived night before, stayed in Concord, then visited Stewart Hass shop in the morning and came picked me up at the airport. We were all hungry and thirsty (a reoccurring theme for the weekend) so we stopped at Mac’s Speed Shop in the southend. Beef brisket was very yummy as was my locally brewed beer, it was lunch time so very busy, but service and food was great. We then headed to Randleman NC for visit to Richard Petty’s Museum. Apparently we missed seeing the King by an hour. Neat little museum, all the family’s race history, mostly Richard’s accomplishments. Also displays of his various collections including guns, knives, etc. Glad we went.

Up to Greensboro NC and checked into the Hampton Inn Airport for three nights, check in was friendly and easy. Clean and good value, morning breakfast included some hot food. Went to Daryl’s Wood Fired Grill for supper, very good, then back to room for some more drinks.

Saturday Morning… what we have been waiting for… start of race weekend!!! Easy drive from Greensboro to speedway, basically turn north on highway by hotel, and less than an hour later (45miles) turn right into speedway property. We purchased the Suite ticket package at Martinsville Speedway for $450. Suite package included parking pass for the paved west lot directly behind grandstand, 90 metre walk to elevator. We wandered over to the merchandising area, got some gear, checked out the displays, and then we headed to the suite for lunch and race. Suite 16 holds 56 people, all good views, glassed in so quieter than grandstands, air conditioned, food and soda provided, cash bar for beer $4 wine and mixed drinks $6, one bathroom. Closed circuit tv’s in suite but we also rented the fan vision units to watch/hear in car for favourite driver as well as officials radio and MRN play by play. Truck race was good, Happy Harvick dominated race. After race we hung out in suite to watch post-race activities and then toured display area again, no problem leaving track. Back to Greensboro, I was designated driver; the other three were the designated drinkers!

Sunday, Cup race today! Left Greensboro 8am, much busier than truck race day. Probably hour and half to get to parking spot. A pre-race pit pass come with the suite package, entered through the tunnel (there is another pit pass ticket, but it is really only a track pass to go stand on track and look into pits). We had access to garage area… extremely cool… mere feet away from cup cars as they were getting prepped for competition. Up to the suite for lunch and the start of race, good racing, not much beating and banging until end of race, lots of excitement last twenty laps. Good job Rocket Man! Watched post-race activities and buddies finished off their drinks. Thanked the suite manger and servers very much for their hospitality and headed out of suite. Traffic leaving was moving out good, but we went and checked out the speed tv post-race coverage and waved to friends. Time to head out, a dozen or so race haulers were leaving so waited for them, and then tucked in behind Kyle’s hauler and we were out and on the highway in no time.

Monday, checked out of hotel, headed south towards Charlotte, stopped at Jr. Motorsports and then Hendrick‘s just to check out their gift shops. We’ve done the race shop tours thing on previous race trips to the area. We headed to lunch at Midwood Smokehouse for some yummy brisket. Then off to Nascar Hall of Fame to check out that out. HOF is very cool, enjoyed it greatly, they have done a very good job. Checked into Embassy Suites, then off to Victory Karts for indoor karting, very fun, four 8 minute races for $45, top speed probably 40-45mph, had a blast. Back to hotel to clean up and have supper, pack up as had a 5am shuttle to airport to catch flights to Maui to meet up with DW (thanks for the race weekend with the boys, honey!).

I’ve been to five other Nascar tracks over the past eight years, all through tour groups that included accommodations, transportation, grandstand tickets, but for me, the Suite package, and do rest ourselves is the way to go. Always enjoy our trips to the south east, everybody is friendly and hospitable.

Cheers, Winston