Martinsville Speedway proved once again in 2014 it has a mighty big heart when it comes to its neighbors.
In 2014, Martinsville Speedway gave more than three-quarters of a million dollars to the Martinsville and Henry County area, either in cash and ticket contributions, in-kind donations, free use of the facility, fundraising activities or staff hours worked at different community events at the track.
“It has always been a big part of our philosophy here to give back to the community in every way we can,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “Every member of our staff lives in this community; they are vested in what happens here and want to do everything we can to make it better.”
The largest and most visible is the annual Fourth of July Celebration event the speedway has hosted for 16 years. It is a free-to-the-public community party with nationally-known musical acts, carnival rides and fireworks. Many area businesses support the show with financial donations and the speedway promotes it as if it were a race, the track’s entire staff spending days working on the show.
Area food banks also benefitted from Celebration 2014 with a canned food drive spearheaded by the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville.
While race weekends are big money-makers for area businesses, they also provide a boost for local fire and rescue units and other non-profits.
Area volunteer fire departments and rescue squads were awarded over $25,000 for their race-weekend work during 2014.
Americrown, International Speedway Corp.’s food service division, paid out almost $100,000 to area non-profits for staffing concession stands during 2014 race events at Martinsville Speedway.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Martinsville and Henry County and the Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County were big beneficiaries of fundraising opportunities with the track in 2014, as was the Grace Network.
The speedway was also the main sponsor of the Boys and Girls Clubs Blue Ridge Duck Race 5000. The Charity League held their first Touch-A-Truck event in the infield of the track in 2014.
The speedway made a donation last summer to help send dozens of Martinsville-Henry County children to 4-H Summer Camp.
The 18th Annual Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive was a huge success, raising more than $13,000 and over 200 toys for the Grace Network to distribute to area children at Christmas.
The speedway worked with many non-profits, governmental and community agencies to host fundraisers, meetings and training events in 2014.
The Piedmont Criminal Justice Academy held two four-day training session at the track in 2014, utilizing the facility’s many roads for traffic stop instruction. The kick-off for the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program was held at the track along with a Chamber After Hours function.
As has been the tradition for the past decade, the Martinsville High School After-Prom Party was held in the track’s infield. The Martinsville High School Band was awarded a substantial donation again in 2014 for its performances of the National Anthem prior to the two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
The Martinsville and Henry County chapter of Raceway Ministries received a contribution for their efforts in providing ADA shuttle service during the speedway’s events.
The speedway opened its grandstands to fans at no charge for about a dozen days of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series testing, which is always popular with local race fans.
Also in 2014 there were numerous tours from both local and out-of-town groups, visits by schools and civic groups.
Martinsville Speedway’s 2015 calendar already has three solid weekends of racing booked. It won’t be long before it will be filling with dozens of non-racing, but equally important and valuable community events.