It may not be a world record, but Martinsville Speedway will be hosting a pretty large autograph session Sunday morning prior to the running of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.
And it’s not an ordinary, sitting-behind-a-table autograph session. It will held be on the front stretch of the historic half-mile oval, and every driver, somewhere between 85 and 100, will be standing beside their cars, greeting fans and signing autographs.
“We tried this for the first time before last year’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 and it was an amazing success,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “An hour before the first heat race, the front stretch looked like rush hour in Los Angeles, just covered up with cars and people.
“Ever since drivers and fans alike have told us how much they enjoyed it so it’s something we had to do again. It should be a lot of fun for everyone.”
The flag-stand gate on the front stretch will be opened at 11:30 Sunday morning to allow fans onto the track for the autograph session. Drivers will be lined up along the inside front-stretch wall to sign autographs, pose for photographs and chat with fans. The track will be cleared at 12:15 in time for the start of the first 25-lap heat race, which will start at 12:30 p.m.
BUSY WEEKEND: The infield will start filling with haulers on Thursday as teams have the opportunity to get their rigs parked and tires purchased and mounted.
The official business begins Friday morning when the nearly 100 cars will have to go through inspection, which is a long and tedious process. As soon as all cars have finished the inspection process, practice will begin. In past years, cars have been on the track by 3 p.m. on Friday.
Practice and time trials are scheduled for Saturday, October 8. Only the fastest 22 cars will make the field through qualifying with the remainder of the 42-car field filled through four 25-lap heat races beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 9. The top five finishers from each heat race will transfer to the 200-lap feature.
Martinsville Speedway PR