For some, making money on race weekend is about more than profit


MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - Willie Martin has been helping park cars at Martinsville Speedway on race weekend for almost 50 years.

"About 25 years for the fella who owns this place and before that I did it for probably another 20 years with my fire department," Martin said as he stood in the driveway of a property along Highway 220 just outside the main entrance to the speedway.

A family connection and the excitement of race weekend keeps him motivated.

"This is a friend of my dad's. I love being around this excitement," said Martin. "It's a fun time, you meet a lot of folks from all over the place. [Saturday], I parked somebody from Nova Scotia."

Bahman Maalizadeh sells scanners at Martinsville Speedway.

"No matter how cold or rainy, snowing, or sunshine as it is today the fans always come here. They're so loyal," Maalizadeh emphasized.

His bigger passion though is helping Christians in Iraq and Syria who are under attack from ISIS.

He has just returned from his latest trip and is in the process of putting a report together.

"I will be preparing my report, what I did in northern Iraq for the Izadis and the Syrian community, to go to Washington and present to people in Congress," Maalizadeh explained.

Selling scanners at Martinsville and other tracks helps him fund his effort.

"When ISIS disconnected the phone lines in northern Iraq and there was no communication...I was able to take some of my friends some US made walkie-talkies so they can be able to communicate with each other."

He also takes medicine.

He doesn't know when he'll go back again, but says he may consider going later this year.