HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Friday night is the eve of one of the biggest weekends of the year in Henry County and this year’s events are expected to draw more people than in years past.
Starting tomorrow, thousands of fans will be at Martinsville Speedway as NASCAR is in town.
Track officials say the great weather forecast is causing way more people to buy tickets, leading to expectations that this weekend will be one of the most well-attended events in years.
“Ticket sales this week have been incredible,” track spokesman Brooks Taylor said.
As days have passed and the forecast has become clearer, the interest has increased.
“The fans are taking notice, and we’ve taken notice when it comes to ticket sales this week,” Taylor said.
The nice weather is a huge factor in the weekend’s success.
“To see the blue skies and sunshine and know it’s going to be that way all weekend, everybody here has just got a pep in their step that I haven’t seen in a while,” Taylor said.
Crews practiced today under mostly sunny skies. It was a stark contrast to previous years, including last year, when crews had to clear the track of snow just to have the Sunday race postponed to Monday.
The nice weather is helpful for vendors too, including for Lucky Dogs Sports, which has set up its merchandise tent every year for 15-plus seasons.
“It will be a nice change,” employee Stephanie St. Michel said about the nice weather.
Higher attendance means more customers spending money.
“That’s great news. Great news. But, we always have a good time here at Martinsville,” St. Michel said.
Fans will be enjoying food too, including from first-time vendor John Elliott who’s opened up a kettle corn stand.
“It got me real excited looking at the weather forecast. I’ve been looking almost two weeks out because I know last year we had snow,” Elliott said.
Saturday’s truck race runs at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s STP 500 cup race is also scheduled for 2.
For more information on events at the speedway, fans can visit its website.