Southside businesses optimistic for NASCAR race weekend turnout with new restrictions

Studies show local NASCAR races put $170 million into the local economy

NASCAR fans have been waiting a long time for this weekend. For the first time ever, the track will host three consecutive nights of racing and the most fans they’ll have in more than a year.

The weekend of racing kicks off Thursday night at Martinsville Speedway.

For last year’s spring race, the speedway had empty stands with zero fans due to the pandemic. Then in the fall, 1,000 fans were allowed. Now, the speedway can operate at up to a 30% capacity.

Fans aren’t the only ones excited, the businesses that support them are too.

When out-of-town fans visit their trip isn’t limited to the speedway; they visit gas stations, go shopping and grab a meal or two.

As we’ve reported, a Washington Economics Group study shows the two NASCAR races per year put $170 million into the local economy. That was before the pandemic.

It would be so busy that Clarence’s Steak and Seafood near Martinsville Speedway would typically see a 30% increase in business per day on a race day or weekend.

Despite low numbers in the fall, waitress Breanna Hopkins said they don’t know what to expect but are optimistic. It’s still all hands on deck.


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