MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell has been anticipating June 10th for awhile now.
“Everybody here is excited that Wednesday night the Blue EMU Maximum Pain Relief 500 is finally here," Campbell said. "Our first full race here under the lights as part of the Cup Series.”
The race was originally scheduled for a month ago, but with the Coronavirus pandemic, it was unknown where or when NASCAR would race again.
"NASCAR has done an outstanding job with all the protocols, safety protocols that they had come up with to keep our competitors safe, that’s first and foremost in all of our minds is to keep those people safe."
Even though next week’s race will be run in front of an empty grand stand, Campbell says the location of the track makes racing unique for anyone in town.
“The good thing about it, I grew up in this area, when the cars run here at Martinsville, you can hear it just about everywhere in town,” Campbell said. “That’s pretty cool, I know there’s some local establishments that will be doing some race viewing. Obviously outside and obviously meeting the criteria for the amount of people gathered in one area.”
Campbell hopes fans can get back to the track safely by their next race in September, but with NASCAR being the only live sporting event since the pandemic, he says it’s been great seeing the uptick in interest of the sport.
“We were relevant during that time period but even without fans, cars are back on the track, people are watching it on TV. It’s nice we are back,” Campbell said. “That’s the main thing. People know that eventually they will be able to come back, enjoy racing like they always have, sit in the grand stand, and enjoy what racing is all about.”
The race will air on FS1 at 7:00 p.m.