Before you hear those magic words, "Drivers start your engines," let us help you prepare for your first race day at Martinsville Speedway.
What time do I arrive? Where do I park? What can I take in? How do I dress? We can answer these questions for you, but should you need more background information, be sure to call the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center at 1.888.722.3498 or the Martinsville Speedway at 1.877.RACE.TIX.
One of our most commonly asked questions is, what time should I arrive at the Speedway? This can be a difficult question. Depending on what pre-race activities you are interested in, that time can vary significantly. The First Data 500 officially begins at 2:30 p.m. Allow yourself time to park, find your seats and browse the pre-race activities and demonstrations as well as souvenir trucks beforehand. As a local NASCAR & Martinsville Speedway fan, I usually am at the track between 8 and 9 a.m. on race day. Don't worry about arriving too early because there is always lots of entertainment leading up to the race. Fan gates officially open at 9 a.m.
Martinsville Speedway offers their fans free parking in the fields adjacent to the track. Many recent updates have improved the parking areas as well as accessibility. You can find the parking and road map for the track HERE. Or if you prefer, you may also choose to park along the roadside of Business 220 as many local business and homeowners open their property for race fans to park for a fee. Your choice: free parking in the fields or pay a fee to park along the roadside. Fans that choose to pay to park usually do so because it's a faster way to get out and you typically avoid some of the traffic.
The concession stands are wonderful but if you choose to bring your own snacks and drinks, remember that coolers can be no larger than 14" X 14" X 14" (wheels and telescoping handles are not permitted).
As far as dressing is concerned, it is recommended that you have layers and dress comfortably. The average daytime high in Martinsville in late October ranges from the mid 60's to lower 70's.
If you have visited the track or ordered your tickets online already, you should have received the official Martinsville Speedway Fan Guide which covers many topics of interest to help your race day experience flow more smoothly. Information such as cooler/bag limitations, parking information, handicap accessibility, facilities map, etc. is included. You can also access fan information on their Fan Guide webpage.
Even though this is your first time attending a race at the Martinsville Speedway, you have probably heard of the Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog! No trip to the speedway is complete until you've had one, two, three, or more! Did you know that many of the NASCAR drivers and team members keep a running tally on the teams in the pit area of how many hotdogs they've eaten over the weekend?
NEW for the Martinsville Speedway is the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers SkyDeck! The SkyDeck is located above the suites in turns one and two and offers a unique experience with an unparalleled view of Martinsville Speedway. The Virginia is for Lovers SkyDeck Experience is $375 and a SkyDeck ticket is good for both Saturday and Sunday of the First Data 500 race weekend. In addition to access to the Virginia is for Racing Lovers SkyDeck, the experience includes a general admission ticket to the Texas Roadhouse 200, a reserved seat in the Old Dominion Tower for the First Data 500, a pre-race pit pass, a rotating buffet and eight drink coupons along with free tea and lemonade.
If you are close enough to the area you may stop by the Speedway to purchase your tickets if you haven't already done so. The Martinsville Speedway has already begun their extended hours to serve you. Not only is the ticket box open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as normal, it's also open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on race weekend 8 a.m. to 6 p. m.!