First, they drove 2,596 miles to make sure they were among first to enter the track’s campground when it opened at 8 o’clock Saturday morning, a full week before the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 on Oct. 26.
“We left home at 1:30 Tuesday morning,” said Jan.
“Home” is Upland, Calif., 30 miles east of Los Angeles. They have a camper, but did not tow it coast-to-coast. That’s another part of their love story with the historic track.
“We bought it (the camper) and leave it in North Carolina just for this race,” said Jan.
Actually, they bought more than a camper in North Carolina.
“We like it here (Martinsville Speedway) so much, we bought a house in North Carolina,” said Jan. “We leave our camper at the house we bought in Greensboro.”
Jan is originally from North Carolina. She still has family there that tows the camper to Martinsville every fall a week or so before the campground opens to guarantee Jan and Steve have a good spot in line.
Steve, a retired deputy in California, has been coming to the fall Martinsville race for a decade. Jan started coming with him six or seven years ago and was immediately bowled over by the track, its fans and the racing.
“We saw how much fun everyone was having in the campground and we knew we had to buy a camper,” said Jan. “We’ve been to a lot of other tracks and their campgrounds, but nothing is like here in Martinsville.
“It’s a family campground. The deputies that sit over on the corner near us at nights tell us they’ve seen our kids grow up here.”
The Marouns are part of a larger group of family and friends that set up together every year. Their compound is easy to spot, brightly decorated for Halloween.
“We just love it. There are kids running around everywhere having such a good time,” said Jan.
Steve said “the whole overall experience at Martinsville” is awesome, but it’s what happens on track that keeps him coming back.
“I love the racing. The racing here is what it’s all about,” said Steve. “If I wasn’t camping, I’d still be here.”
Saturday’s campground opening marked the official beginning of the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 race week. Activity will pick up on Thursday when both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers roll into the track.
The first-on-track action will be Friday when practice for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 begins at noon.
Advance ticket prices for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 begin at just $40.