Martinsville, Virginia


First-Grader Scores High Marks For Martinsville Speedway Project

Elijah Booher and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have something in common: both are Martinsville Speedway winners.

Earnhardt won the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 at Martinsville Speedway last fall. Six-year-old Elijah beat out all his classmates with an artistic rendering of Martinsville Speedway to win his class’ 100-days-of-school project recently.

Elijah, who is from Bristol, Va., was in the grandstands with his mother Amanda and his uncle Andrew Hicks, when Earnhardt scored his first Martinsville victory. Although he’s more of a Tony Stewart fan, the first grader was excited by Dale Jr.’s win.

“He jumped up and down,” his mom said.

So, when it came time to pick a subject for his 100-days-of-school assignment at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School in Bristol, he thought of that race and Martinsville Speedway. With a little help from his mom and uncle, Elijah went to work.

The first challenge was to figure a way to portray “100” in the project. Elijah decided to put 50 race cars on the version of Martinsville Speedway he had drawn. After he had cut out the 50 cars and glued them around the track and on pit road, he added two black washers to each car to serve as the tires.

That made an even 100 objects to mark the 100 days.

His three-foot by two-foot drawing of Martinsville Speedway is very accurate, right down to the grass in the turns and haulers in the infield. If you look closely, you will notice Kyle Busch’s car stalled on pit road with a tire off. It turns out Elijah isn’t a big Kyle Busch fan. 

His final touch was to print ‘Martinsville’ in the middle of the infield.

“He wanted to make sure everyone knew it was Martinsville,” his mom said.

At just six years old, Elijah is a racing veteran. He’s been to weekly race tracks throughout the region, including a couple of dirt tracks. That’s one of the reasons he likes Martinsville so much.

He picked it for his project “because it’s a short track,” Elijah said. Other than Dale Jr. winning, his favorite part of race day was “a wreck with Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth” and his hero “Tony Stewart in first.”

Elijah has quite a Matchbox Car collection totaling over 100 and when he rolls them out for a race it becomes a family affair.

“His sister Georgia Rose and I have to sing the National Anthem before the race,” said his mom, who dreamed of being a race broadcaster when she was young. “And I have to call the race for him like it’s on the radio.”

While Elijah won’t be able to make it to the STP 500 on March 29, he’s already counting the days until he returns to Martinsville in the fall.

Advance ticket prices for the STP 500 begin at just $45.

Tickets to the STP 500 on March 29, the Kroger 250 on March 28 and the Virginia Lottery Pole Day on March 27 can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at