For those who have the need to feel the heat of stock cars rushing past them and the surface beneath their feet rumble, Virginia is the perfect destination. You’re going to LOVE the dirt tracks, road course, NASCAR Home Tracks and two of NASCAR’s toughest Sprint Cup Series venues this spring.
With a racing history that actually pre-dates NASCAR, Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, hosts two races each year. The spring race – STP Gas Booster 500 – is the highlight of a weekend full of events that kick off April 6 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 race.
Martinsville Speedway’s claim to fame is that it’s the shortest of all the tracks NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series runs. Dubbed “the paperclip,” Martinsville’s straightaways are only 800′ long and the turns are a shallow 12 degrees. Fans who turn out for races here are treated to plenty of beating and banging, which tends to result in terse words and fisticuffs.
Richmond International Raceway is located in Richmond, Virginia. Since its first NASCAR race in 1953 the track has operated under three names, five configurations and two surfaces. RIR is the only track to host all of its major events “under the lights,” and it’s the only track that all three Petty drivers – Lee, Richard (The King) and Kyle – have won.
Racing at RIR reconvenes April 26 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the ToyotaCare 250. Kids 12 and under are free for this race and the Kroger 250 at Martinsville, making it easy to introduce your child to motorsports. The following night at RIR the big boys of NASCAR take to the 3/4-mile “D” shaped track for the Toyota Owners 400. A night race under the lights is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Both Martinsville and RIR host NASCAR’s top echelon of drivers twice each year giving Virginia four races total. Within no other state can Sprint Cup fans choose from four races at two tracks just 180 miles apart. If you include Bristol Motor Speedway, as we often do thanks to the VA/TN border splitting the downtown, that’s six races with Bristol just 170 miles from Martinsville. Yep, Virginia is a haven for NASCAR fans.
For a down-home race feel, check Virginia’s dirt tracks and NASCAR Home Tracks:
- Fork Mountain Raceway, Bassett
- Franklin County Speedway, Callaway
- Langley Speedway, Hampton – NASCAR Home Track
- Lonesome Pine Raceway, Coeburn
- Motormile Speedway, Fairlawn - NASCAR Home Track
- Natural Bridge Speedway, Natural Bridge
- Old Dominion Motor Speedway, Manassas
- Rolling Thunder Raceway, Ararat
- Shenandoah Speedway, Shenandoah
- South Boston Speedway, South Boston - NASCAR Home Track of Jeff Burton, Elliott Sadler
- Virginia Motor Speedway, Jamaica
- Winchester Speedway, Winchester
- Wythe Raceway, Rural Retreat