Sunday, October 02, 2005

NASCAR Busch Series Returns To Martinsville In '06

International Speedway Corporation, owner of Martinsville Speedway , Richmond International Raceway, and purchaser of Pikes Peak International Raceway, will move the NASCAR Busch Series event from Pikes Peak to Martinsville in 2006.
According to Jayski's Silly Season Site;
Closing of the transaction is expected within the next week, and financial terms were not disclosed. ISC will honor all of PPIR's currently scheduled community uses and rentals through October 31, 2005. After that date, ISC expects to close the facility and begin to market the approximate 1,200-acre parcel for sale. ISC plans to petition NASCAR to realign PPIR’s NASCAR Busch Series event to Martinsville Speedway for 2006.
Also from the Roanoke Times;
No date for the Martinsville Busch race has been set. Clay Campbell, track president, said he's unsure if next year's event will be held with the Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck races scheduled in April and October or separately.

"There are several different options we could go with and we'll figure it out pretty soon," Campbell said Friday while at Talladega Superspeedway. "It's so early into it we're all thinking if [the petition] goes through, what's the best for the company to do it. What would be the most successful time to do it.''

Martinsville hosted 33 Busch races from 1982-94. The list of race winners includes former Cup champions Bobby Labonte and Terry Labonte, along with Harry Gant and local drivers Jimmy Hensley and Rick Mast.

"When we stopped running the Busch series in '94, it wasn't doing what we needed it do at the time,'' Campbell said. "At the time it made good business sense. Now, I think the Busch series has grown over the past few years."
It has been 11 years since the Busch Series was at Martinsville, a decision I always thought to be ill-conceived.

Prior to 1982 the series was known as the Late Model Sportsman division. Martinsville hosted two "double headers" each year featurning the Late Model Sportsman and the Nascar Modified divisions, with both divisions racing on the same day.

Any readers from Southside will remember the guy pictured below, the winningest driver in Martinsville history, winning in both the Modified and Late Model Divisions. Occasionally both on the same day!

(Photos from THE DONN COTE COLLECTION, found at

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