When stories about race tracks losing a date come up, poor Martinsville is always at the top of the list.

They’ll say its old, its small, its not in a “media market” or some similar nonsense. Articles mention that its the last track from the first year of NASCAR (Darlington came around one year later) but the significance of Martinsville is often downplayed.

Articles instead like to point out thingsĀ  like a shiny new casino that might be built at Kansas and insist that race fans want slot machines instead of good racing. Of course race fans won’t notice if there’s no good racing, they’ll be too busy yanking on the one arm bandit.

This time, its different. An article from ESPN Insider (via Jayski) actually mentions the possibility of a date change and says that Martinsville is safe.

Yes, its just a column, but its a remarkable change in tone.
The author notes that Bristol’s repaved surface has made Martinsville one of the last tracks with real racing. Of course, wouldn’t it be nice if the Powers that Be really put some stock into that kind of thought…short track racing..we like it, yes?

I am excited that a very positive economic impact study for Martinsville was just released, and that there are articles or columns like this out there.
We’ll see. I just thought that it was an exciting change.

Interesting blurb on North Wilkesboro too. Positive and negative at the same time. I will get to that either tonight or tomorrow.