Don’t Change A Thing Martinsville…Except Your Date

What a race we had today! It had everything you could possibly want. There was beating and banging, flared tempers, dramatic events, wild strategy, three wide racing (at Martinsville!), no wing, double file restarts, a race that didn’t end under caution and Jimmie Johnson wasn’t in victory lane (though this was a negative for some of you). Unfortunately, not many people saw it.

It really is a shame rain forced this race on to TV mid-day Monday. This though is often a symptom of racing at Martinsville this time of year. I can hardly think of a time, either Spring or Fall, that I have been to Martinsville and not had to worry about weather. I always make sure I’ve got my umbrella and raincoat ready to go at a moments notice.

This weekend, and every other wet weekend spent at Martinsville makes me wonder why NASCAR doesn’t consider moving at least one of the dates. It’s apparently something track president Clay Campbell is wondering too. He told The Virginian Pilot’s Dustin Long that he is asking if there is something that can be done about the Spring date. With the impeding inclusion of another Kansas date, the economic toll on the track from things like this has got to be making Campbell nervous.

On top of the cost it brings to Martinsville, it’s unfortunate fans are having to bear some of the financial burden of the rain delay. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but the fans are the reason we do this and their hard earned money is the reason we can continue to do this. As TC pointed out yesterday, for the fans it’s one more day of lodging and food and likely missed work.

I think Martinsville is a great race track, certainly one of my favorites, and the racing it produces is consistently some of the best we see. It’s races like the one we had today that the sport needs more of. We can’t continue to do this every year though. It’s bad for the fans, the track and the sport.

So I implore NASCAR, please consider Clay Campbell’s request and keep in mind all the people who wanted to be at the race today, or wanted to watch the race today and couldn’t. Give Martinsville a better date.

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15 Responses to “Don’t Change A Thing Martinsville…Except Your Date”

  1. J.D. says:

    Why not show it on TV that night?

  2. red says:

    to be fair, i didn’t watch the race on tv yesterday but did keep track of it on twitter so take it for what it’s worth but . . .
    i don’t think the folks who watched it on tv actually saw a great race. not that martinsville wasn’t an outstanding event, mind you. i just don’t think tv showed it at all.

    and to rerun the broadcast on wednesday at noon doesn’t help those of us who work and don’t dvr. those are the reasons we missed the original broadcast in the first place! how about a rerun in the evening?

    but to the point: i love martinsville and agree that the date needs to move.

  3. Neon says:

    Bump up the Cup race to Saturday and allow Sunday as a back-up day. Maybe more fans would actually attend the great truck racing if ran Sat morn. prior to.

  4. Steve says:

    I’m not sure what NASCAR could do, using one of the dates for the west does not make any sence. Moving the race out here does not make any sence.

    Our weather out here is as unpredicable as it is in the east. As an example were expecting snow in the mountians and rain for the entire state today and the rest of the week. The midwest and the east have their weather almost daily from here through september. (Thunderstorms hail tornados) it seems to be a part of life.

  5. Doug in CA says:

    You can’t race 36 (actually 38, if you include the all-star race and clash) weekends in every corner of the country and not run into weather. Out west it rains in the winter, so you’re in jeopardy at Phoenix, California (both tracks) and Las Vegas in, say, Feb-Mar and November. The rest of the year it rains in the east. Or snows! And if you get past all that, there are places where it is brutally hot. During Fontana’s brief period hosting Labor Day, it was well over 100 just about every year. You want a dry race at Phoenix? Try it in August!

  6. Gina says:

    the spring’s race date used to be the Sunday after Easter and that worked a lot better. My opinion is that NASCAR is trying to find an excuse to take a date from Martinsville and by moving the spring date into March, it gives them that opportunity.

    They’ll do anything to get a 2nd race to Kansas but they won’t have my money if they take a race from Martinsville. We (and that means 3 of us) go to both races in M’ville, but I won’t bother going to Kansas — too far away and no i’m not into going for a casino — I can do that at Dover if I’m inclined. I go to see a race, not a parade.

  7. Christopher says:

    I’m all for perfecting the schedule against the threat of weather, but I think the worry is going too far. It can rain almost everywhere, at any time during the season. Even California has been hit with rain.

    I like the idea of a Saturday race, with Sunday as a back-up, for heavily rain-prone areas.

    I missed out on the Coke 600 (my only race) last year because I had to work Monday. It sucked, but its life.

    I’d much rather a full Monday race than a rain-shortened, boring finish after 1/2 a race and waiting around for hours.

  8. Kevin says:

    I’m not nearly as concerned about losing a race in Martinsville as I once was. The people who run nascar aren’t dumb, at least in a business sense (even though we frequently question their decisions), and I think they are aware of how intense the fan backlash would be if they took a date from Martinsville. All of their “back to basics” stuff would just go right out the window if they made that choice and they would lost a good portion of the traditional fan base that they still have left…myself included, most likely.

    If rain is a virtual certainty on Sunday (as it was this time), I wish there was a way they could move the race to Saturday. I know that would be difficult from a logistical standpoint, but maybe nascar could look into having a plan in place to do that. Saturday here in Martinsville was a nearly perfect day for a race.

  9. windowlicker says:

    I’ve been going to both M-ville races since 1999 & do not remember the weather being as miserable when the race was in April as it has consistently been since they moved it to the last weekend of March. That said, it truly is hit or miss though with the weather. I mean, 2 weekends ago in Philly, it was beautiful, mid-70′s & sun. Yesterday & today, it sucks big time, high of 50 & rain, rain, rain. Weather is just something NASCAR fans have to deal with and moving M-ville to later in the season (though I’d really like that) won’t guarantee a Sunday race. Also, if we’re going to move M-ville back, shouldn’t we move spring Bristol back too?

    I like Neon’s idea but that’s too outside the box for NASCAR minds.

  10. Woogeroo says:

    Woo hoo… that was some good racing!

    I’m glad I watched it.

    Martinsville is one of the few tracks that are ‘must see viewing’ for me during the season.

    I hope NASCAR keeps two dates there… the shorter tracks are getting to be the only interesting racing left.


  11. Rain says:

    It’s weather!!! It can rain anytime and anywhere. I do sort of like Neon’s idea about Saturday but NASCAR would never do that. The east coast is rainy during the spring and there’s not a thing you can do about that.

  12. Zieke says:

    While Martinsville is a really great track, I do think 3 to 400 laps would be plenty. As with lots of races, drivers just “ride” to see what the last 100 laps bring.

  13. Marybeth says:

    How about we move the current Martinsville date to April…& move this current M’ville date to ‘little Rock’…?

  14. T.C. says:

    Marybeth: Little Rock is nothing more then a paved oval behind Rockingham. It doesn’t really even have a wall around it. The track was really only built for teams to use for testing, not for actual sanctioned races that fans could attend.

  15. Coop says:

    DVR….& don’t answer the cell if your buddy, who doesn’t work, is calling.

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