Trade Show Theme Honors Martinsville Speedway


Blue Ridge Village's trade-show booth had a distinctive racing look to it.


The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway is still three weeks away, but for a couple of nights this week the spirit of racing filled the area.

Fast Track 2015, the Martinsville- Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual trade show, had a racing theme, a theme adopted by most of the exhibitors.

The chamber selected the racing theme to match up with the STP 500 race weekend March 27-29 at Martinsville Speedway. It didn’t take much to sell the show’s participants on the idea.

The show had the festive racing look of a NASCAR weekend at Martinsville Speedway with race banners, pennants, flags and driver standups. There were race cars on display in the building along with the Martinsville Speedway pace car.

“Each year we try to bring something new and fresh to the show and this year we decided we needed a theme. What do you think when you hear Martinsville? Our favorite half-mile track, of course,” said Amanda Witt, president of the Martinsville Henry County Chamber of Commerce. “So we decided to have the floor-plan resemble our track and encourage exhibitors to adopt that theme throughout their booths. This was a great tie-in to an event that brings thousands of visitors to our community and generates millions of tourism dollars throughout the entire state.”

While all exhibitors were excited by the racing theme, some took it further than others.

Blue Ridge Village’s booth looked more like a Martinsville Speedway pit stall than a display for a rehabilitation and long-term care center. There were a couple of large pit-road type tool boxes, some Sprint Cup car fuel cans, racing tires and a huge Richard Childress Racing poster in the display, all on loan from Richard Childress Racing and Darrell Dalton and Mike Sirt, two local Snap-On Tool distributors. Many of the Blue Ridge staff members wore replica driving uniforms.

Patrick Henry Community College rolled in one of the Late Model Stock cars it fields at South Boston Speedway for driver Bruce Anderson to emphasize the college’s motorsports program. Not to be outdone, the Nelson Automotive Group displayed two Late Model cars it sponsors with drivers Timothy Peters and Matt Bowling on hand signing autographs. Nelson Automotive is also a sponsor on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series truck Peters will pilot in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville on March 28.

Martinsville Speedway was on hand, too, with a mock victory lane set up so fans could have a picture taken with the iconic grandfather clock winner’s trophy or with stand ups of Sprint Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon.

“This was a great way for us to kick off the race,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, who manned the track’s booth Tuesday night. “It’s fun for us to be out here and talking to so many people from our community about racing and Martinsville Speedway.

“It’s an honor for the chamber and the community to consider building the theme of the entire show around Martinsville Speedway and our events.”

Advance ticket prices for the STP 500 begin at just $45. Prices increase the week of the race.

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

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