Martinsville Speedway Enlists Help from Patrick Henry Community College

Student's from Patrick Henry Community College's CADD program helped lay out the display lot.

Students in the Computer-aided Drafting and Design program at Patrick Henry Community College are getting real world experience at Martinsville Speedway. For the first time, the speedway has enlisted the help of the school to design the layout of the display lot for Goody’s Fast Relief 500 race weekend.

On race weekend, outside of the grandstands the display lot is one of the most popular places for fans to walk around, as they can purchase souvenirs, visit displays and get food.

“For years we’ve been able to do this ourselves, but as more vendors have started setting up, we knew we would need help and who better to reach out to than Patrick Henry Community College,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “They have the best equipment in the area, they have the knowledge to do it and it gives the students real world experience.”

For Patrick Henry Community College, being able to partner with the speedway will help the students learn more than just how to use the programs.

“When a student comes in they do it from start to finish,” Keith Newcomb, an instructor in the CADD department said. “They see the process it takes, dealing with individuals and the community. They come in and they see what they can actually produce with the project.”

Partnering with the speedway not only gives students an opportunity to gain experience, it will also help with the job search.

“It is based on hours that you put in,” Newcomb said. “When you’ve got a resume your putting in for a specific job, you put down ‘I have this many hours in this program’ The more hours you have in, the more employers are going to look at you as a candidate for a job.

“When they do a resume, they can put on that they’ve worked with Martinsville Speedway while at Patrick Henry Community College.”

For students, having the Martinsville Speedway name in a portfolio is a big deal.

“It’s in my portfolio and when they see Martinsville Speedway, that’s world known,” student Jeffery Burks said. “It will help.”

But Burks is also looking forward to seeing his work come to life during race weekend.

“It makes you feel good inside,” he said. “Just to be able to look at it and say, ‘I helped do that.’”

Newcomb said seeing the students’ reaction is the best part of it all.

“The end result is just a big smile on their face,” he said.

Martinsville Speedway is currently looking to expand the role of Patrick Henry Community College at the track on race weekends, beyond the CADD department.

“They have so much to offer us, we’d be crazy not to take advantage of such a great resource,” Campbell said. “Whether it’s sales, marketing, logistics, we have all of that and they have students who are ready for the work.”

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 race weekend is October 28-30 and includes Virginia Lottery Pole Day on Friday, the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday and the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on Sunday.

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 is the first race in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at

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