The 1950s

1952 : First race broadcast from the speedway on October 19, 1952 and almost was the first stock car event to be aired. "I think Darlington beat us by about five weeks,” said Hal Hamrick, who talked Earles and Bill France into letting him try the innovation despite the fact they feared it might decrease the attendance." But we had a bigger network. They had five stations and we had seven.” Hamrick broadcast while sitting atop a concession stand on Pepsi-Cola crates.

October 3, 1955 : Martinsville paves its track and Billy Myers wins the first race on the smooth pavement. It was a 100-lap sportsman event.

October 16, 1955 : Speedy Thompson drives a Chrysler to victory in a 200-lap, 100-mile Grand National event. It was the first Grand National run on Martinsville Speedway's newly paved track.

1956 : Martinsville runs its first 500-lap Grand National race on May 20, 1956, billed as the "Martinsville Annual 500,” won by Buck Baker in a Dodge.

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