Agencies Shine In Preparedness Exercise For Speedway


Key members of the table-top exercise included: track president Clay Campbell (second from left) and ISC President John Saunders, (third from right).


More than 100 representatives from law enforcement, public safety, fire, EMS, hospitals, public health departments, department of transportation, Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR gathered Monday to help continue to guarantee the safety of race fans on event weekends at Martinsville Speedway.

It was part of a five-hour table-top exercise for discussion and review of first responder agencies and regional hospital plans and how those plans are best coordinated with those of state and federal agencies in case of a major incident at Martinsville Speedway during an event weekend.

Exercise participants were presented with a fictional but plausible threat scenario that required them to respond in real time to a race-day emergency at Martinsville Speedway. It was part of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program sponsored by the Near Southwest Preparedness Alliance.

“I came away from Monday’s exercise very impressed. Everyone reacted to real-time situations amazingly,” said John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corporation, Martinsville Speedway’s parent company. Saunders made the trip from ISC’s corporate offices in Daytona Beach, FL, to witness the exercise.

“I’m a big believer in these types of table-top exercises. It’s something we try to do often at all of our tracks. We have to make sure our tracks and all of the organizations supporting them are as prepared as possible for any possible situation. After witnessing Monday’s exercise, I know our fans at Martinsvillle Speedway are in good hands.”

The table-top exercise was made as realistic as possible. It even involved determining how many beds were available in several hospitals at the exact time the exercise was running.

“The primary goal of this exercise was to determine the preparedness of regional hospitals in case such an incident occurred here,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “Not only did we find out they were prepared, we discovered that all of our supporting agencies have effective plans in place. Just as importantly, we were amazed at how well all of the many agencies interacted and worked together. The end result was very reassuring.”

Participants in the exercise included Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR, Virginia State Police, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Henry County Department of Public Safety, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Air Care, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Danville Regional Medical Center, Pioneer Community Hospital, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Carilion Medical Center, Lewis Gale Medical Center, Lynchburg General Hospital, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Forsyth Medical Center, Moses Cone Hospital, Wesley Long Hospital, High Point Regional Health System, Morehead Memorial Hospital, Annie Penn Hospital, Northern Hospital of Surry County, Virginia Department of Health West Piedmont Health District, and Virginia Department of Health Western Region.

Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway October 24-26 with the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 weekend. To purchase tickets call 877.RACE.TIX or visit

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