First Ever Martinsville Speedway Winner Elected to NASCAR Hall of Fame

Red Byron, the first ever winner at Martinsville Speedway, was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

On Sept. 7, 1947, Red Byron won the first race ever at Martinsville Speedway. In 2017, as the historic racetrack celebrates its 70th anniversary, its inaugural race winner was voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s class of 2018.


Byron, who also won the first NASCAR Strictly Stock (the precursor to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) Championship, passed Buck Baker with two laps remaining in the 50 lap race, to claim the victory. He would go on to win one more time at Martinsville, in another historic race, as he also won the first NASCAR sanctioned race at the half-mile track in 1949.


“As a pioneer of the sport - the first champion – Red Byron is certainly deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “From a Martinsville Speedway perspective, I think it’s really special that the winner of two of our most important races in history – the first one and the first with a NASCAR sanction – was elected the same year that we are celebrating our 70th anniversary.”


In addition to Byron, four other NASCAR legends were elected to the Hall of Fame, each of whom have a history at Martinsville Speedway:


  • Robert Yates – the car owner and eninge builder won twice at Martinsville Speedway, first in 1993 with Ernie Irvan as the driver and again in 2001 with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel.

  • Ray Evernham – the crew chief most known for his time with Jeff Gordon was the crew chief for the first two of Gordon’s nine Martinsville wins.

  • Ken Squier – The broadcasting legend covered many races at Martinsville, both on television and radio. Squire was also instrumental in starting the Motor Racing Network, which still broadcast races live from Martinsville Speedway.

  • Ron Hornaday Jr. – The four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion won at Martinsville in 2010.


In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, Jim France, the Chairman of Martinsville Speedway’s parent company International Speedway Corporation, is the recipient of the Landmark Award, for outstanding contributions to NASCAR. Martinsville Speedway Founder H. Clay Earles received the same award earlier this year.


I’m really pleased that Jim France has been honored with the Landmark Award,” Campbell said. His contributions to motorsports are immeasurable, so it’s wonderful that he’s being recognized for his efforts and accomplishments.”

Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway this fall with two race weekends.


On September 23 the Whelen All-American Series will be in action with NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. The race pays $25,000 to the winner and will be the first race under the track’s new LED lighting system.


On the weekend of October 27-29 the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will both be in action for the Alpha Energy Solutions 200 and the Old Dominion 500. Both races are part of NASCAR’s Playoffs, where the winner could be the first to lock in a spot at the Championship Round at Homestead-

Miami Speedway.


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


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