Martinsville Speedway will conduct its 16th annual toy drive on Saturday, December 8 with a very special twist this year.
For the first time fans will be able to take a realistic ride around the historic half-mile oval in a real Sprint Cup car for a $25 donation. They will be dressed in full racing gear … fire suit, helmet and Hans Device … for the ride along. Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, who competes in several NASCAR divisions, will be behind the wheel.
“We’ve been giving pace car rides for several years now, but we wanted to do something totally different, something that would really excite race fans and help us help the families in need in our area,” said Campbell.
Those not so fearless will still be able to drive their personal vehicles around the track if they donate a toy or make a $10 donation. Pace cars will lead the personal vehicles around the track. All toys and monetary donations from the day will go to the Grace Network, which will distribute toys to families in need for Christmas.
It will be a busy two days for Campbell. On Friday, December 7, Campbell will sit atop the track’s entrance sign to raise funds for the Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation.
Campbell will be lifted to his perch some 40 feet in the air at 8 a.m. on Friday, December 7 and remain there until he raises $20,000 for the Martinsville Speedway Children’s Foundation. Last year Campbell spent over eight hours suspended above the ground before be came down with a total that topped $25,000.
“We’ve got a bright, shiny new state-of-the-art entrance sign this year, but it’s not going to make my job any easier,” said Campbell. “I’m still going to have to sit up there in what are normally pretty cold temperatures for most of the day. But it’s for a good cause, so I’ll do my best to make it fun.”
The Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive will be held the following day, Saturday, December 8, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the infield of the track.
There will be plenty other options for those not interested in the drive around or the ride along.
As has become a tradition, the Martinsville Speedway staff will be manning the infield concession stand on Saturday, making and serving the Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dogs™. Hot dogs and Pepsi products are $1 each, with proceeds going toward purchasing toys.
Santa Claus will be making his annual appearance at the track at noon and will listen to the wishes of boys and girls.
Anyone who would like to donate a toy, but cannot make it to the Toy Drive, can drop them off at the Martinsville Speedway ticket office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Grace Network, a local group comprised of almost 100 churches, will distribute the collected toys to families in need. The monetary donations will be used to purchase additional toys. All of the toys will remain in the Martinsville and Henry County area.
The car used for the ride-alongs is an authentic NASCAR Sprint Cup car, supplied by Andy Hillenberg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing School.