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Volume 21 No. 26
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Tracks in the work zone

While ISM Raceway and Richmond Raceway undergo major renovations that will be completed this year, several other tracks have smaller projects that will make their debut this season.

New loge-box offerings in Las Vegas will give customers a smaller hospitality option.
Photo: speedway motorsports inc.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The track has the most expansive refurbishment going on of any of Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s eight speedways. LVMS is redesigning its four clubhouses that sit a level below its suites on the main Section 2 grandstand. The track is adding two loge-box offerings on its Petty Terrace for premium customers who want a more intimate and private surrounding with indoor and outdoor options. It’s also adding a social pavilion at the Petty Terrace, where fans will have access to amenities such as phone chargers, Wi-Fi, a large central bar and unique food.

Atlanta will be among the SMI tracks to add restart zone bars in the grandstands.
Photo: speedway motorsports inc.

Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway

Both tracks, in addition to LVMS, will build new restart zone bars a couple dozen rows up in their grandstands. After adding seats in the early 2000s during NASCAR’s boom period, tracks in recent years have been taking out grandstand seats and repurposing the areas to focus on premium experiences. The restart zone bars, which will have indoor and outdoor areas and naming-rights deals, are the latest example of that trend.

 

“With all the attention that the restart zone has got in the last couple of years, we thought it’s a key point where a lot of action happens and when you’re in that area, you feel the power of the field getting on that gas and the rush of it,” said Mike Burch, chief strategy officer of SMI. “And now that you’ve got stage racing, you’ve got a guaranteed three [restarts], so we said, ‘What can we do to take advantage of the energy around this location and make it a destination?’”

Martinsville Raceway

The short track nicknamed “The Paperclip” will remove seats from the top of its Bill France Tower between Turns 3 and 4 and those above the press box between Turns 1 and 2. It also plans to expand the number of gates at its front entrance from eight to 30. Track President Clay Campbell last month told the local Martinsville Bulletin newspaper that in part because of drops in attendance, executives decided to take out some of the seats at the highest rows “to make it easier on our fans so they don’t have to climb 10 stories to get to seats.”

 

Revamped grandstands are among Darlington’s plans.
Photo: Darlington Raceway

Darlington Raceway

The historic track, nicknamed “Too Tough To Tame,” will get a highly welcomed investment this year that will be based around upgrading its grandstands. International Speedway Corp. has commissioned an approximately $7 million project titled “A Better Darlington” to spruce up the South Carolina venue, which has seen a resurgence in recent years tied to the success of the throwback theme that’s held there during NASCAR race weekend. The project includes renovating what will be newly smoke-free grandstands; new crossover gates to allow fans to walk from the grandstand onto the track for pre-race activities; and new “Wall of Honor” banners that will adorn the grandstands and honor past winners at the track.