Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell talks with Chris Lea about 2022 schedule changes at NASCAR
so there are um uh interesting things that immediately pop up, uh Pop out just for me, just by looking at it. And I think one of the things that’s super interesting, we heard it yesterday, but uh talk about the clash being at the LA Coliseum, it’s such a thing that’s really cool. Uh you know, wait until Nascar begins their season and a little different changes and what usually happened. Absolutely. Isn’t that a good way to get the year started? It’s going to be, it’s going to be really uh interesting, and I think it, I think it’s really a testament to Nascar’s management about the things they want to do to step outside, you know, they’re also coming outside our comfort zone to improve the schedule to do something different, and uh you know it’s phenomenal in the LA Market. Uh something like that. Short track fans love it. Uh it’s going to be something to see and it’s a great way to get the year started. So I applaud Nascar for having done things differently, and they have shown that they are not afraid to change things. Yes, I would like to ask you about it when it comes to, you know, the addition of the road race to the Charlotte road race in Daytona. Uh So you know you have like Nascar, I’m sorry LA at the LA Coliseum for the collision, and you know some things have happened over the last few years that I’ve been a little sprinkled in with some differences . How does this help Nascar get in front of a new audience, and how will L a. Help improve it? Yes, it’s a big market, of course, and we’re already out there with the fontana, but that part of the country is important to us, and I’m talking, I’m not part of the leadership that takes, just makes decisions about where to hold race. It’s just me talking. But you know, it’s obvious that what we’re doing is ringing the bell, so to speak, looking at the different corners that we’re entering the sport now that there are already different different drivers coming in. Uh things have changed quite a bit the last few years. And I think it has a lot to do with the way Nascar approaches things. It’s not the same old, the same old, because many years ago you would never have considered changing the schedule and adding such a race or anything like that. And now Nascar is doing many different things. Look at the schedule this year, look at the next year, things have changed. And many years ago, we did not change anything. We may have mixed around on a few dates, but I think our management has proven that they will do whatever it takes to take this thing to another level. And I think we’re going there. So here’s the change that could affect the people here in North Carolina, 10 days of thunder is not happening as the All Star Race is also coming back to Texas next year. Like it was this year. Um, it’s something I personally was looking forward to, because it’s, uh, you know, it’s usually something, um, what, you know, before, you know, Covid happened, that, you know, we get a chance to cover. It’s going to be one, you know, kind of a different change for people, uh, uh, here in, in the state of North Carolina. Yes, again, I think, I think that if you look at the changes that have been made and you know, 5, 6, 10 years down the road, you will not know how things were before, you will not even acknowledge that it happened. This is the norm. And I think the norm going forward might just change every year. Uh, we’ve got new fans, uh, you have a lot of fans who are not even aware of what the plan was, maybe five years ago. Uh, they’re looking at the schedule now. So you have to take that into account. All the new eyes and new people coming in. They look at the here and now rather than what it was. So you need to have a balance. I mean, they will not do anything just to completely forget our past, forget things that got us here where we are, but they will change things enough that it definitely gets the attention of people who have been around a for a while, but we hope to get attention from people who are new to our sport and I think it works. What is something you are personally excited about when you look at the schedule for next year personally? I’m excited about our two races that we have here in martinsville again. Two races is the first race on April 9, blue immune maximum pain relief, 500 Saturday night under the light. Fans love it. They have always asked, when should we run under the lights? Well, we do it again. So that was it, it was special for us. And then this fall again, the penultimate race of the playoffs, the last race before going to the championship that you know, look at, look at the way it went last year. Chase Elliott had to win it. And he looked at years before when we had several races to go before going to the championship. It was beautiful, pretty chaotic. So I think that’s it, that’s what we want. That’s what nascar nose can happen here. The broadcast partners. No, it’s just an exciting place, especially when you have so much at stake before you go to the championship. So by the way, are we excited about it with the extension to 500 on October 30th? Yes. Uh, well, I would, you know, talk about it and have you talked about it with, you know, your race is coming up um, you know, later in the year, how excited it is, you know, you know, you have had it already, but you know that still with the closure, it was just, it did not affect Nascar probably as much as elsewhere, but to still be blessed enough to have fans there in the stands. Uh, you know how it feels for you? Well, you said it, we’re blessed to have the fans back in the stands, because that’s what this sport is about. That’s what drives it. That’s what has brought us to where we are with fans, you know we can not do this without fans. It was clear that to a certain extent last year we were going to keep going and stay relative and, and become relevant in all the races, and that was what did an excellent job. But it really is, it’s really gratifying for all of us, all track operators to have fans coming back. We have full capacity potential here. We have our Valley Start, Credit union 300 next week for the Nascar late model Stock series, always a big race, and then we end up at the end of October with a double header on Saturday, the last weekend of October with full and full Xfinity and then finish it off on Sunday with Xfinity, 500 for the cup series. So it’s we have two big race weekends on the way, but to have fans left, as you know, it really makes it all the more special and all the work we put into these races, all the work that the teams do nascar, you know, the drivers, the driver does not like to get out of the car at the end of the race, and no one is up there to cheer or bow or whatever. So being back on track now is pretty cool. So we expect a huge amount for our race, uh, the Mid-Atlantic region, which is Darlington Richmond in martinsville. These two races had really good crowds, good races. So we’re looking for the same thing here in March and October.