5 Tips for Attending a Race at Martinsville Speedway

Are you planning to watch the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup (The Goody's Fast Relief 500) at Martinsville Speedway's "half mile of mayhem" for the first time this year? Lucky you! The NASCAR post-season is an exciting time. And even before you hear those thrilling words, "Drivers start your engines" and the flag waves, there's lots to see. So as you plan your day at the race, be sure to include these five "don't miss" things to do:

1. Have a Martinsville Hot Dog
Even if you've never been to Martinsville (ok, technically Ridgeway), you are undoubtedly aware that the Martinsville hot dog is famous as one of the best-loved racetrack foods on the NASCAR circuit. So go ahead and have one (or two or more...) with the classic fixings of coleslaw, onions and chili.

2. Watch the Pit
One of the things that attracts thousands of spectators to Martinsville Speedway year after year is the fact that there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Not only will you have an excellent view of the entire track, but you'll be able to see the whole pit area, too. Since we all know that some of the biggest battles in NASCAR can occur right there in the pit, be sure to enjoy all that pit action.

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3. Consider the Green Flag Experience
While it can also be fun to take your chances to see which of your favorite drivers you can get close enough to for a selfie or autograph, signing up for the Green Flag Experience provides a guarantee that you'll get up close to drivers like Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne. Plus you'll get to be on the famous paperclip track as the drivers are getting ready to roll.

4. Stay for the Victory Lane Ceremonies
Don't be in a hurry to rush home after the race. Take advantage of the great visibility and relative intimacy of the Martinsville Speedway and enjoy every moment until the very end. The bonus: taking your time may help you avoid the worst of the traffic jams as folks scramble to get out.

B2PF6G A pair of hearing protection ear plugs isolated on white. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.

5. Wear Ear Protection
Do yourself a favor and wear earplugs to protect your ears from the sound of loud engines and the roar of an excited crowd. The next day when you can still hear the world around you, you'll be glad you did. A worthwhile upgrade: renting a racing scanner with built-in headphones that also protect your ears (you'll find plenty of rentals available at the track).

Victoria Otto Franzese owned, operated, and wrote for a successful online travel guide for 15 years. Now, thankfully, all of her travel is purely for fun. See where she'll be going next at @VOFranzese.