Racing Virginia Month


WHEREAS, motor racing has a long history in the Commonwealth dating back over 70 years; and

WHEREAS, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s (NASCAR) annual event weekends in Richmond and Martinsville are the only major annual professional sporting events held in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, motor racing is active at more than 20 locations around the Commonwealth and attracts over 500,000 fans to racing events around Virginia each year; and

WHEREAS, the Martinsville Speedway has a rich history of motor racing dating back to the track built by H. Clay Earles in 1947 and will launch its 70th season on April 1-2, 2017; and

WHEREAS,theMartinsville Speedway hosted its first NASCAR sanctioned race on July 4, 1949, and is the only track remaining from the original series that hosts races today; and

WHEREAS,Richmond International Raceway launches its season on April 29-30, 2017, and is hosting its 239th and 240th races this year; and

WHEREAS,the original track was paved in 1968 and then was re-designed into its present D-shaped configuration in 1988; and

WHEREAS,six NASCAR Hall of Fame members were born in Virginia – Glen Wood, Leonard Wood, Joe Weatherly, Wendell Scott, Curtis Turner, and Rick Hendrick; and

WHEREAS,Virginia natives Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, Gray Gaulding, Timothy Peters, and Jeb Burton are currently competing; and

WHEREAS,Virginia is the only state with four points accruing races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; and

WHEREAS,the economic impact of motor racing in Virginia exceeds over $750,000,000 annually, and the tax revenues from motor racing in Virginia exceeds over $40,000,000 annually; and

WHEREAS, Racing Virginia Month provides us with the opportunity to raise awareness of the historical and continuing significance of motor racing in Virginia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize April 2017 as racing Virginia MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.