The garages are open. The trucks are on the move. The lights and cameras are on. Racing has come out of hibernation and the big series are turning cold tracks into hot laps.

NASCAR and IMSA have begun. IndyCar and F1 are testing and rolling out in March. The national and international racing season is opening up for 2024. Even club racing such as NASA and SCCA are loading up for track days.

Virginia racing is on pace as well… Mostly. NASCAR, of course, is coming for Richmond and Martinsville. (OK, Bristol…) Tracks from Dominion to South Boston and Langley to Wythe have schedules ready to go in March or early April.

There are some changes and loose ends. Southwest Virginia is losing laps with an apparent shutdown of Pulaski County Motorsports Park (formerly Motor Mile Speedway). The most recent partnership with Rusty Wallace Racing fizzled out at the close of the 2023 season. There are currently no plans to race in 2024 on the oval or the strip. It is a shame that a facility with this history and condition is going to be silent. There are no “convenient” tracks to replace Pulaski for the racers except for Franklin County but national points is not an option there, for now. South Boston is 2 hours. Lonesome Pine is 2.5 hours. Shenandoah is 2.5 hours. Ace and Caraway are in North Carolina. Hopefully, the budget racers that ran here will find a place to compete for the new season.

Lonseome Pine may be poised, even with distance taken into account, to take some of that racer slack from Pulaski. Track to track is around 130 miles so some of the area drivers will likely make the run at least to get a feel for the time involved. It should also be familiar to many from the Pulaski infield as the same bunch (RWRE) is at the helm. Lonesome Pine has a bit of an expanded points schedule for 2024 from last season with some big weekends including SMART, Super Stock and Super Trucks. (*A street address on their website might be a good idea – online at

For many of the divisions that ran at Pulaski, another viable option is also back in the hills with Franklin County Speedway. This facility has been driven forward with will, luck and a hard bit of enthusiasm from the promoter, Langley Austin. This track has seen some history and hardships but fans and touring series like SMART and Super Cup continue to bring it. Late Models are on the regular schedule for track points so the option is there for laps and purses. Some buildings and bits show the age but the racing does deliver. (info at

A bit down the road things are on the move but in a gray area for what comes next. Natural Bridge Speedway has seen big advances with infrastructure, promotion and driver / fan engagement through the 2023 season. The bulk of this seems to land on the shoulders of a passionate lady who stepped up in 2022 to take the reins and drive the place forward. Tiffany Kidd and her staff had pitfalls but managed to put NBS on the map to survive and even drew praise from the County Administration during the latest round of licensing and permits to continue racing in 2024. However, it has come to light that Tiffany is not carrying the torch forward. She is stepping back for personal and business reasons that, despite her deep interest and care, had to be taken to heart to make a decision. The chair is being taken up by Amanda Bradley who has family ties to racing and promotions at Eastside Speedway. Bradley also had praise for Kidd and her work and openly hopes that kind of positive momentum can continue. The previous schedule for 2024 is stated to remain in place. (NBS on Facebook)

Eastside, by the way, is for sale. The 1/8 mile drag strip north of Waynseboro had a variety season in 2023 that was, a bit, sporadic. The sale is highlighted on the social media presence for the facility. The website linked on their platforms is dark.

There is also action heating back up on tracks that were previously on the dead list. These tracks were all but gone just a few seasons ago but have had new attention focused for some progress. Southampton Motor Speedway is back on with a published schedule of events. Lap and “stock car” racing is not currently at the forefront but drifting is hot at SMS. Operations and promotions are being handled by CRC Entertainment which also carries an extended option on buying the facility. Southampton is located in Capron, VA situtated between Emporia and Suffolk. Drifting may not be for everyone but it is putting cars on the track and bringing people in. (Info at

Southside Speedway is not quite there yet but at least the life support has been plugged back in. Shuttered in 2020-21, the local politics were looking at a re-development of the facility and the land. More recently, there is renewed attention on Southside for bringing racing and motorsport back, possibly with a multi-use concept of unused space included on the actual property area. The history is there and a mix of time, passion and money may be the mountain to climb to get racing back. (info at

Change, as they say, is inevitable. For racing fans and automotive enthusiasts, the message is clear. Your tracks need support. The auto industry is advancing and changing and there are distractions and real issues to contend with. The attraction of new fans is more difficult for any number of reasons so enthusiasm and track presence is a big deal. Check out some local track action. Why only go see the “big guns”? Yes, the stars need support but don’t let it end when those big haulers leave town. Take some of that to a short track with a smaller ticket and you’ll come away with some big action. Go racing, Virginia!

Racing is difficult. It takes time and money to put a race car on a track.

With that out there, consider the race track. The preparation, maintenance and safety concerns for the facility take a lot of effort and cash flow. Economics underline the whole of it. There are so many factors to weigh in that some tracks are falling out.

Motor Mile Speedway was in that situation. The track opened in the 1950s and operated as Pulaski County Speedway, New River Valley Speedway and currently, Motor Mile Speedway. There was a downturn that caused some hard decisions which included an off year in 2018.

The decision to drop the NASCAR licensing and restructure for 2018 left a pool of local racers in a bind facing the prospect of more travel to tracks further away. However, the track came back in 2019 with sanctioning in place and began to look forward.

Then there was 2020. We all know about 2020…

For 2021, facing economy and the distraction of fans, there was some uncertainty. However, the latter part of 2020 brought some new life to the planning and execution of events at Motor Mile. Rusty Wallace…

The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience is handling much of the operations for at least two years. This also brings more fan involvement directly to the track as RWRE will be offering track time to fans by putting them in a race car and on the track. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience have four dates currently scheduled for fan driving. The cost is quite attractive and starts at just $69.00 to try your hand at the wheel.

With RWRE in the mix, Motor Mile Speedway has some new tires and fuel to push forward to future laps for drivers and fans. However, much of this may depend on the fans. It’s going to take the support of the community and the drivers to generate the interest and excitement at the track.

There are many things to do. People have so many “entertainment” options. The economy of the “car” is changing. Hybrids and electrics and the interests of people are certainly changing the dynamics of keeping people interested in racing. The challenge is there and it’s being played out at race tracks across the country.

Racing is going to change. It is inevitable. However, that change can also be a part of the fan experience. To be there and witness the speed and the sound is part of the attraction of racing. As the dynamics of the automobile and its influence evolve it will become a challenge at race tracks to embrace those changes.

Race fans shouldn’t be looking backward to what was but looking forward to what can be. Get into these tracks and experience some of it and have some memories and conversations as the changes come into play. Racing is changing. Be a part of it. Keep it going. We’re going to keep racing things with wheels.

Motor Mile Speedway has their season opener this weekend. Saturday afternoon has a full schedule of racing with Late Models and several support series. These drivers are ready to race.

*Yes… The Big Dogs are at Martinsville. NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Whelen Modifieds are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday nights. Everybody can’t go. Even with a relaxed Covid attendance requirement, everybody can’t go. Motor Mile could be a great alternative…

**Just sayin’… Go racing!

Visit Motor Mile Speedway Online!

Photos From Motor Mile Speedway: Track Testing Wednesday April 7, 2021

NASCAR and other national series are under way or setting things in motion to get on track. The small “weekender” tracks are doing the same.

South Boston Speedway has their 2021 season opener coming up on March 20. They’ve had some teams testing in preparation already. On the schedule for the SOBO opener are Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Budweiser Pure Stock and Budweiser Hornets. Gates are open at 12:30pm on Saturday, March 20, with qualifying at 1:00pm and the first green flag at 2:00pm.

*Important: Covid is still a thing. Be prepared for social distancing and face mask requirements. This is important to keep SOBO in line with the guidelines and to keep racing moving forward.

Other Virginia tracks are also making ready. Franklin County Speedway is set for March 27. Motor Mile Speedway is looking at April 10. Dominion Raceway is running some track days. Wythe Raceway has April 2 on their schedule.

Check your local track for activities and schedules. Be aware of the guidelines as we move into the warmer racing season. We can go racing with a little common sense and keep the green flag waving.