Cleaning Up After Race Weekend at Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA -- Now that the race is over there is actually a whole lot to get done. That's because the thousands of fans, campers, and even the racers themselves leave a lot of trash behind.
With each crunch of a can, Willie Parker hears the sound of change going in his pocket. That's because for years, he has been turning other people's trash into his treasures, by collecting discarded cans at the Martinsville Speedway and selling them for a few extra bucks.
"It's better than sitting around doing nothing. Get a little change," said Parker.
But most of the 300-400 people here at the Speedway pick up trash for a paycheck. The track hires a company to clean up after the fans head out.
"Everything on our property, all 2, 3 hundred acres they clean everything," said Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway.
Not only do they have all of this trash here in the stands, they also have to clean up a lot of trash on the track. And they say they hope to get it all done within a week.
"It does take a while but it's not their first rodeo so they know what they are doing," said Campbell.
Event manager Sammy Willeford says, after the race ends, their job gets a lot easier. Unlike during race days, they don't have to work around the clock to get the track ready. Now, they can be strategic.
"We work from the outside in so that everything you see from the roadways looks like it's gone the very next day," said Willeford.
As for Willeford's take on Parker's pick ups, he says it helps everyone.
"We'd rather see that go to the people of Martinsville than into the landfill of course, and it's less that we have to pick up as well, so it's a win win win," said Willeford.
And Parker certainly appreciates the extra $60.
The one thing they do not clean up are the burn marks the tires make on the tracks. Those just go away with time.