Fans Line Up to Greet Their Favorite Drivers
Martinsville has some pretty dedicated fans. But we found some people will wait around for hours just to catch a glimpse of a driver up close.
Martinsville Speedway activity can't be found inside a brochure, or listed on a sign.
"It's fun though," said Martinsville resident Nick Sandt.
"It's kind of a tradition," said Blue Ridge Airport Director Jason Davis.
These fans consider themselves to be the most dedicated.
"I'm just hoping that they come across and actually acknowledge us being over here waiting to meet them," said Sandt.
For hours on Thursday and Friday before a big race at Martinsville, those in the know wait and wait, hoping to catch a glimpse and maybe even an autograph from their favorite driver as they get off their private plane at the Blue Ridge Airport.
"This is what Martinsville does. This is a race community. We have a lot of local fans," said Davis.
Some do it for the excitement.
"Hope that somebody different that I haven't seen before comes in," said Sandt.
But Patricia and James Shelton have their own reason. For years, they would come with their NASCAR-loving daughter, Kristen.
"She always wanted to come and see any of the drivers that came in," said Patricia Shelton.
But this past August, Kristen suddenly passed away. Now, Patricia and James, carry on her legacy by continuing their tradition.
"She was just such a big fan that I still want to get an autograph for her," said Patricia Shelton.
"She was my baby girl. I loved her. And I want to keep it alive," said James Shelton.
Whatever the reason these fans wait around, they always know it will be worth it.
"Time and time again they continue to show strong support," said Davis.
Everyone says Carl Edwards is the driver who gives the most love to fans. And another secret, most of the drivers leave Sunday after the race, so you might be able to catch them then as well.