The Traditions of Parking at the Speedway

Reporter: Heather Rosenbaum | Videographer: RJ Burnette

Martinsville, VA -- There are plenty of customs at Martinsville Speedway aside from the racing. In fact, parking has become a tradition in itself.

You can't help but notice when driving into the speedway all of the houses renting out their front lawns to fans. And while they do make a profit, they say that there is a much bigger reason for the temporary tenants.
For many who park on Dorothy Arnold's lawn, their 'parking lot' feels more like a neighborhood.
"It's convenient and it's friendly. And that's what we like about it," says Maryland resident Danny Cunningham.
Over the years, Arnold has watched a tradition start in her own front yard, dating back over 40 years.
"There were a couple of men in cars that come from New York and they just wanted a place to park. Perhaps they gave my Dad a couple of dollars," says Arnold.
And now dozens of cars park at a competitive twenty dollars per spot, translating into hundreds of dollars of profits. But Arnold doesn't do it for the money.
"I receive Christmas cards, gifts all during the year, not just at race time. These people are basically family to me," says Arnold.
And just like family, the loyalty to her lawn runs deep.
"I guess it was just luck. We come down the road and there was woman waving saying you can park here! So we did and that's what we've been doing for the last 5 years," says Cunningham.
"For me it takes 6 months to get ready for the next race. So it's work for me but it's enjoyable work," says Arnold.
They say that lawn maintenance is a big expense and a lot of work. So with the costs, all of the home-owners agree, you have to love the parking tradition to keep doing it every year.