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Bolling takes a victory lap on Martinsville NASCAR race

Anita Kumar

Did Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling save NASCAR? Well, maybe just a little.

Virginia was in jeopardy of losing the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. State officials say that would have led to the loss of $75 million in revenue each year, 1,000 jobs and millions in state and local taxes.

But Bolling (R), along with state and local officials, announced Thursday that International Speedway Corp. is committing to two NASCAR Sprint Cup races annually at Martinsville Speedway for at least the next five years.

"This is an important announcement," Bolling said. "Because the truth is that we came very close to losing one of our Sprint Cup races at Martinsville earlier this year, and losing that race would have had a significant adverse impact on the economy of Martinsville and Southern Virginia."

As part of the agreement, the Tobacco Commission awarded Martinsville Speedway a grant of $1.5 million, which it will match for a $3 million upgrade to the facility. Other improvements include: A new on/off ramp on U.S. 58 adjacent to the speedway, which will improve traffic flow on race weekends and a new nation-wide marketing campaign.

A recent independent economic analysis determined that Martinsville's two NASCAR races support 2,824 jobs, provide a $170 million economic impact and generate $13.2 million in state and local tax revenue.

By Anita Kumar  |  August 26, 2010; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling  
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I'm glad to see that our leaders are actually taking the time to do things that people care about. It may be something small, but making sure that we have NASCAR in Virginia shows that Bill Bolling is really paying attention to his constituents.

Thanks Bill for not only have a positive economic impact on Virginia, but keeping NASCAR here for us fans!

Posted by: GMoe | August 26, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Lt Gov Bolling has really planted the cornerstone to the rebirth of the Martinsville region with this effort. Congrats to him for making this possible and keeping Nascar in one of its most historical tracks. He should get one of those neat grandfather clocks they give race winners for this effort!

Posted by: LeeTalley | August 26, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

When President Obama was devising his economic stimulus package last year, he would have done well to give Lt. Governor Bill Bolling a call. This financial jump start by the state coupled with a sustained, private sector commitment to an enterprise with widespread public support is a recipe for success.

Once again Virginia is demonstrating that there is a road back to prosperity.

Posted by: DickMoore | August 27, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to the Lt. Governor for taking the initiative with this. It's nice to see that our elected officials really can help bring and/or keep jobs and economic activity to Virginia, with the potential loss of JFCOM in Hampton Roads.

Posted by: NovaPolitics | August 27, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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