Jeff Burton has long called Martinsville Speedway his home track, and it’s no surprise. The Sprint Cup star’s roots run deep at the historic Virginia track, and not just because it is less than an hour from his hometown.
The South Boston native spent many Sunday afternoons with his family as a child watching short-track veterans battle it out in Modified and Late Model Sportsman (now Nationwide Series) races at Martinsville.
“I started going to Martinsville long before I started racing. I was going as a kid, watching races there, sitting on those concrete grandstands and watching Richie Evans and Sonny Hutchens and all those guys race there,” Burton said Tuesday during a media event at the Richard Childress Racing shops promoting the October 27 Goody’s™ Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger at Martinsville.
By 1985 the teenaged Burton had started racing Late Model Stock cars at South Boston Speedway on Saturday nights, but it was a raw rookie operation at best.
“I had raced at...