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50-year Dream Comes True At Martinsville Speedway

12 December 1997

   Martinsville, VA---Warren Plaster's 50-year-old dream came true at
Martinsville Speedway on Thursday.

   Plaster was one of more than 20 people who turned laps in an Allison
Legacy Series car in a Hot Laps session conducted by the David Pearson
Performance Racing School. For $15 a lap, Plaster and the others had the
opportunity to strap on a helmet and find out what it's like to race at

   "I was here in September of 1947 when Clay (Earles) had his first race.
I remember saying 'I wish I could drive a car out there around that dirt
track.' Well for 50 years, I had that wish that I could drive a race car.
This was my time or my day to do it," Warren said.

   "I got my dream 50 years ago right here at Martinsville Speedway. This
is the greatest feeling of my life," he said as he began to tear up with
emotion. "Gosh, I can't believe I've done what I wanted."

   It was especially a thrill for Plaster because he drove a car that
resembled the Wood Brothers' number 21 car that Pearson drove to so many
victories in the 1970's.

   "I have been a fan of Glen and Leonard (Wood) every since Glen started
racing and I've stuck with the Wood Brothers ever since. I'm still a 21
guy," he said.

   Chester Hopkins, who will turn 70 on December 26th, got the thrill of
his life making five laps around Martinsville.

   "It was fun, but I don't know if I would want to do it all the time,"
said the Patrick County, Va. resident. "I became a racing fan because of
David Pearson when he was running for the Wood Brothers. This was really

   Brad Hodnett took the FinishLine Racing School at Martinsville last June
and came back for more on Thursday.

   "It was awesome. I love this. You watch it on TV, but there's nothing
like getting out here and driving," said the Martinsville resident.

   Bill Borden, with the David Pearson Racing School, said the session is a
great opportunity for fans, and he hopes to have another Hot Laps day at
Martinsville in 1998.

   "David and I talked when we first started this that we want people to
come out and experience what the drivers get to experience. Of course they
aren't running the speeds that the drivers do, but they get a feel for what
it's like to drive a race car," he said.

   Borden will hold a Beginner Driving School at Martinsville on Saturday,
December 20, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. He said the Beginner School is geared to
three audiences.

   "Someone who has never driven a car and wants to learn about he sport,
the guy who is running something like a ministock and wants to learn more,
and then there's the people who have always wanted to do this. The guys
that are 40 or 50 and they want to see if they can do it. They come out and
test in the school before they invest the money," Borden said. Anyone
interested in taking the school can call (904) 788-3774 for more
information or call Martinsville Speedway at (540) 956-1600.

   The Allison Legacy Series will hold two races at Martinsville Speedway
on Saturday, at 1 p.m., as part of Souvenir Day at the track. Twelve NASCAR
Winston Cup souvenir trailers will be parked in the infield with great
year-end deals on Winston Cup merchandise.

   There is no cost for Souvenir Day, but shoppers can bring a new
unwrapped toy to be donated to the Henry-Martinsville Department of Social
Services. Martinsville Speedway has collected over 5,000 toys during the
past three years for children in the Martinsville-Henry County area.
Souvenir Day will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By Martinsville Public Relations