Martinsville Speedway Founder H. Clay Earles is the recipient of the NASCAR Hall of Fame\u2019s 2017 Landmark Award.\r\nThe award is given annually to a person who has made \u201cOutstanding Contributions to NASCAR.\u201d\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s a great day for Martinsville Speedway,\u201d Earles\u2019 grandson and current Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. \u201cIt\u2019s an honor for my grandfather to be recognized for his contributions in the sport by his peers, as a pioneer in the sport.\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s a special day and quite an honor.\u201d\r\nEarles built the half-mile speedway in 1947 and held the first race on September 7 of that year.\r\nCurrently hosting two Sprint Cup Series races, Martinsville Speedway is the only track that was on the schedule in the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season that still hosts the series today.\r\nAn innovator, Earles was known for putting top priority in the fans\u2019 experience.\r\n\u201cThe secret to success in our business is giving the customer what he wants,\u201d Earles said before his death in 1999. \u201cWhen a man plunks down his money, he deserves the best. You try to make him comfortable, give him a great show and make sure he gets his money\u2019s worth. And we\u2019ve always tried to do just that.\r\n\u201cYour customers are your greatest assets and that will never change. You actually sell the customer a memory as much as a race. If their memories are good, they\u2019ll keep coming back.\u201d\r\nIn 1988, Earles named Campbell president of Martinsville Speedway and moved to chairman of the board, a role he would stay in until his death at the age of 86 in 1999.