Clay Campbell, president of historic Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and grandson of the track’s founder, H. Clay Earles, received the prestigious NASCAR Buddy Shuman Award during the annual NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon in Las Vegas. Established in memory of Louis Grier “Buddy” Shuman, one of stock car racing’s early stars, the award has been sponsored for 59 consecutive years by the iconic Champion Spark Plug brand of Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation.
The annual award was created in 1957, two years after Shuman’s tragic death in a hotel fire, to recognize individuals and organizations that have played vital roles in the growth of professional stock car racing. Past recipients have included Bill France Sr., Richard Petty, Ken Squier, Rick Hendrick, and Dr. Joseph Mattioli.
Campbell has been involved in NASCAR racing since childhood, when he worked part-time for his grandfather, who in 1947 had carved the paperclip-shaped track in the Virginia mountains. Martinsville hosted its first NASCAR sanctioned event in 1948 and has the longest tenure among tracks currently on the Sprint Cup racing schedule. Campbell became a full-time track employee following high school, serving in the maintenance and concessions departments before taking on a variety of administrative responsibilities. He has served as track president since 1988. Martinsville is now owned by International Speedway Corporation.
“Nearly 70 years since its founding, Martinsville remains a cornerstone of Cup racing, an impressive feat that is largely due to Clay Campbell’s visionary leadership and relentless focus on the fan experience,” said Michael Proud, director of marketing, North America, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “We are proud to celebrate his significant contributions to our sport through this prestigious award.