On June 9, the Hot Rod Power Tour will make a stop at Martinsville Speedway.
On Thursday, Hot Rod Magazine’s Jacob Davis made a stop here first.
Davis was doing a pre-run of the giant seven-cities-in-seven-days car show, considered the world largest travelling car show that spans more than 1,500 miles with more than 4,000 people travelling the entire way.
The tour likes to stop at different and new venues every year, and this year one of the new stops is Martinsville Speedway.
“We try to hit up venues we haven’t seen before because we have people who do this every year as their vacation,” Davis said by phone Thursday.
Davis is the editor of Hot Rod Magazine, which started the Hot Rod Power Tour in 1995. Martinsville will be the first stop on this year’s 25th anniversary tour, and Davis said they expect close to 6,000 cars to travel into town for the event.
“Bringing together the history of Hot Rod Magazine, which has been around since 1948, and the legacy of Martinsville, is something that was really cool.”
After Martinsville, the tour will head to two first time venues - Bristol Motor Speedway, then to Kentucky Speedway - then Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, another first-time venue, the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, before concluding at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio on June 14.
Davis got his start on the tour as a participant, and started doing the long haul trek of all seven stops three years ago. He became editor of Hot Rod Magazine in 2017.
“Through questionable decisions I won a burnout contest in 2017, and they offered me the job the next day,” he said with a laugh.
He’s run the entire route twice a year for the last two years, once as a pre-run to map the tour, test all the stops, make sure the locations can handle the number of people, and do media work, and a second time for the actual event.
While the trek could seem tedious, Davis calls himself a “diehard road trip enthusiast,” and loves coming to small towns like Martinsville.
“The coolest thing every single year, we go to the small towns, we stay off freeway, highways and byways. It’s a little traffic as a result. It happens,” he said. “You get to see stuff you would never see on a normal road trip. People in those towns have never seen 4000 cars together before. We take over the places we come to. And seeing little kids with their parents in front yards, waving. That’s the coolest thing to me as a hot rodder because that could be the moment that hooks that kid for life.”
“The best part about power tour is it’s thousands of like-minded individuals all in one spot celebrating the car and hot roding and road trips as a whole,” Davis said. “Politics don’t matter. Religion, money doesn’t matter. All we’re there to do is talk cars and enjoy cars. There’s nowhere else in the world or country where you can get out and enjoy something without people getting mad at each other.”
The tour will kick off on June 8 in Concord, North Carolina, and will reach Martinsville on the morning of June 9, with the event running from noon-7 p.m. at Martinsville Speedway. Free admission is offered to all spectators.
The tour will offer printed directions and a link to a Google Maps page for all who want to follow along. For more information and prices, visit hotrod.com/events/power-tour.