Martensville, Martinsville seek Common Ground
October 3, 2007Canadian track's winner among group to visit here for Subway 500.
A sister city-type relationship may be in the works between Martinsville and a Canadian city with a similar name that also has a stock car race track.
Seven people from Martensville, Saskatchewan, will come to Martinsville on Oct. 18 for a five-day visit coinciding with the Subway 500 NASCAR race at the Martinsville Speedway.
Those coming include Herman Hordal, business development manager for Auto Clearing Motor Speedway near Martensville, and Wayne Osborne, who recently won the Martensville 100 race at Auto Clearing.
Hordal already is somewhat familiar with Martinsville. Years ago, he was on the Florida-based Suncoast Suns hockey team which played against teams in Roanoke and Winston-Salem, N.C., and he traveled through the area.
The winner of the Martensville 100 each year now is getting tickets to the Subway 500 at the Martinsville Speedway, Hordal said.
Hordal and Martinsville Mayor Kimble Reynolds Jr., who is coordinating the Canadians' visit, hope a relationship between the two localities will develop. Reynolds first became aware of Martensville two years ago, when it was finishing the Auto Clearing Speedway and hoping to learn about Martinsville's speedway.
Some Canadians think Americans are arrogant, he said, but "that is the opposite of what I've seen" when visiting the U.S. He said that people in southeastern states are particularly hospitable.
The town of Martensville, population about 5,000, is a bedroom community of Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan with a population of 220,000. Martensville is smaller than Martinsville, which has about 15,000 residents.
Martinsville and Martensville both have a lot to offer recreational enthusiasts, based on information gathered via the Internet.
In addition to their speedways, the localities have local sports teams - the Martensville Marauders hockey team and Martinsville Mustangs baseball team.
Hordal noted that Auto Clearing was built entirely through volunteer labor and corporate sponsorships. No public funds were used.
"We will not know until we sit down and explore" possible ways the two localities might work together in the future, said Reynolds.
Dinner with Jim Barnett, a local commercial real-estate broker who is from Canada, and perhaps other Canadians in the area is planned, said Reynolds.