Martinsville Speedway has announced that its ‘Light Up Martinsville’ has been completed, with the facility debuting its all-new LED lighting system, a claimed first amongst major motorsports facilities.
“Today is truly a historic day in the history of Martinsville Speedway,” said its president, Clay Campbell. “This is a venue which has a long and storied past, but with these lights now in place, we’re looking forward to a bigger and better future – and certainly a brighter one.”
The lighting solution, located around the perimeter of the facility and the infield of the track, will provide better illumination as well as introduce greater flexibility and efficiency than when using traditional metal halide lights. Martinsville states that the installation will lead to ‘a better visual experience for fans’ in attendance at races, in addition to providing better clarity for television viewers. The installation was managed by Graybar, and features Eaton’s Ephesus Stadium 750 LED professional sports lights.
This year’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 on September 23 will be the first night race to be held in Martinsville’s 70-year history.
“It’s super exciting,” Cauley said. “We were so excited to hear that our race was going to be the first race under the lights. I’m really excited for the drivers too, but having our name on it is just the icing on the cake.”
To mark the occasion, Bowling and Sellers turned laps under the lights for the first time, while Wood, at 82 years old stole the show by turning laps in the 1937 Ford his brother Glen drove at Martinsville in 1960.
“That was awesome,” Wood said. “Glen and I were standing on the backstretch watching Red Byron win the first race (in 1947).
“It was just a high honor that he (Campbell) would call me and ask me to come over here and run it. When I was driving it around the track it brought back a lot of memories.”
Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway March 31-April 2.