Tha Sports Junkies 101

Martinsville Speedway To Install LED Lighting


Nearly every local short track across the United States has lights that enable them to hold races at night. Soon, Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in NASCAR, will have that option as well.

Speedway track president Clay Campbell announced that the new LED lighting would be installed and in place prior to the next Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville in April. However, with both races at the track next year already slated to begin at 2 PM local time, Campbell described the upgrade’s initial role as more of an “insurance policy”.

The need for such a “policy” arose from the October race at Martinsville in 2015. Rain delayed the start of the event and the closing laps were run in dwindling light. By the time Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag, the speedway was nearly dark and auxiliary lighting was needed to illuminate the victory celebration on the frontstretch.

“I knew then that being in the chase, such a critical point in the season, and thinking what would’ve happened if we hadn’t finished that race? We don’t want to be in that position, so there’s our reason.” Campbell said, citing flexibility in the event of inclement weather as the primary focus behind the $5 million upgrade.

The announcement means that Martinsville will become the 16th of the 23 tracks on the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule to have lights in place. The only tracks remaining that do not are Pocono, Indianapolis, Michigan, New Hampshire, Dover, and the 2 road courses, Watkins Glen and Infineon.