After 70 Years, Martinsville Speedway “Flips the Switch”by Press Release March 2, 2017 0 comments
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – With seven decades under its belt, and an eye toward the future, historic Martinsville Speedway has officially flipped the switch. The “Light Up Martinsville” project concluded today, as the facility debuted its new LED lights – the first major motorsports facility to do so.
“Today is truly a historic day in the history of Martinsville Speedway,” said Martinsville Speedway 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 industry-leading LED lighting solution, located around the perimeter of the facility and the infield of the track, will provide better illumination as well as greater flexibility and efficiency than traditional metal halide lights. This 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, a leading distributor of high-quality electrical and communications products and services, featuring Eaton’s Ephesus Stadium 750 LED professional sports lights.
Joining Campbell in the ceremony to mark the official lighting of Martinsville Speedway, were NASCAR Hall of Famer Leonard Wood, driver Matt Bowling – 2016 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion, Peyton Sellers – 2005 Whelen All-American Series National Champion and Lori Cauley, Vice President of Brand, ValleyStar Credit Union.
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.
This year the historic track celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The weekend starts on Friday with Virginia Lottery Pole Day and continues on Saturday with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be in action on Sunday with the running of the STP 500.
The race is the first short-track race of the season and marks the series’ return to the east coast after the “West Coast Swing.”
Last year Kyle Busch became the first driver in the tracks storied history to win both the Truck and Premier Series races in the same weekend.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Source: Martinsville Speedway
Photo Credit: Steve Curtiss