Founded in 1947, the historic Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, is the only track that’s remained on the NASCAR circuit since its inception in 1949. It has hosted some of car racing’s most renowned drivers, can seat 55,000 in its stands, and televises its events for as many as 5 million fans worldwide—but an absence of track lighting had rendered the 25-acre property unable to accommodate one major opportunity over its 70-year history: the ability to hold nighttime races.
This upcoming weekend, September 22 and 23, the Martinsville Speedway will host its first race under its new LED sports lighting system. More than 75 of the top NASCAR Late Model Stock Car drivers will challenge for a spot in the 40-car field of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 for $25,000 and the iconic Martinsville Speedway grandfather clock trophy.
NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race is a two-day event, beginning with practice and pole qualifying heats on Friday afternoon and evening, followed with a full day of activities for fans on Saturday with the featured race beginning at 8:00 p.m. The event is on pace for a record-breaking crowd based on advanced ticket sales and the excitement generated for the first night race in the Speedway’s 70-year history.
“Debuting our new LED lighting system at the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is something that our entire staff and racing fans are excited for,” said Clay Campbell, president, Martinsville Speedway. “With the new lighting, along with new ticketing and hospitality options, including premier camping and luxury seating options, we hope to give the drivers and fans the best experience we can offer.”
In the spring, Martinsville Speedway completed installation of Eaton’s Ephesus LED sports lighting system to illuminate the track. After nearly seven decades of automotive racing without lights, the track, which is owned by International Speedway Corporation (ISC), became the first major motorsports facility to install LED lighting.
The project, dubbed “Light Up Martinsville,” installed Eaton’s industry-leading LED lighting solution, which provides better illumination, greater flexibility, and more efficiency than traditional metal halide lights. In addition to enhancing the fan experience at Martinsville Speedway, the Eaton system also enhances the quality of the broadcast for fans watching at home. The lighting solution consists of multiple structures located around the perimeter of the facility and the infield of the track.
“We were honored when historic Martinsville Speedway selected our Ephesus LED lighting solution to light up Martinsville,” said Mike Lorenz, president, Eaton’s Ephesus Lighting business. “It’s especially rewarding to bring night racing to this remarkable venue. There is nothing like racing under the lights and with our industry-leading digital lighting system, drivers experience optimum conditions while fans will experience this venue in a whole new light.”
Graybar oversaw the addition of Eaton’s Ephesus Stadium 750 light-emitting diode professional sports lights to Martinsville.
Tagged with Eaton, Ephesus Lighting, Graybar, LED lighting, Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR