Martinsville Speedway flips switch on new LED lighting system
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WSET) - Entering the 70th year of operations, Martinsville Speedway has finally said "Let there be light!".
Speedway president Clay Campbell, along with sponsors and fans, witnessed the power of the new LED lighting system first hand, during Thursday's official debut of the new LED lighting system, the first of its kind at any NASCAR track in the country.
The new lighting system consists of 442 individual fixtures, made of 28 tons of steel, and are "instant on-off", making them ready for any situation. Several drivers, including 2005 Whelan national champion, and Danville native, Peyton Sellers were the first to take official laps under the bright lights, and said he was impressed by the ability of the lights to cover the entire track, saying "I could not believe there was not a shadow anywhere and it was just like daytime. (Other tracks) have really good lighting, but this far beats them all right here."
Among the dignitaries was Leonard Wood from the Wood Brothers team in nearby Stuart, who brought out a vintage roadster for several spins around the lit-up "paper clip". The Wood Brothers got their start at Martinsville 70 years ago, and Leonard says the night had special meaning to his family. “Just to see how far this track has come is unbelievable. And then the lights, it's just awesome!"
While the lights are ready to go, the 2017 NASCAR season will remain under the daylight, for now. The first race scheduled under the new lights is the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 on September 23rd. Speedway president Clay Campbell sayshe's excited to flip the lights on in September, but for now, is enjoying the moment that has been years in the making. "It's pretty special. It's special for us, special for this speedway, and special for this community, because this makes such a huge statement for what Martinsville is all about. It's just a different feel, a different look, I think the drivers are really gonna like it."