Martinsville Speedway

Late Model series will race under the lights at Martinsville next year

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The $5 million LED light system Martinsville Speedway will install was labeled an “insurance policy” for its two Sprint Cup races in case they run long.

But a NASCAR Late Model Stock Car series will get the full night race treatment at the 0.526-mile oval next season.

The track, which announced the light installation last week, revealed during the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 driver meeting on Sunday that the 2017 edition of the race would be run at night. A date for the race has not been announced.

“I’ve always said this was the greatest Saturday night race on a Sunday afternoon,” track president Clay Campbell said in the meeting. “Now it truly will be the greatest Saturday night race.”

“The drivers, teams, ValleyStar and, most importantly, the fans of this race deserve being the first to run under our new permanent LED lights.”

The project is being paid for by International Speedway Corp., which owns the track. It was spurred in part by last years’ Sprint Cup Chase race. Jeff Gordon won the event as night descended on the area.

At the light announcement, Campbell said had there been an additional delay “we wouldn’t have finished that race.”

The 2017 Sprint Cup races at Martinsville will be held on at 2 p.m. ET on April 3 and 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 30.

NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

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It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson involved in minor fender bender while leaving Fontana

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Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.

But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.

No one was injured, Larson tweeted.

But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Fontana win shows continued maturing as a driver

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Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.