Martinsville Speedway tested its new LED light system Wednesday, as four of its light towers were powered on along the backstretch of the historic half-time track.
“This is really exciting and such a historic day for Martinsville Speedway,” said Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway, in a statement. “I think we all had an idea of what it would look like, but know you can really visualize it. I can’t wait to see the whole track lit up. I think the fans are really in for a treat.”
The project will cost $5 million and make the track, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, the first major motorsports facility in the country with LED lights.
The track’s Sept. 23 late model race is scheduled to be the first event held under the lights at the track.
The track’s Cup and Camping World Truck Series weekends are each scheduled to be day races, but the lights mean that those races won’t face the threat of having to be shortened because of darkness. The Cup series races at Martinsville on April 2 and Oct. 29.
We now have two positive reviews of the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
Following AJ Allmendinger‘s comments back in January, IndyCar legend Mario Andretti has shared his thoughts on the 2.4-mile circuit that will likely host a NASCAR Cup race in fall 2018.
As a guest of the track and the NASCAR Racing Experience, the 77-year-old driver piloted two cars – a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid and a 2017 Cadillac CTS-V. Andretti maxed out at 177 mph in the Porsche.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to really create a road course where you can ‘stretch your legs’ inside an oval,” Andretti said in a press release. “From that standpoint, I think they did a good job by giving it rhythm by putting some banking to the hairpin corners – which obviously invites some overtaking. It’s wide enough that you can choose a line. You’re not really trapped. … It’s got a multiple-line (groove) that you can choose from, depending on the capability of the car.”
The “roval” circuit would use most of the 1.5-mile oval NASCAR already competes on.
“We have done a lot to engineer a world-class road course that would include the ‘roval,'” Smith told NBC Sports, adding that “several truckloads of crash walls and catchfence” were being transported in for installation.
The Cup Series has two road courses on it schedule, at Sonoma Raceway in California and Watkins Glen International in New York.
The drivers of the Furniture Row Racing hauler carrying Erik Jones’ No. 77 Toyota were uninjured Thursday in a hit-and-run accident 15 miles north of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Travis Watts, who was behind the wheel, and David Shano were traveling from Phoenix Raceway to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, when their tractor-trailer rig was struck shortly after midnight on Interstate 15, according to a team release. The team said a car carrying two occupants pulled off the shoulder and back onto the highway directly in front of the truck, causing front-end damage to the tractor.
The team said there was no damage to the trailer or its interior, which was carrying Jones’ cars.
“We’re all very relieved no one was injured in the incident,” team president Joe Garone said. “There was substantial damage to the tractor, but everything in the trailer was checked out thoroughly and is OK. We’ve rented a tractor and the No. 77 hauler is on schedule to arrive at Auto Club Speedway later (Thursday).”
The team rented a replacement tractor at a Rush Truck Centers in North Las Vegas.
According to the team, the Nevada Highway Patrol apprehended and arrested the occupants of the car. The team is working to supply police with a video dash cam from the No. 77 tractor.
NASCAR America live at 5:30 p.m. ET: Auto Club Speedway preview, iRacing simulator
Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs for 90 minutes beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and previews this weekend’s action at Auto Club Speedway.
Krista Voda hosts with Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut. Dale Jarrett joins them from Burton’s Garage.
On today’s show:
My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows continues as we visit Central Arizona Speedway in Casa Grande. We’ll also discuss some fun facts about the Grand Canyon State.
2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick has been on a roller coaster ride through four races this season. Now, he heads home to California where he looks to grab his first win of the season. We’ll take a trip to Harvick’s hometown of Bakersfield and examine his Racing Roots.
Kligerman jumps in the simulator to see what challenges the drivers will face this weekend in Fontana.