The spring Cup race at Martinsville Speedway will be 400 laps instead of 500, marking only the second time the track has scheduled a 400-lap Cup race in its history. The track made the announcement Thursday.
The change for the April 9 Cup race – the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 – is because the event is a night race. It is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Adjusting the race length allows the race to accommodate its start time.
The stages also have been changed. Stage 1 will end at Lap 80. Stage 2 will end at Lap 180. The final stage will be 220 laps.
The last scheduled 400-lap Cup race at Martinsville was Oct. 28, 1956. Jack Smith won that event. Martinsville has hosted Cup races since 1949.
The fall Cup playoff race at Martinsville will remain a 500-lap race. That event is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 30 on NBC.