MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Last October, Martinsville Speedway made an announcement that was years in the making: night racing at the paperclip.
"The racing here is exciting during the day - multiply that when you put them under the lights," track president Clay Campbell said.
Wednesday night was the official unveiling of the $5 million "Light Up Martinsville" project. Campbell was on hand and said this has been a long time coming.
"I can't do a discussion with anybody without having that question, 'When are you going to put up lights?' Well, we can say there up," Campbell said.
Wednesday afternoon lighting crews were putting the finishing touches on the lights, which happen to be the only LED light system at a NASCAR premier series track in the country, a feature that Campbell says will only amplify the fan experience.
"The fans deserve this," Campbell said. "They wanted it, they got it, and I think it's going to be one exciting place to watch a race."
NASCAR has already set its 2017 schedule for the three national series but Campbell is confident this upgrade will keep Martinsville as a staple on the schedule for years to come.
"This proves that being the oldest track with the newest technology in lighting the investment that we have made it proves a point that we're here to stay, we're relevant, and we're really proud of what you're seeing here tonight," Campbell said.
ALL STAR RACE?
Could Martinsville could host an event such as the Monster Energy Series All-Star Race? Campbell certainly thinks so.
"We'd love to have the All-Star race," Campbell said. "I think this would be an ideal place for it. You don't really have to do any special gimmicks to make the race exciting, you're going to see an exciting race here anyway. That's not in my hands or my control but obviously we'd be up for entertaining that one."
The All-Star race began back in 1985 and has been run at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year with the exception of 1986 when it was at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.