Martinsville Set for Action Under the Lights

Martinsville Speedway's new LED lighting system is set for its race debut with Saturday's running of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, which can be heard live on the Motor Racing Network.

Martinsville Speedway's new LED lighting system is set for its race debut with Saturday's running of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, which can be heard live on the Motor Racing Network.

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Martinsville Speedway's new LED lighting system is set for its race debut with Saturday's ValleyStar Credit Union 300, which can be heard live on the Motor Racing Network.

Exclusive coverage of the prestigious late-model race starts at 4 p.m. (ET) with live streaming of the four 25-lap qualifying races, at MRN.com and on the MRN App. MRN's coverage of the featured event will begin at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

NASCAR’s best late-model drivers recently completed a test under the lights at the historic Virginia half-mile. Lee Pulliam, who has two ValleyStar 300 wins on his resume along with three national championships, said racing under the lights was "pretty cool."

"Seeing the first cars go out there was special," Pulliam said. "This is always the most prestigious late-model race in the country and this took it to the next level."

Four-time national champion Philip Morris, who has three ValleyStar 300 wins under his belt, said a fourth - which would tie Curtis Markham for the most late-model wins at Martinsville - would be the sweetest.

"This would rank as No. 1," among Morris' Martinsville wins, he said. "It’s never been like this (with the lights). It would mean an awful lot."

Morris said he saw glimpses of a different Martinsville under the lights than he is used to during the day.

"There's more grip," he said. "I saw glimpses of (a second groove). I don’t know if it’s enough of an advantage. It’s out there, you just have to decide if you want to go get it."

Tommy Lemons Jr., a two-time winner of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, said that he believes the excitement of the race will only be on brighter display under the lights.

"The drivers are crazy. Lights, no lights, the race will be a wild one, no matter what," Lemons said. "Running under the lights is going to add a new element to this place and more prestige."

Kelley Earnhardt-Miller will serve as the honorary pace-car driver in Martinsville's first race under the lights.

Earnhardt-Miller raced late models in the mid-1990s with her brothers, Dale and Kerry. While she never raced at Martinsville, she knows the importance of the race and, most likely, a few of the drivers in it.

"The Martinsville race is always 'The Race,' the prestigious race," she said. "It’s always the one we talk about - the car counts, drivers that show up – you always want to be a part of that race. You always want to make that race.

"I’ll probably be leading a few people I raced against 20 years ago."

 

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