LEDs will illuminate the very first night race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, this Saturday, LEDs Magazine reported. International Speedway Corporation tapped Eaton’s Ephesus division for an outdoor solid-state lighting installation at the famed short track.
A mere .526 miles in length, the paperclip-like Martinsville Speedway plays host to the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 race this weekend. Called the “biggest, richest, most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock car race in the country,” the race winner takes a $25,000 pot and a grandfather clock.
Although the Ephesus LED lighting is up to 75% more energy efficient than traditional lighting, the quality of the light was the deciding factor for International Speedway Corporation, according to LEDs Magazine. The LEDs should optimize nighttime viewing for fans at the track as well as those watching the race on TV in high definition.
Last fall, International Speedway Corporation announced a $5 million “Light Up Martinsville” project, replacing the track’s old metal halide lights with Eaton’s Ephesus Stadium 750 LED professional sports lights. Ephesus installed several lighting structures around the facility’s perimeter and around the infield of the short track. When the project was completed, Martinsville Speedway became the first major motorsports facility to install LEDs.
“Our fans have told us that they want lighting,” Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell said in an announcement about the project last October. “To be able to light this track up when the sun goes down, that’s going to be something truly special.”
As for the drivers, Brenden “Butterbean” Queen told Race22.com he thinks it shouldn’t take long to adapt to the nighttime conditions, and that racing under the lights will make the event more competitive than it was in the past. “Everyone knows that when the sun goes down, the track gains grip,” he says. “I’m looking forward to seeing how much grip both lanes get.”
Ephesus Lighting has been on a roll helping sports facilities big and small switch over to LEDs. Lately that’s included Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and Target Field in Minnesota. The company’s LEDs will also light up the next three Super Bowls.