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Wednesday November 9, 2016

The calendar still says 2016, but 2017 is already shaping up to be one of historic proportions at Martinsville Speedway. Not only will the track be installing a state-of-the-art LED lighting system, but will also be celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Founded in 1947 by the late H. Clay Earles, the historic half-mile oval is the only track from the original NASCAR schedule that is still visited by NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. For 2017, the track is planning celebrations to last throughout the year.

“I think every year at Martinsville is special, but 2017 seems to be even more special than most,” Track President Clay Campbell said. “With the 70th anniversary and the lights, we are really excited. I think it’s the perfect way to celebrate our past, while constantly working to improve the facility.”

The celebration starts at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January, where Mr. Earles will receive the Landmark Award for outstanding contributions to NASCAR.

“There are a number of people who are deserving, so it truly is an honor for my family and for the race track to have my grandfather selected to receive the Landmark Award,” Campbell said. “The fact that he’s the recipient of the award the same year that the track turns 70 is really neat.”

Racing at Martinsville Speedway starts with the STP 500 race weekend, March 31-April 2. The weekend starts Friday with Virginia Lottery Pole Day and continues on Saturday with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be in action on Sunday with the STP 500.

“We are going to have a lot instore for the fans, celebrating our history that weekend,” Campbell said. “I think it’s appropriate that STP, who has been such an iconic brand and a fixture in our sport, will once again sponsor the race.”

Tickets for the STP 500 race weekend are on sale now.

The new lighting system will also be put to the test for the first time ever as the 2017 ValleyStar Credit Union 300, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race will also be the brightest. The race will be the first held under the lights.

“The lights have created so much buzz, everyone is talking about them,” Campbell said. “The Late Model drivers are the ones that race under the lights every week and I think they’ve earned the right to be the first to race under permanent lights here.”

The Chase for both Cup and Trucks will also return to Martinsville in the fall of 2017.

For more information about Martinsville Speedway or to purchase tickets for the STP 500 race weekend, visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX.

Tags: Martinsville, Martinsville Speedway, Motorsports, NASCAR, Racing