Martinsville Set for Its First (Unintentional) Night Race
When Martinsville Speedway first added lights around the track they insisted they had no plans of every using them, instead referring to the $5 million system as, "an insurance policy" for any potential weather delays.
As the NASCAR series lines up for the latest playoff round of the playoffs this Sunday, the eyes of many are not on the track, but on the skies.
According to local weather reports, the chance of rain on Sunday has risen to 80%, throwing into danger the already late 3:00 PM EST start of the short track race.
If rain delays force the Speedway to push the start of the race into the night, Speedway owners are prepared to start the race under the lights.
Drivers, however, are wary of running at night as a NASCAR has never so much as turned a wheel in anger under the lights.
2017 title contender Kevin Harvick said about the potential night race, "We’ve all never made one lap at night. You don’t really know what to expect."
He continued by saying, "It’s very interesting that this all comes at this particular point in the year. You just have to try and take everything in and balance it all as best you can... Martinsville is a pretty finicky race track when it comes to temperature and rubber on the race track."
Either way, it is looking more and more like race organizers will not attempt to delay the race to Monday and will indeed run at night, which will sure throw a wrench into the eight drivers hunting down the elusive championship trophy.