Martinsville (VA) Speedway will host its shortest NASCAR Cup Series race since 1956 this spring. See, instead of a pair of 500 lap races like we typically see on the Virginia paperclip each season, they’ve now decided to shorten the spring race this year to a 400-lap event. As a result, the April 9 race will now be known as the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400.
The last scheduled 400-lap Cup race run at Martinsville was Oct. 28, 1956 in which Jack Smith was victorious.
The Stages too also been shortened as well. The first stage is 80 laps, the second stage 100 with a final stage of 220 laps to the checkered flag finish.
The playoff race on Oct. 30 though still remains 500 laps.
The main reason for this is likely resulting in the spring race being a night time event. 500 laps under the lights could last nearly four hours if not longer to complete. Taking 100 laps off could get it more in a 3-hour or so wheelhouse which is better for fans in the stands as well as TV too.