C.E. Falk has raced all cross the Carolinas and Virginias in a Late Model Stock Car. His career has also spanned starts at Richmond International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway’s short-lived short track.
And yet, the 29-year-old had never experienced anything quite like Martinsville Speedway at night under the new LED lighting system last week for the Valley Star Credit Union 300 open test.
“The track kind of went through three changes,” Falk said. “When the lights first came on, we all got faster and it was like we were in a video game there for a little bit. Then the track slowed down for a minute. That was weird.
“We all thought we would run sub 20 second laps but it slowed down and right there, that last stint, it got cold, and it picked the track back up. All in all, that was a cool experience.
“It’s like a video game man, that’s the only way I can describe it. It was fun.”
The four-time Langley Speedway Late Model track champion has won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown and came agonizingly close to winning the Battle at the Beach at Daytona. He says winning the Martinsville 300 on the night the lights were turned on would be better than anything else he has done or came close to doing in his career.
“It would have been nice having the Daytona trophy a few years ago,” Falk said. “That still bothers me, but I’ll take a grandfather clock over any of them.”
Kyle Larson famously dumped Falk in 2013 to win the Battle at the Beach at Daytona. It would have served as his signature victory, something he hopes comes back around in his favor on Saturday night at the historic Virginia half-mile.
Trevor Townsend contributed to this report.