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Martinsville spring Cup race to be 400 laps instead of 500

Alex Bowman wins at Martinsville, as he and Denny Hamlin clash, and Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., and Hamlin advance to the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway.

The spring Cup race at Martinsville Speedway will be 400 laps instead of 500, marking only the second time the track has scheduled a 400-lap Cup race in its history. The track made the announcement Thursday.

The change for the April 9 Cup race - the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 - is because the event is a night race. It is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Adjusting the race length allows the race to accommodate its start time.

MORE: 2022 Cup schedule, ticket, TV info

The stages also have been changed. Stage 1 will end at Lap 80. Stage 2 will end at Lap 180. The final stage will be 220 laps.

The last scheduled 400-lap Cup race at Martinsville was Oct. 28, 1956. Jack Smith won that event. Martinsville has hosted Cup races since 1949.

The fall Cup playoff race at Martinsville will remain a 500-lap race. That event is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 30 on NBC.