Today, Speedway Motorsports (SMI) announced that North Wilkesboro Speedway will host races in August and October before being repaved in 2023. The storied short track near North Wilkesboro, North Carolina had previously hosted NASCAR-sanctioned races from the organization’s inaugural season in 1949 until the track’s closure in 1996.
Racetrack Revival will see multiple series visit the .625-mile short track to race on the existing surface over the month of August. The pavement at the track will be torn up after these races. Then in October, races will be held on a dirt surface at North Wilkesboro. Besides a brief reopening in 2010, the speedway has been effectively shuttered since 1996.
While it hasn’t been confirmed which series will be visiting North Wilkesboro Speedway this year, Racetrack Revival promoter XR Events has a schedule posted on its website with corresponding car classes. The paved race dates in August will see Hornets, Super Late Models, Pro Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Late Model Stocks and Open Wheel Modifieds. In October, the dirt race races will have 410 Sprint Cars, Hornets, Big Block Modifieds, Open Wheel Modifieds, Super Late Models, 602 Crate Late Models, 604 Crate Late Models, and Stock Cars in competition.
It should be noted that October 21-22 dates listed for 410 Sprint Cars at North Wilkesboro coincide with a TBA slot for the 2022 World of Outlaws schedule. SMI does foresee North Wilkesboro Speedway having a NASCAR national touring series race date by 2024, most likely the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
SMI CEO Marcus Smith stated in the announcement press conference today that Dale Earnhardt Jr. asking to clean the speedway in 2019 for its iRacing scan was the catalyst to begin this revival project. I’m glad that a simulator won’t be the only way to experience this historic racing venue.