North Wilkesboro Speedway will be getting a much-needed facelift, according to Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith, who recently shared the company’s revitalization plans for the North Carolina speedway.
Earmarked within the North Carolina state budget, the state is putting $18 million toward infrastructure improvements at the historic 0.625-mile facility. That money, Smith said, will go toward modernizing the venue to bring motorsports, concerts and other entertainment options back to the track.
“The future of North Wilkesboro Speedway is bright,” Smith said at the Wilkes County Chamber of Commerce 75th Membership Celebration. “There is a great opportunity to revive this fantastic venue to be, not just a racetrack, but a place that can host lots of events, a place that people will come to from far away and enjoy the community, enjoy the region and enjoy special events.”
Thanks to the efforts of local volunteer groups, cleanup around the 75-year-old race track began several months ago and attention can now turn to prioritizing the necessary upgrades and refurbishment projects to reopen North Wilkesboro Speedway, track officials said. Smith highlighted his vision for the property through a series of renderings that showcased not only a return to racing, but also alternative uses like serving as a concert venue.
“Water, sewer, electricity, roads, connectivity – those are a lot of the building blocks that we need to get done,” Smith said. “We want to keep the character of the property, celebrate the history, but, of course, make it safe, convenient and enjoyable for everyone who comes to visit.
“In the car world, I would call it a resto-mod. It’s going to look old, but it’s going to work new. When you think about nostalgic opportunities, this is one of those one-in-a-million opportunities.
“Our hope is to celebrate the history and look forward to the future. North Wilkesboro Speedway is an amazing, historic place for NASCAR. It’s almost like Fenway Park is to baseball. I think, with this money from the state and the American Rescue Plan, we can make some dreams a reality at North Wilkesboro Speedway.”
Smith noted the possibility of bringing a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, the speedway said. “We specifically – and I’ll thank Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Camping World for his voice of support – we specifically think it’s a real possibility to bring back NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series to North Wilkesboro Speedway,” he said. “Those races are nationally televised events, and it’s a national NASCAR touring series. We have a number of those (races) in our portfolio, and I would love to see one of those here.”