WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Racing season is fast approaching but don’t expect construction along U.S. 52 in Winston-Salem to stop grassroots racing at Bowman Gray Stadium this year.
“It’s the thing to do in Winston-Salem on a Saturday night,” said Gray Garrison, a promoter with Bowman Gray Racing.
A plan has been in development for the last four months to put extra people in place to help fans navigate around the major construction in the area.
The plan will combine the efforts of the Winston-Salem Police Department, Department of Transportation and Winston-Salem State University.
Fans can expect parking in new places and a shuttle to help with the crowds. The stadium holds 17,000 people and some nights they hit capacity.
“We’re NASCAR’s oldest weekly race track so there’s been a lot of history here and a lot more history to be made so we’re looking forward to it,” said Garrison.
Garrison can see the improvements helping access to the track down the road.
“Once it’s completed it will be great for everyone,” said Garrison. “It will drop people off at the front door.”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is aware of the big crowds racing draws and the potential problems while the stretch is being worked on.
“This first season we will not have Salem Creek Connector open,” said Wright Archer, with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
DOT will have extra signs up to help people who would normally take the Vargrave Street exit off U.S. 52.
“The main thing is inform the public of what’s going on so folks can be safe going to and from work and coming home,” said Wright Archer, with the Department of Transportation.
According to Archer, 90,000 drivers per day use the highway. Ultimately, construction will help improve traffic into and out of downtown Winston-Salem.