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NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — North Wilkesboro Speedway continues to progress forward toward its full revival.

The Wilkes County Board of Commissioners has approved a $14 million contract with Choate Construction to complete upgrades to the historic racetrack, according to NASCAR reporter Bob Pockrass. The $14 million will come from the $18 million in funds given to the track by the American Rescue Plan through the state.

That announcement continues the positive momentum that has been built ever since the track announced its long-awaited return to racing in November 2021.

Since then, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced in a late-model car in front of a sellout crowd as a part of the final race on the speedway’s old pavement surface in August 2022.

Big things will also be taking place in North Wilkesboro this upcoming Spring.

The speedway will host a NASCAR points race with the truck series on May 20, The Athletic announced in September 2022.

Then the very next day, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race will be coming to the track on May 21.

“Motorsports are critical to North Carolina’s history, culture and economy, and our investments have helped to get the engines running again in places that needed revival. North Wilkesboro Speedway is back and better than ever, and the All-Star Race will take it to new heights.”

Governor Roy Cooper during a press conference announcing the All-Star Race.

Gov. Cooper adorned a custom vintage North Wilkesboro Speedway racing jacket while making the announcement.

Gov. Roy Cooper during Thursday’s announcement

“North Wilkesboro Speedway boasts a winners list that features the true giants of our sport, and next year, another great will be added as the NASCAR Cup Series stars once again race at this historic facility. As part of our 75th anniversary season, we’re are excited to return to the roots of the sport for the NASCAR All-Star Race. This will be a can’t-miss event as we honor our past and look forward to the future.”

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief operating officer.

Even NASCAR royalty, such as Earnhardt Jr. and the wife of late NASCAR legend Benny Parsons have expressed their excitement for the track’s return.

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“Some of my best memories as a little boy were going to North Wilkesboro and it got even better when I raced there as a teenager. I never thought I’d see that place full again, and then I got to race there this summer in a late model before a full house. There’s just something special about it. I know the track, the fans, and the community will put on a show when we’re back with the Cup cars for the All-Star race.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Parsons, summed up the feelings of the community in even fewer words.

“The historical value of this track is we have always been told that this track was the first track ever sanctioned by NASCAR. Not the first track, but the first track ever sanctioned by NASCAR and that’s a big component right there. Well, how do you tear down history?”

Terri Parsons, wife of late NASCAR legend Benny Parsons