NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The North Wilkesboro Speedway is back in a big way, and fans got to see it today for the first time since the NASCAR All-Star race was announced.
The 75-year-old racetrack has new buildings, new paint and amenities in advance of the biggest week it has seen since 1996 when NASCAR last raced there.
Fans streamed into the North Wilkesboro Speedway to see the new renovations. It’s a labor of love breathing life into a racetrack that signifies what many thought was a bygone era of motorsports.
“I’ve been coming here since 1962. I was 9 years old for my first race,” said Otis Norman, racing superfan.
Seeing it back from the dead means everything to him.
“I’d like to have cried when I came through the gates,” he said.
He wasn’t alone.
“It gives me chills…it’s awesome to see. I’m excited,” said Anastasia Nichols, another Wilkesboro local who is ready for race week.
The fans aren’t the only ones excited.
The Sundrop car was popular on the front stretch. It’s Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s ride from the fall CARS Tour series race.
CARS Tour Director of Operations Keeley Dubensky is ready for round two one week from today.
“It started off as something that was so intimate and trying to revive it…now, this is the biggest event CARS Tour has ever seen,” Dubensky said.
Last fall’s winner is ready to race his boss Dale Jr. all over again.
“We’re going to try, hoping boss man runs good but hoping we go four in a row here and go back to back in Wilkesboro wins,” said Jr. Motorsports and CARS Tour driver Carson Kvapil.
Regardless of who crosses the finish line, fans are glad the track is back.
Racing kicks off Tuesday with the ASA Stars Tour super late models then Wednesday with the CARS Tour late model stock race.