Lost Tracks - North Wilkesboro Speedway
The North Wilkesboro has already been driven three times in the VO (at NR2003 times). Between 1949 and 1996, however, drove the NASCAR Cup proudly 93 times here. The course developed in Wilkes County exactly where the stock cars have their roots. The region is something of the capital of Moonshine (black-fired alcohol) in the Prohibition era.
Already in 1946, the track was completed, but the capital of $ 1,500 was used up, so that you could not even make the underground straight. This left the front road downhill and the back road uphill until the end. In 1949 NASCAR reached the final in their first season, with Robert 'Red' Byron becoming the first champion here.
The .625 Miles Dirt Oval was at the time the fastest short track with speeds around 120 km / h. At the end of 1956 the course was paved and the speeds continued to rise. Almost nothing changed until the 1980s, with the 1990s the course seemed to be from a bygone era. The entrance fees were at the level of the 60s and they continued to forego investments to attract as many viewers with low prices. While NASCAR's last short track race took place in 1992 without a caution, the races became increasingly chaotic. So overtook, for example Earnhardt Sr. without Pit Speed Limit in the pit lane or even a pace car decided on the victory.
In 1995, the track operator Enoch Stanley, Speedway Motorsports bought 50% of the track. The other half belonged to the Stanley family who refused to sell Bruton Smith. A year later, however, the course was sold to Bob Bahre, who owned almost all routes with Smith at the time. Bahre also belonged to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which was to get a race in 1997.
Junior Johnson (driver, crew chief) therefore refused to race for the presumed final race while Smith was hiring bodyguards for himself. However, the fans did not become aggressive and stayed at the track long after the race to pay their last respects, so to speak. Texas and New Hampshire have been racing since 1997, while fans have repeatedly tried to buy the course. Including Junior Johnson, a referendum by which the county should buy the route, Jack Roush and many other clubs.
Smith, however, bought the 50% of stretcher and re-opened the series for smaller series in 2010 with 'Save The Speedway', but only a short time later, STS and Smith split, so in 2011 the course was closed again.