North Wilkesboro Speedway is a NASCAR original track from 1949 and as they look to keep returning to their roots, Wilkesboro must come back to the Cup Series.
When the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series went to the track last year, there was hype for the track’s “revival” on the iRacing platform. The race was broadcasted on Fox and was a success during NASCAR’s Covid delay last year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has also been vocal for the track’s return. On his podcast, The Dale Jr. Download, he talked to Marcus Smith (President of Speedway Motorsports Inc.).
“I just want to let you know that we haven’t forgotten about North Wilkesboro,” Smith said. We haven’t given up on it.”
Even Caping World CEO Marcus Lemonis has vaguely hinted at some “stuff” coming to North Wilkesboro. This is important for the track’s future, considering Camping World is the sponsor of the NASCAR Truck Series and one of their most featured sponsors overall.
Does NASCAR really need to return and would a return even be possible?
A return to North Wilkesboro Speedway is a must and especially in the Cup Series’ current state of affairs. NASCAR is looking to go back to more small speedways and move away from the cookie-cutter one and a half mile speedways.
The fans are also in almost full support of the track’s return. If such a return did happen, the race itself would surely sellout or come close to it.
However, the real problem with North Wilkesboro is the current condition of the track. Besides a few late model races in 2011, the track hasn’t been raced on constantly since the mid-90s. The track needs a complete resurfacing and all the amenities need a complete update or a total rebuild.
These changes and updates would be extremely costly and are the main reason why the track hasn’t been bought and fixed in the past.
Even with all the required fixes the track needs, it would still be a great addition and investment for NASCAR. Old school fans would be drawn back to the track of one of NASCARS’s most popular eras. New fans would get to witness a historic racing relic of the past in back in action and ride the wave of anticipation for the track.
The road to revival for North Wilkesboro Speedway is going to be costly and long no matter what good fortunes comes its way. However, the upside for the tracks return is too substantial and supported for NASCAR not to focus on the track’s return, which must come sooner rather than later.