Monday, April 18, 2016

The deserted North Wilkesboro Speedway

The North Wilkesboro Speedway opened in 1947 and for the next 5 decades it hosted races for NASCAR's top three series. Located 4 miles (6.4 km) east of the town of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, it carried a reputation as one of the fastest short-tracks in auto racing in the late 1940s and 1950s. The truck was also where the first NASCAR champion, Robert "Red" Byron, was crowned.

Through the 1960s and 1970s the NASCAR Grand National Series began focusing toward bigger, faster and longer tracks. To keep the facility modern, Speedway's owners built a garage facility within the truck and added new chairs for the audience. In 1964 the track was repaved however the lack of traction caused many crashes.

By the 1980's it was more obvious that the track was lagging behind other speedways on the NASCAR circuit with the attendance being the lowest. The track was closed after the fall race of 1996 and North Wilkesboro's spring date was moved to the new Texas Motor Speedway

In 2005, Save The Speedway group was founded aiming to bring races back to the Speedway. Although the owners agreed to sell the circuit for $12 million, the Speedway wasn't sold. The Speedway was reopened in 2010 and briefly played host to several Stock Car series before closing again in the spring of 2011. Since then, it remains empty. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned sport facilities around the world // More abandoned places in North Carolina // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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Sara Christian (No. 71) and Curtis Turner (No. 41) race during the 1949 Wilkes 200

The field prepares for the start of the 1950 Wilkes 200

Alan Kulwicki (No. 7) leads Brett Bodine (No. 26), Harry Gant (No. 33), Kyle Petty (No. 42), Dale Jarrett (No. 21) and Rusty Wallace in NASCAR action in the 1990s


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