Friday, January 26, 2007

North Wilkesboro For Sale

There’s good news and bad news for fans of North Wilkesboro Speedway this week.

Speedway Motorsports Incorporated CEO Bruton Smith and New Hampshire International Speedway owner Bob Bahre -- each of whom own a half-interest in North Wilkesboro -- have signed a deal with a real estate company to negotiate the sale of the track. However, Smith said today that does not necessarily mean the track may be reopened.

Smith said of the potential buyers, “I don't think they're looking at it for racing, but for other events like a major national fiddlers' convention. I hope the buyer is successful in whatever he wishes to do. We'll have to wait and see.”

Smith and Bahre bought North Wilkesboro a decade ago, moving its two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races to their own tracks. A group called Save The Speedway failed to interest investors in a plan to purchase and reopen the track three years ago, but continues to attempt to raise money for a North Wilkesboro Speedway Monument, to be placed in a public park near the speedway in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

The track held its final race on September 29, 1996, but remains in reasonably good condition. If you’re interested, the price tag is reportedly set at $12 million.


  1. Anonymous8:29 PM

    Wonder if the wannabe business boys over at the make-believe STS group are crying the blues?

    Still $12 million so I guess they still won't be doing anything. Surprise, surprise.

  2. Hey "Anonymous"

    Why are you bashing the STS group? Just curious.

    Have they harmed you in any way? Have they offended you? Have they taken up or wasted any of YOUR time and money? My guess is "no" to any of these questions. So why take the stance that you have? To me, it appears that the group is making a concious effort to remember where racing came from, and to celebrate it by trying to preserve a piece of racing history. What is wrong with that?

    In addition to STS, there are many other organizations who are out to remember racing's heritage. I could put out a rather lengthy list--a list that includes individuals spanning across the country from the track at Riverside(CA) to the tracks in Augusta(GA), Wilkesboro(NC), along with many others. The list would be long enough where it would take the better part of YOUR day to sit down and bash each one of them individually.

    Also, these "wanabee's" are very happy with what they are doing. Their efforts have been noticed--it's rather humbling when many drivers of the past show up to offer support at events put on by these groups. That list of drivers is long enough where agan, it would take the better part of YOUR day to sit down and bash each one of them individually.

    Give credit where credit is due. While you're apparently out spending hundreds of dollars (if not thousands) to keep up with "today's" racing, these folks are trying to bring the history to you for free.

    That's pretty cool as far as I see it.

    And by the way, my name is Rick...not "anonymous"

  3. Negative comments only help these types of projects. So, thanks for the support Anonymous.

    Please say something negative about the project at the former Augusta International Speedway. Please!

  4. 40 to 50 years from now there maybe similar groups trying to 'save' such 'traditional' tracks as the Texas Motor Speedway and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and such.

    All tracks without annual improvements will become antiquated, and North Wilks fell into that category, a handful of years before it was sold the Smith/Bahre in the first place.

    Preserving the history is a great thing and should be applauded though.

  5. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Hey Rick...go buy a brick.

    Feel free to post a great big list...I'll just gleen over it like your last novel.

  6. Are you a troll/flamer Anonymous or are you jealous of what the STS group has accomplished? They seem to have gotten somebody with some money to take a look at the track recently by keeping the track's name out there in the public eye.

    okla21fan is right. Groups like STS and AIRPS should be commended for their efforts at trying to preserve the history of these tracks. And like okla21fan said, tracks like Texas, Vegas and others will eventually fall into this category.

    Have you done anything to help preserve the history of tracks like Riverside, Ontario, Mesa Marin,Middle Georgia Speedway,or Jacksonville Speedway Anonymous?

  7. Anonymous6:02 PM


  8. wannabe speedway saver6:10 PM

    "Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable."
    - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  9. ESPN Classic is rebroadcasting the 1988 Holly Farms 400 from North Wilkesboro on February 1st at 4:00 CST.

    I'd take more NASCAR short track racing over the 1 1/2 miles anyday.

  10. I have removed a comment from 02JEEPX from this thread. If you are not capable of discussing issues without resorting to insults and personal threats, you are not welcome here. Keep the conversation civil, my friends, or I will shut the comment boards down.