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Cool Factor Leads the Way on Wilkesboro Practice Day

For many, Monday's Racetrack Revival test and tune was a cool day to be at the track.


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Monday marked the first opportunity for teams to practice at North Wilkesboro Speedway en masse ahead of the Racetrack Revival, with racing getting underway on Tuesday. While it was a valuable opportunity for teams and drivers to learn what to expect going into the month of racing in August, it was first and foremost a chance to soak in a trip to the historic venue.

To most on the grounds, that was pretty cool in itself.

"It's totally cool to see the history here and the memories that were made at this place is phenomenal," Jimmy Blewett told Racing America. "One of the cool parts about this week is just being able to see it all. You look at it all and you wonder about everything that was done in that booth, in those grandstands, even the ticket booths signing in. It's memories on top of memories."

"This is pretty neat, it's like going back in time," said Matt Hirschman. "It's great to see the place is reopened. It feels like it's under construction, so you know there's a lot of work that's been done here and there's a lot of work that will still be done. It's good to be here and be a part of the reopening and the Revival."

Blewett and Hirschman will be just a couple of the drivers taking part in the Touring Modified division of racing over the next two evenings at North Wilkesboro. Both noted the abrasive nature of the aged racing surface, which will be removed at month's end ahead of dirt racing in October.

"The track felt good. It is a little abrasive," said Blewett. "It has that Myrtle Beach feel to it, and I really liked running Myrtle Beach. Hopefully, when we get all the cars out there and we can gauge ourselves, we'll be able to keep that speed up."

"It's what I expected in terms of the surface being aged," said Hirschman. "It's also dirty and green. It will change with more cars and actual racing. It will probably have the biggest change from Tuesday going into Wednesday, since that's when the racing will actually happen.

"It'll take some time to get it cleaned off, but the historical significance of this is the big thing. Realistically, for racing in the future here, a repave is going to do it a lot of good."

While the pavement may be abrasive, there has been plenty of work done surrounding the track. While maintaining its retro look, there has been plenty of fresh paint and upkeep to North Wilkesboro ahead of the Racetrack Revival.

That has given the venue the feel of a time capsule, which was not lost on Blewett.

"Growing up as a kid, everything was the NASCAR Winston Racing Series locally for me. Seeing those [Winston] signs brings us back to Riverhead, New Egypt, Islip days for me."

While the Modified stars will take center stage on Tuesday and Wednesday, Monday's testing session was open to anyone looking to bring a safe race car to North Wilkesboro. Several Late Model teams took advantage of this opportunity before their racing later in the month.

One such driver was Sammy Smith, who also enjoyed his chance to soak in the North Wilkesboro Speedway environment before he'll return for Super Late Model racing on August 12-13.

"It's a lot of fun. It's cool to be on a historical track like this," said Smith. I'm super glad to be able to come here, and I'm looking forward to the race in a couple of weeks."

Smith has raced - and won - at a lot of tracks in his young career, including victories in the Winchester 400 and the Redbud 400 since last fall. Yet, North Wilkesboro doesn't really compare to anywhere he's raced in his eyes.

"It doesn't compare, really. Turns one and two is nothing like I've run on before. Three and four is like Pensacola or Montgomery a little bit. Turn four will be big here. It's a super fun track, I enjoyed it."

The Racetrack Revival begins on August 2-3, with Touring Modifieds headlining the action. They will be joined by Mini Stocks and the Carolina Crate Modified Series.

Event tickets are available at racetrackrevival.com for fans planning to make the pilgrimage to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the event. However, we understand most fans won’t be able to attend all of the racing throughout the month of August in person.

Through a partnership between XR Events and Racing America, fans unable to attend the Racetrack Revival will be able to watch each day of racing live on Racing America via a la carte pay-per-view options.


More specifically, each day’s broadcast will be available for $24.99 on RacingAmerica.TV. There will also be discounts available to these pay-per-view broadcasts for all Racing America subscribers. Current and new subscribers should keep a close eye on their email inbox for more information regarding discounts for the Racetrack Revival broadcasts.

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Oct 3, 2022