Earnhardt Jr. Virtually Reviving Classic NASCAR Circuit
One of NASCAR’s most famous and historic tracks, long since abandoned, is set to be revived by one of the series’ biggest names. Though not in the physical way you might imagine.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., a two-time Daytona 500 winner and avid player of the iRacing video game, is in the process of paying for and helping with the cleanup of the dilapidated and long-forgotten North Wilkesboro Speedway, so that it can be scanned for use in the driving simulator itself. Thus, players in the near future truly can experience the roots of NASCAR.
The Speedway, in North Carolina, first opened as a dirt track in 1949, the same year as the inception of NASCAR, and was as much a part of the sport over decades as Daytona. The short-track semi-oval (just .6 of a mile) was paved in 1958, but hosted its last event in 1996 before being replaced by the Texas Motor Speedway. It opened again for smaller grass-roots races in 2010 but closed for good in 2011, and has since become run down and overgrown with weeds.
Earnhardt Jr. was at the track last week to help with the cleanup. “The end result was a super race ready surface and a giant pile of weeds and muck,” he said on Twitter. “I am so excited to see this track delivered to the iRacing community.”
*Images courtesy of SN Photo / Cody Hughes