Within 48 hours after Speedway Associates Inc. announced it was closing Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway due to the business climate and a lack of working capital, the series scheduled to race at the five-eighths-mile track during the 2011 season said they support the management and its efforts to restructure.
“Let me tell you ol' boy, you have worked your tails off and we are gonna support you!" Pro All-Star Series owner Tom Mayberry told Speedway Associates President Alton McBride Jr.
PASS has already conducted two race weekends at the historic track. The Super Late Model Series made its debut at the track on Labor Day weekend last year. It was the first race at the facility in 14 years and was won by Chase Elliott, son of 1988 NASCAR Cup champion Bill Elliott. Last month, PASS conducted the nation's richest-ever Super Late Model event at the speedway. Known as “The Race”, it had entries from every region of the United States, as well as Canada. Colorado State University senior Chris Eggleston won that event. PASS is scheduled to return to North Wilkesboro on Labor Day weekend.
United Auto Racing Association President Kerry Bodenhamer, a former short-track racer, described McBride's decision earlier this week to close the track as a “tough” one. However, the owner of the Hendersonville, N.C.-based series said “UARA will not have a knee jerk reaction.”
“We are with you,” says Bodenhamer, whose series is scheduled to run at the track on June 18.
The USAC TRAXXAS Silver Crown and MOPAR National Midget series are scheduled to make their Wilkes County debut July 23 and USAC Senior Vice President of Race Operations Jason Smith says the sanctioning body is “ready to race with SAI and HNWS.”
U-Car Series' Larry Walls agreed with Smith.
“SAI can count on the Walls' U-Car Clash Series for anything we can do to help. We are ready to race,” says Walls, whose series participates in the Oct. 28-29 Short Track Shootout.
McBride said if financial restructuring can be completed in a timely fashion, all of the series announced on the 2011 schedule would compete.
"As was stated earlier this week when the closing of Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway was announced, this is a business and it must have the correct numbers when it comes to support, financials and participation,” McBride said. “However, we are very optimistic about the track's future because of the new opportunities that have been presented. The most refreshing development is the future support slated for the track from the county government and towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro that was noted earlier this week.”
SAI/HNWS is open to partnering with investors in or outside the Wilkes County community who want to see the speedway succeed. For more information call (336) 651-0018. The speedway's official Website is www.historicnws.com.