NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — In less than a month, racing will return to North Wilkesboro Speedway in Wilkes County. Although the racing series is not an official NASCAR sanctioned series, the month-long event in August is drawing some big names from NASCAR.

The speedway is full of history. Think of it as Wrigley Field or Madison Square Garden in New York City. Racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway traces back more than 70 years.

The speedway is still owned by the Smith Family and Speedway Motorsports, but there is an outside promoter (raceXR) helping get the track in good enough shape to welcome fans.

Leaders at raceXR have been posting progress reports on social media. Some of the old suites are being torn down and additions are being made to bring the track into the 21st century.

The plan is to get the track in good enough shape to host racing in August and October, before getting to work next year remodeling the track to match renderings released by Speedway Motorsports earlier this year. Leaders say the old original suites will be saved, others than those not structurally sound.

“North Wilkesboro Speedway is as close as you can get to the beginnings of stock car racing,” said Marcus Smith, President of Speedway Motorsports.

Before NASCAR called Uptown Charlotte home, downtown North Wilkesboro was where the sport was first established. In 1947 promoter Bill France, Sr. and a host of others met to draft plans to create NASCAR.

North Wilkesboro Speedway, which is just outside city limits, was farmland but hosted NASCAR during its first season in 1949.

Fast forward more than 70 years later and North Wilkesboro is adding another page in history by hosting racing for the first time since closing in 1996.

Testing took place in June and drivers are getting ready by submitting their entry blank and fees.

Terri Parsons, wife of the late Benny Parsons, helped create the “We Want You Back” campaign last year. It got enough traction to be noticed by Marcus Smith at Speedway Motorsports.

“I knew it could come back, but I knew that there was only one other way after going through so many false starts and people selling us pipe dreams,” said Parsons.

raceXR and Speedway Motorsports are calling the racing in August and October the “Racetrack Revival”. The first official race is planned for August 2 and 3, with races following nearly every week for the rest of the month.

The CARS Tour, one of the most recognizable Pro Late Model racing series, will hold a race at the track on August 30 and 31. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has announced he will be participating in that event.

RaceXR is looking for volunteers to help out when racing returns. Open applications are available at the speedway office or those interested can call 336-927-5000.

A complete schedule and more information can be found here.