Somerset, KY — December 4, 2019
North Wilkesboro Speedway is a special place and the track is fondly remembered by stock car racing fans everywhere. The Lasco Press visited the Speedway earlier this year and the response to our story and pictures was remarkable. So many fans long to see racing return to the short track that generated so much excitement in NASCAR’s early years. Now a tribute to facility in the Blue Ridge foothills of North Carolina is in the works.
Author and historian M. Earl Smith has reached an agreement with history and local interest publisher Fonthill Media to publish his forthcoming work, tentatively titled North Wilkesboro Speedway: A Shrine of Stock-Car Racing. The volume will consist of not only a narrative history, but a photographic tour through nearly five decades of professional racing at North Wilkesboro.
This volume is a partnership between Smith and Save the Speedway, an organization founded in 2005 to bring racing back to North Wilkesboro. The organization is responsible for several events at the track in the last two decades, including races in the USAR, ASA, and PASS series. In addition, Save the Speedway applied for and received, a historical marker for the location in 2008. Their tireless efforts have helped to keep the dream of racing alive at North Wilkesboro.
Photographs are currently being sourced for the project, with items from the T. Taylor Warren Papers Concerning Motorsports at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte committed to the project. There will also be a general solicitation of media from NASCAR, Speedway Motorsports (the tracks’ current owner), Ford, General Motors, and members of the racing media family. A special solicitation will be made to current NASCAR teams who raced at the facility, as well as to racing fans, who will receive in-print credit for photographs used in the volume.
Smith estimates that the volume will be completed by August 31st, 2020, which follows the end of the NASCAR regular-season finale at Daytona two days prior. The book is tentatively scheduled for release the Friday preceding the 2021 Daytona 500, which will mark the launch of NASCAR’s ‘Gen 7’ car.
About the Author
M. Earl Smith is an author, historian, and professor of English at Somerset Community College in Somerset, Kentucky. He is the author of ten books, with volumes for children, adults, on local history, and on sports history. His most recent project, The Fab 5: The Scrapbook of a Revolution, which details the famed University of Michigan ‘Fab 5’ recruiting class, is scheduled for release on February 24th, 2020 by Fonthill Media. Any questions concerning this project should be directed to the contact information below.
M. Earl Smith
203 Gentry Lane
Somerset, KY 42501