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Wake County racetrack gets face lift ahead of '13 season

Posted March 29, 2013
Updated March 30, 2013

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— More than 50 years after it opened, the Wake County Speedway – located on Simpkins Road in south Raleigh – will debut a new look next week when the 2013 racing season begins.

After the Simpkins family leased the track to new owner Adam Resnick in January, the Racing Operations president teamed up with Charlie Hansen to give the iconic raceway a much-needed face lift. 

There are new bleachers, paint, lights and track surface, all things organizers hope will bring big-time racing back to Raleigh. 

Hansen, who is now the track's promoter and general manager, said the improvements help add to the history of the track. 

"We're just trying to make it a family-oriented place to come on Friday nights," he said. "There is so much history here."

Driver Lawson Flood, 12, said track improvements will make a big difference. 

"It's a lot better," Flood, who has been coming to the speedway for seven years, said. "The track is smoother, and overall the track is a lot nicer."

Flood's mother, Jennifer, said it's important to keep the hometown track up and running. Despite that, she admits to being nervous when her son hits the track. 

"He's been racing mini cup truck for a few years now, but this is his first year in a legend car," she said. "I'm scared to death, I want to smile and throw up at the same time. He lights up. He loves it."

The 2013 season, which kicks off April 5, will include close to 20 weeks of scheduled racing.


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  • happy2.0 Apr 2, 2013

    I'm impressed that a 12 year old has been driving for 7 years. lol I joke, I'm sure it's just typing dyslexia.

  • fatchanceimwrong Apr 1, 2013

    I've been going to the track for years and can't wait to see the upfits. Racing there is good, small town Friday night fun.

    I remember it was featured in a scene from the Kenny Rogers movie Six Pack.

  • BarnBrat Apr 1, 2013

    My mother used to do Powder Puff racing there in the late 50's - back when not many women did that sort of thing :)

  • CestLaVie Apr 1, 2013

    By the way, the only person you can find to interview is a 12-year old kid???? Hey. That's special. Must be the owner's or manager's nephew or something like that.

  • CestLaVie Apr 1, 2013

    Yep - 401 South out of Raleigh towards Fuquay. Simpkins Road on the right across from Par Golf (if it's still there - haven't been in this direction in years now). Race track is on the left. If you don't see it, you'll hear the cars! This is a very short track - I'm guessing around a 1/4 mile.

    Or, take Lake Wheeler Rd. south from I-40/I-440. Cross Tryon Rd. & keep going. Pass lake on the right & go past a stoplight. Keep going. Up the hill. Simpkins Rd. will be on the left after a fancy subdivision or two. Then, race track on the right.

  • CestLaVie Apr 1, 2013

    "...iconic raceway a much-needed face lift." I'll say; it should have been done 20 years ago, or more!

    "... bring big-time racing back to Raleigh." You've got to be kidding. This little podunk track where they make up the rules as a race goes on.

    Wonder how much ticket prices will increase? They were high enough before for this joint.

    Hey Charlie: Did you upgrade the women's bathrooms too? They were awful.

    Haven't been to a race at this track in over 20 years, for good reason. See above.

  • fishon Apr 1, 2013

    Wake County has a racetrack?

  • dixieboy Apr 1, 2013

    A little advertising goes a long way, almost as far as any kind of press coverage. What kind of track is it? I didn't know they had a track in Wake Co.