RPW Column: Big Block Modifieds At North Wilkesboro Speedway…On Dirt: A Perfect Fit

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – NORTH WILKESBORO, NC – Dirt Modifieds at North Wilkesboro? Wait…what?

Yup, you read that right.

Last Saturday (April 16th), the racing world was set on its ear when event organizer XR made the announcement that they’d be bringing racing back to the historic venue in Wilkes County, NC.

Their program, called Racetrack Revival, will be a multi-week grassroots racing event featuring multiple series on the current track asphalt surface this coming August.

Then, following removal of the pavement, they will return for several weeks in October on dirt before a repave takes place for 2023.

The idea of action returning to Wilkesboro sent the racing world into a frenzy. However, it was the thought of dirt cars on the legendary track that had fans going absolutely crazy.

Then, Northeast fans had the chance to examine the proposed event schedule. That’s when they saw it. On October 20th – 22nd, the 410 Sprint Cars were listed, along with the Big Block Modifieds.

You would have thought the sky was falling. Dirt Mods at Wilkesboro?

Brandon Brown, Senior Manager of Digital Media and Marketing for XR, said the buzz around racing at the historic track has been electric so far. However, the idea to bring the Dirt Modifieds in was the right fit.

“We decided to include Big Blocks at North Wilkesboro, first and foremost, because we think they’ll put on a phenomenal show there,” Brown said. “We wanted a variety of classes to showcase the best in dirt racing at the track and the Big Blocks fit perfectly.”

North Wilkesboro has been a well-known asphalt track, particularly in the NASCAR world, for generations, but what brought about the idea to throw dirt cars on it before the proposed repave?

“It was a dirt track before they put asphalt down,” he said. “We wanted to preserve the history of the speedway and race on the current surface before anything else. However, once our month of pavement racing is up, we’ll pull up the old pavement and race on the original dirt.”

It was the organizers intentions to make sure the history of the track was fully encompassed.

“We will have various dirt classes in the month of October,” he said. “We want to celebrate the ‘complete’ history of the track.”

That includes the Northeast Big Block Modifieds. Has Brown or the folks at XR talked to any Series about sanctioning the event or had discussions as far as rules?

“One big thing about this announcement was keeping it a secret,” he said. “We simply couldn’t have conversations with sanctioning bodies before the announcement for fear of the information leaking out. Now that it’s out, we’ve gotten a lot of interest already from sanctioning bodies and welcome discussions with them about the events at Wilkesboro.”

Brown did not confirm if he’s heard from officials at DIRTcar or the Short Track Super Series for the Modified events, but said information about all classes will be rolling out shortly.

One driver who was excited to see the Modifieds on the schedule was Demetrios Drellos. From the moment the schedule came out, the event peaked his interest.

“When I saw the first list, and saw the Big Blocks on there, I hoped it was true,” Drellos said. “This track has a rich history in racing and for our cars to be a part of an event there will be just huge. I can’t wait to see this all come to fruition.”

While the announcement is still not even a week old, how has the schedule been received by racers and fans alike?

“There’s been a ton of enthusiasm for the schedule,” Brown said. “The asphalt portion has the attention of tons of teams and drivers from every class. The biggest of those drivers being Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’s expressed interest in watching all the races he can there.”

Will he only attend, or could fans see the NASCAR Hall of Famer compete?

“Earnhardt told us he could potentially race in the Late Model Stock event,” he said. “He also said he might be tailgating at the dirt track races.”

This type of excitement has to have organizers jacked up for what’s to come?

“The groundswell of support has been huge,” he said. “We plan to carry that momentum through the very last lap in October.”

Stay tuned to Race Pro Weekly as we will continue to bring you all the information about this historic event, as it unfolds. For the Dirt Modifieds, Sprints, Late Models and everything in between, you’ll be able to find it here!

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