Wake County Speedway is one of the smallest and most characteristic tracks in the region; a high banked quarter-mile track located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Wake County was also one of several tracks that underwent management changes during the offseason. Businessman Mike Stodder took over the lease to Wake County Speedway and brought in Charlie Hansen to help run the track. Hansen has already implemented minor changes with the hopes of attracting more cars to the track this season.
Hansen is hoping to work with two nearby tracks, Southern National Motorsports Park and East Carolina Motor Speedway, to strengthen racing across the region.
“It ultimately would be my goal if all three of our tracks could have the sale rules packages in all classes, even the same payouts, that way it just gives uniformity across the region,” Hansen said. “Sometimes drivers say they can go race at East Carolina for more money. It gives the tracks a chance to have complete uniformity so the drivers and fans can’t play tracks against each other. Uniformity in rules gives drivers choices of where to race so they’re not pinned to one track.”
On Sunday, Wake County Speedway announced that they were importing Southern National’s rules for their Late Model, Charger and U-CAR divisions but, on Monday, the track said they were staying with their rules package for the Late Model division. In spite of that, Hansen says the rules are close with Southern National and with East Carolina.
“Southern National changed their Limited rules from last year to incorporate their Late Model guys. We didn’t realize there was that many, there’s very few, like a shock rule and maybe a carburetor and motor package rules that are different but, essentially, the rules are the change.”
Wake County Speedway will continue racing on Friday nights on weeks opposite of Southern National with the first race being held on April 3rd. In 2014, the season opening race was greeted with warm, summer-like weather and a standing room only crowd. Hansen is eager for the opener and hopes he can duplicate that success.
“We anticipate a big opener this year. Mike has done everything he can to take Wake County to the next level. I believe we’ll continue building on the momentum Adam started. Mike’s making visual improvements to the facility, he’s fixing that driveway going in, he’s cleaning up the concession concourse area, and we’re doing some repainting. We’re repainting that tower a different color. They’re repainting the walls. The biggest thing is, you go in that driveway and it’s full of potholes, he’s going to fix that driveway and redo the whole section there pulling in and fix all the potholes going up to the speedway.”
Along with their standard Friday night shows, Wake County will host their Mini-Stock Mayhem on Saturday night, May 23rd. The regular season races will consist of either twin 30-lap races or 60-lap races with the exception of the finale which will be twin 50-lap races, and when you put 20 Late Models on a high-banked quarter-mile racetrack, the racing action does not disappoint.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of racetracks. For entertainment, Wake County is, by far, the best,” Hansen remarked. “It just hosts the best show for entertainment. You can have 10 cars at Wake County and put on a heck of a show. With a close race on a quarter mile, it doesn’t get any better.”
2015 Wake County Speedway season schedule
April 3rd: Late Model Stock Car
April 17th: Late Model Stock Car
May 1st: Late Model Stock Car (Twin Races)
May 15th: Late Model Stock Car
May 23rd: Mini-Stock Mayhem
June 5th: Late Model Stock Car
June 19th: Late Model Stock Car (Twin Races)
July 10th: Late Model Stock Car
July 24th: Late Model Stock Car
August 7th: Late Model Stock Car (Twin Races)
August 21st: Late Model Stock Car
September 4th: Late Model Stock Car
September 18th: Late Model Stock Car (Twin Races)