Watch what it takes to bring this historical NASCAR track back to life virtually.


Following all of the sporting event cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, racing fans have been able to get their fix thanks to televised iRacing events. With the exception of Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace, it seems like iRacing has been a welcomed alternative to live racing for NASCAR fans and racers alike thanks to the level of realism incorporated into each track, and back in December, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. teamed up with iRacing and the Bristol Motor Speedway track operations crew to clean up the defunct North Wilkesboro Speedway so that it too could be digitally rendered.

To include this track in the racing simulator's software, the racing surface had to be cleared of grass and weeds so that it could be scanned and replicated to its exact specifications for iRacing. Once the racing surface has been cleared of any growth, then a laser is mounted atop a 10-foot tripod to begin scanning the race track. It takes 45 minutes to get a complete scan of around 400 feet of track surface and surrounding structures, and it took three days to completely scan the entire North Wilkesboro Speedway. This track was made available driving on iRacing on May 11th.

While he raced at this track before its NASCAR closure in 1996, Dale Jr. had raced at North Wilkesboro, but his "favorite memories" of the track were those when he was watching his dad, who won five times at this track in the Winston Cup Series. Located in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, this track is located just 40 minutes away from where Dale Jr. grew up, and he remembers running around the track as a kid and watching Dale Earnhardt in victory lane, which interestingly enough was located on top of the driver's lounge.

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