THE LAST LAP-NORTH WILKESBORO SPEEDWAY
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The Last Lap-‘North Wilkesboro Speedway Is Losing a Race Against Time’ is a harrowing look inside one of the most beloved speedways in America now sitting abandoned and forgotten in rural North Carolina.
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(eBook) The Last Lap-North Wilkesboro Speedway Is Losing a Race Against Time is a harrowing look inside one of the most beloved speedways in America now sitting abandoned and forgotten in rural North Carolina. High Quality Photo book. $9.99 USD
North Wilkesboro Speedway, which served as a stop in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series from 1949 until September 1996, has sat abandoned for 20 years.
Aside from a brief year of activity in 2011, the speedway has been left to rot in the elements.
Photographer Seph Lawless captured the decrepitude as part of his “Autopsy of America” project. The images are gathered in his new book, “The Last Lap – North Wilkesboro Speedway.”
Now, local photographer Seph Lawless is sharing several photos of the now-abandoned NASCAR race track he captured in North Carolina.
“This was America,” he said. “Gone were the sounds of the car engines roaring. The squealing of the race car tires as they hugged every curve of the track. Gone was the smell of burning rubber and fuel. All that’s left now is skid marks and the broken memories of a NASCAR champion.”
The track used to be the North Wilkesboro Speedway; it opened in 1947 and closed in 2011.
Lawless stopped there while traveling the country filming an upcoming reality show.
“As I walk the race track it’s eerily silent,” he said. “This track once grew champions…now it only grows weeds and dead grass. I approach the thick white finish line. I look up to a endless sea of abandoned seats. It’s faceless and emotionless. I became numb. I couldn’t tell if I had just finished my final lap or I was just beginning this race. Certain parts of America decline so fast these days, they should just paint racing stripes on it.”
North Wilkesboro Speedway | abandoned race track