Blood Stains? Before Cleanup, North Wilkesboro Resembled Scene from 'The Walking Dead'

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Before Cleanup, North Wilkesboro was 'Terrifying'Autoweek Archives

On a dreary, cold December day in 2019, Chris Buescher answered Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s call for volunteers to help clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway so it could be mapped for iRacing, but what the NASCAR driver saw when they opened the door to the dilapidated track’s abandoned infield care center caught him off guard.

“This room right here was terrifying,” Buescher said on Saturday about the room that was converted into an infield media center for this year's NASCAR All-Star Race. “I mean, post-apocalyptic. It was disgusting. Stuff all over the place.

"I’m telling you, when we walked through the door right there it was straight out of The Walking Dead in here. There was a gurney on its side right there. It was terrifying. It was insane. I hope we cleaned the blood stains up and everything is good underneath the carpet.”


Today, the room is the historic short track’s modernized infield media center. When the track closed in 1996, a wall separated the small, infield care center from the dark, tiny media center that had room for about six people, 12 at the most. During reconstruction, the wall separating the two rooms was removed, new lighting, carpet, worktables, Wi-Fi and a mural showing the track’s history were installed.

“To see what it is today, it’s amazing,” said Buescher, who earned a front row starting position for Sunday night’s NASCAR All-Star race by winning Saturday night’s second heat race.

Kyle Larson went on to win Sunday's race and the $1 million top prize.

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North Wilkesboro got a new face for this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race.GETTY IMAGES