North Wilkesboro Speedway urban legend potentially confirmed, possible moonshine cave found below grandstands


A possible moonshine cave was discovered underneath the frontstretch grandstands at North Wilkesboro Speedway during an inspection of the facilities, track officials shared Tuesday. The discovery was made when operations staff discovered cracks in the original concrete stands in Section N, revealing an open area of approximately 700 square feet beneath the damaged area.
The open area beneath the stands is believed to potentially be a moonshine cave, validating long-held local legend that a secret moonshine still existed below the grandstands of one of NASCAR’s original racetracks in the foothills of North Carolina, an area notorious for bootlegging during the Prohibition era that served as the origins of stock car racing. North Wilkesboro Speedway was reopened in 2022 after being shut down for over 50 years, necessitating the renovations and upkeeping that led to Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s discovery.
“When we began renovating and restoring North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2022, we’d often hear stories of how an old moonshine still was operated here on the property under the grandstands,” Steve Swift, senior vice president of operations and development at Speedway Motorsports, said. “Well, we haven’t found a still (yet), but we’ve found a small cave and an interior wall that would have been the perfect location to not only make illegal liquor, but to hide from the law as well. We don’t know how people would have gotten in and out, but as we uncover more, there’s no telling what we might find.”
Speedway officials now say that approximately 600 seats have been removed from the North Wilkesboro grandstands, and that the staff is evaluating their next steps for foundation repair and concrete replacement ahead of the NASCAR All-Star Race in May.
Well before the rumored moonshine cave was unearthed, North Wilkesboro Speedway had already included many nods to its location and NASCAR’s heritage in North Carolina’s moonshine country. Last year’s All-Star Race weekend featured moonshine still-shaped trophies, a Prohibition-style speakeasy in the grandstands at the exit of turn 4, and a “Shine Shack” in the infield.


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