Fayetteville Motor Speedway is bringing a fresh look into the 2020 racing season, with new track management, a reconfigured racetrack and upgraded facilities all on the horizon.
Brothers Dave Mitchell and Dan Stewart took over promotion of the Eastern North Carolina venue in December 2019, and immediately started making waves on improving the historic track. For Mitchell, it was a chance to help the sport in a new and exciting way.
“It was a decision we made to go from being a shop owner and racing cars to actually running the track trying to help improve the sport the best we can,” Mitchell told Speed51. “Me and my brother both have a successful business. We decided we were going to try to share some of that and run a race track.”
Perhaps the most noticeable change is a reconfiguration of the racing surface itself. Previously a fast 4/10-mile oval with long straightaways, work is well underway to shorten the track to a 3/8-mile distance for the 2020 season.
Mitchell hopes this change will bring more side-by-side racing to the venue, incorporating progressive banking with the shorter race track.
“We come from the Midwest,” explained Mitchell. “A lot of race tracks here that are a lot smaller and a lot more successful and a lot more side-by-side racing, seems to do better for the fans. After visiting and watching a bunch of races there this summer, we decided the place needed a facelift to try to make it more racey.
“The idea is to make it smaller, more racey, a 3/8-mile track that’s progressively banked. It’s small at the bottom and it gets more banked the taller it gets. We’re bringing both ends in, bringing the backstretch in, making it where fans can see some up-close racing instead of a big, wide racetrack. It will help some of the less budgeted teams with less of a motor racetrack.”
Not all of the changes are taking place on the race track, though. A new drainage system has already been installed during the offseason, and many more improvements are coming to the grounds, ranging from fan amenities to improved pit facilities.
“We’ve added a brand-new drainage system. There will be a brand-new VIP area, we’re totally taking the VIP area and redoing all the booths, new floors, new walls, new ceilings, new roofs. Everything will get painted in a new facelift. There will be new pit shacks, new guard shacks. A playground area for the kids, there will be a new playground coming. We have a new motorcycle parking area, we’ve got concrete coming in for that.”
Speedway officials plan to release a complete 2020 schedule in the coming days. However, several major dates are already confirmed with several touring series, with big events planned every month of the season.
“We’ve got the [Carolina] Clash and the ULTIMATE series. We will have a World of Outlaws event. We’ve got a monster truck show, the Carolina Sprint Tour is coming. We have at least one big show a month, two-day events. The third weekend of every month, we will be racing Friday and Saturday.”
Mitchell is excited going into the new season at his new track. That excitement is only intensified by the positive feedback he has received from the racing community in the Fayetteville area.
“It’s unbelievable, with the fans that we have and the support we have from the community. Everybody from the community stepping up is making it twice as exciting as I ever thought it would be, having that kind of fan base step up and asking what they can do to help make it successful.
“All of us changing our lifestyle to help the race track and help the community, it’s hard to say what kind of excitement we’re going to have.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Fayetteville Motor Speedway Facebook