RALEIGH, N.C. – Fifteen local governments across the state have been awarded $45.8 million to help 17 motorsports venues in their communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.
Among the racing venues included (see list below) include Coastal Plains Dragway ($485,000) in Onslow County, Outer Banks Speedway ($272,920) in Washington County and two facilities in Wilson County.
The grants from the state’s Motorsports Relief Fund, administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, will enhance local tourism, travel, and hospitality industries that benefit from the many motorsports events held in North Carolina.
“Motorsports are part of the fabric of North Carolina bringing jobs, tourism dollars and enjoyment to millions,” said Cooper. “These relief funds will help this industry coming out of the pandemic not only get back in the race full speed, but spark renewal of rural and urban speedways and stadiums all across our state.”
North Carolina is the birthplace of motorsports and NASCAR, an industry woven into the state’s history and identity. The state serves as the home to NASCAR’s headquarters and Hall of Fame, and 90% of the sanctioning body’s race teams are based in North Carolina. Other styles of racing thrive in the state as well, such as events organized by the National Hot Rod Association.
Charlotte Motor Speedway alone brought 1.1 million visitors to its events in 2019, and the venue generated more than $25 million a year in state and local tax revenue before the pandemic. However, between March and September 2020, Cabarrus County lost over $24 million in hotel revenue, leading to a loss of $540,000 in local taxes.
Grants from the Motorsports Relief Fund, awarded to local governments for the benefit of specific race venues in their communities, will enhance the visitor experience and can include upgrades to grandstands, pedestrian walkways, bathrooms, and a variety of other facility needs.
The grant awardees with their associated local motorsports venue include:
- Caldwell County – Tri County Speedway – $485,000
- City of Concord – Charlotte Motor Speedway – $13,000,000
- City of Hickory – Hickory Motor Speedway – $568,254
- City of Winston-Salem – Bowman Gray Stadium – $530,020
- Davie County – Farmington Dragway – $507,654
- Johnston County – GALOT Motorsports Park – $583,586
- Onslow County – Coastal Plains Dragway – $485,000
- Orange County – Orange County Speedway – $39,738
- Pasquotank County – Dixieland Speedway – $85,600
- Randolph County – Caraway Speedway – $485,000
- Richmond County – Rockingham Dragway – $485,000
- Richmond County – Rockingham Speedway – $9,000,000
- Wake County – Wake County Speedway – $537,511
- Washington County – Outer Banks Speedway – $272,920
- Wilkes County – North Wilkesboro Speedway – $18,000,000
- Wilson County – Southern National Motorsports Park – $557,770
- Wilson County – County Line Raceway – $196,232
“Small businesses are the linchpin of the tourism economy in North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “These grants from the Motorsports Relief Fund will help small businesses in each of these communities and will also help put the pandemic in our rear-view mirror.”
More information about the Motorsports Relief Fund is available online at nccommerce.com/grants-incentives/disaster-recovery/motorsports-relief-fund.