North Wilkesboro Speedway Shows Inside Of Rumored “Moonshine Cave” Under Front Stretch Grandstands

North Wilkesboro Speedway NASCAR culture
North Wilkesboro Speedway

Looks like a bunch of dirt to me.

During grandstand cleaning and inspection last week, staff at North Wilkesboro Speedway found cracks in the original concrete in section N, and began removing seats to see what was going on. And in that process, they discovered an open area of “approximately 700-square-feet” underneath that appears to be part of what was a long-rumored moonshine cave.

At the time, Steve Swift, senior vice president of operations and development at Speedway Motorsports, said that they had not located a still itself yet, but they did find a small cave and interior wall that would’ve “been the perfect location to not only make illegal liquor, but to hide from the law as well”:

“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.

Well, we haven’t found find 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.”

They shared a couple photos earlier in the week, too, which didn’t really appear to be much of anything from what we could see on the surface, honestly:

And in an update yesterday, they shared more video of the inside of the “cave,” which again, doesn’t really look like what you would imagine a secret moonshine cave to look like, and looks more like a sinkhole from years of wear and tear:

Steve also gave another update yesterday, saying they’re still not totally convinced there isn’t more under the track, but they don’t have time to dig deeper as they’re prepping for the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race that’s taking place there in May.

He did say that they hope to have Myth Busters, or some professional archeologists, come out and dig in really deep one day to see what they can find. And if they really think there could be more to it, I think that’s an abolsute must in terms of honoring the legacy and lore of this NASCAR gem:

“It’s hard to say if the folklore and old stories that you constantly hear around here are true, but we are in the heart of what was once moonshining country, so who knows? We didn’t want to dig too deep into the cave, we unfortunately didn’t have time to be an archeologist.

There’s things under there you would see that makes no sense why they are there. We saw some things that were kind of weird, columns and an interior wall and it made us think of some of the stories we have heard in the past, there could be something to this hole.

It’s still plausible, and maybe Myth Busters can come out and investigate it one day.”

Single-day tickets for the All-Star race weekend go on sale tomorrow, so it’s not crazy to imagine that they might’ve exaggerated this story in order to create excitement about the event coming soon (and it certainly worked because this story went pretty viral).

And even if it’s not true, it’s not really all that far fetched in terms of something like that being real, so like I said, I do hope they look more into it once race weekend passes in a couple months. There’s been rumors about it for years among locals, so maybe they still (pun very much intended) know something we all don’t:

The History Of Moonshine And North Wilkesboro Speedway

The track first opened in 1947 as a dirt track in rural Wilkes county, at the inception of the sport, and was later paved in 1958 and ran some of the biggest races in NASCAR up until the last Winston Cup Series race in 1996.

NASCAR clearly had humble beginnings in Wilkes and the surrounding counties, as it was then-known as the Moonshine Capital of America (and it probably still is, not gonna lie). In the prohibition era, people would run moonshine up and down the mountains, which often meant having to outrun the law so they could sell their illegal liquor.

Over time, they learned how to soup their cars up and make them run as fast as possible so they wouldn’t get caught, and eventually, the sport we know as NASCAR today was born.

The sport was not only a huge source of entertainment for people from all over the country who traveled to watch races there, but it also brought a lot to the economy in a town that, like so many small towns across the country, has seen a lot of its big industries leave.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has also played a massive role in getting everything reopen, and he put out a fantastic series on his Youtube page called Roots & Revival series, which focuses on all of the history of the track, that I’d highly recommended watching for some more insight.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock