News & Events

Smokin’ Hot Fun at Hickory Motorcar Speedway and More

Lenoir Cruise Ins

Over the last six decades, Hickory Motor Speedway has become one of the most enviable racing venues in North Carolina. Located in Hickory, the speedway features a short track of about 0.363 miles with 9,600 sitting capacity and 3,200 lawn seats. Since inception, the asphalt shaped track has seen numerous adjustments on its original size to different suite users. The iconic track is considered the incubation of the NASCAR stars, and hence the most popular of its kind.


Other than being one of the most hyped North Carolina Speedway, the track remains one of the oldest. The first speedway was established in 1951 and measured approximately 0.5-miles. The first driver to win the first race was Gwyn Staley, who later became the track’s champion. Other drivers that dominated the first races include Ned Jarret, Ralph Earnhardt, and Junior Johnson among others. Other than hosting NASCAR tracks North Carolina the speedway has hosted other races as well.

The NASCAR Grand National Series visited the venue for the first time in 1953 when Tim Flock won the race making it a regular part of the National series.

Since 1951, the speedway has had three major reconfigurations. The first occurred in 1955 that shortened the North Carolina Speedway from 0.5 miles to 0.4 miles, and to its present length in 1970. After the 1971 grand series, the speedway fell off the hosting schedule as Reynolds started sponsoring the races and eventually dropped all under 250 miles.  

Nonetheless, the venue continued hosting the famous NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Series before it was changed to Budweiser Late Model series in 1982.

While the track played a prominent role in hosting the first seasons, other tracks started hosting the Bush Grand National Series contests, reducing the number of races in Hickory to two every year. By 1998, the Busch Grand series started adding more races to at the Winston tracks and later dropped Hickory Motor Speedway from the series. Nevertheless, the track is still home to the NASCAR club racing, the Cars Tour, and the Whelen all-American Series.


Other than attending races at the NASCAR tracks North Carolina, one cannot miss the fun that comes with Lenoir Cruise Ins. For the fast car enthusiasts, the June 4 and July 2, 2016, events bring more than just a race. Held every first Saturday of the month from April to October, the event offers a myriad of activities for children, parents and the elderly. From drawings for children, drivers of the cruise in cars, music for the old and charity contributions, you cannot miss a suitable activity for your family. And the best of all, all the funds through the sale of T-shirts and 50/50 Tickets goes towards the charity initiatives. Participants need to bring their most valued classic cars, motorcycles, and hot rods to join the monthly Lenoir Cruise Ins NC.


With numerous events going down in the summer of 2016, you may be spoilt for choice on the ones you need to attend. For this reason, one needs to check the calendar and check the ones that best suits your schedule before planning. If you are looking forward to a summer full of fun, you may consider participating in the following events:

  • The Knights of Destruction – July 23, 2016
  • Sam’s Club Night at the Races  – July 30, 2016
  • August 6, 2016 Lenoir Cruise In
  • September 3, 2016 Lenoir Cruise In
  • October 2, 2016 Lenoir Cruise In

Imagine living in a leafy suburb where you can access most of these events rather quickly? The Coves Mountain River Club is the place and is more than a neighborhood. It’s a community of friends who appreciate the grandeur of its location. Here families play together and care for one another in the good old fashioned way. If you’ve wanted a sense of belonging, you will find it and more at The Coves.

Call us directly at 828.754.0700 to schedule a tour.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84-page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide, which gives you more information about living in the foothills of North Carolina.

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The Coves Mountain River Club magazine