Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 00:00

Pandemic Recovery Grants Awarded to Support Motorsports Across North Carolina Local governments awarded $45.8 million to benefit 17 venues

Raleigh, N.C.
May 17, 2022

Fifteen local governments across the state have been awarded $45.8 million to help seventeen motorsports venues in their communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.  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 Governor Roy 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.  The 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:

Community Venue Grant Amount
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 here.

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