WILKES COUNTY, N.C. — As NASCAR makes a comeback at North Wilkesboro, it also brings new life to the town, and for one family it also means the return of a tradition of helping those coming to see the big race.
What You Need To Know
- North Wilkesboro Speedway is back open
- Vickie Call and her father started parking cars at the speedway in the 1970s and 1980s, and it became a tradition for her family
- They're excited for the next generation to take things over
The Call family doesn’t just love the sport of NASCAR, they found employment with it in the 1970s and 1980s, when racing came to town at the North Wilkesboro Speedway.
“My father and I opened the gates. We parked for $3 a car. Well, we got about four or five cars. The next year, we parked for $4 a car, and got about 12 or 15. Then my brother said, ‘Oh, we got to make signs, we got to advertise.’ So, we started at $5 a car and filled the whole field up,” Wilkes County resident Vickie Call said.
Now that the speedway is back in action, Call is prepping her land to welcome fans coming in cars, RVs and campers. Call’s niece, Licia, and daughter, Brandie, are helping.
“In the 90s me and my sister, we [were] the Kool-Aid girls, and you would find us at the bottom of this drive at every single race, selling cups of Kool-Aid for 25 cents a cup,” Brandie Call said.
Now, years later, they’re passing it on to a new generation.
“Can’t express what it means for us to see our sons take place in something that we did almost 30 years ago,” Brandie Call said.
Brandie Call plans to upgrade and personalize the experience for her guests.
“From the Kool-Aid stands, we upgraded it to Icees and shaved ice. We also are selling bags of ice, bundles of wood. I’m offering a personal delivery service,” Brandie Call said.
They’re excited to see speedway back open and bringing race fans back to Wilkes County.
“Race fans are really unlike any other. Sporting events you go to that night, you tailgate, and it’s over. But racing — it’s days where you camp, you share stories over the bonfires and meet people that [are] forever your friends," Brandie Call said.
She’s hoping fans have a life-changing experience and come back for more.
“They have a great time. That means they’re going to come back, and that means, you know, revenue for all of us,” she said.