Hallett Motor Speedway is located in Buxton, North Carolina. The half-mile clay oval hosts NASCAR racing every Saturday night from May through October. The speedway recently underwent a $29 million renovation project and has added some unique features to the racing experience. Here are some of the things you need to know before heading off to North Carolina to catch some NASCAR!
The Renovated Hallett Speedway
The grand opening of the new Hallett Speedway was on May 18, 2018. Since that time, the speedway has hosted some incredible races, including the Carolina Hurricanes’ home opener. The track also drew a huge crowd for the Southern 500, which was the first NASCAR event to be held in November. The renovation project was put in place by Speedway owner Glen Madden and his team of engineers. They wanted to give the track a completely new look while still keeping its original charm. The project also included adding an LED fan lit sign board behind the grandstands, new seats and a new track surface. The design of the track was changed to suit modern day racing and accommodate for the new surface. The team also rebuilt the pits and dugouts, which were previously outdoors, and enclosed them in a new, climate controlled structure.
A One-of-a-Kind Track Surfaced In Just 5 Months
While other NASCAR tracks were still wet from the summer rains, Hallett Motor Speedway had already laid down its new surface. That’s because the track officially switched to a sealed surface, Dunlop-Krypton, on July 24th, just five months ago. Sealed surfaces are much more durable than traditional surfaces and require less maintenance work. The new surface looks phenomenal with its intricate pattern that promotes better traction. It also helps the cars lean into the corners and offers better aerodynamics. In addition, the paintjobs are also incredibly vivid and last much longer than previous versions. Sealed surfaces also make the cars more prone to heat damage, so it’s imperative that the track is cooled down effectively. Luckily, the area surrounding the track is very well-drained, so the atmosphere inside the grandstands and at the oval is always comfortable and pleasant.
A World-Class Restaurant And Bar Set On Chase Street
If you happen to be in downtown Buxton during the week, you’ll be able to grab a bite to eat at Madden’s Restaurant and Bar. For those, who aren’t exactly sure what kind of restaurant and bar to expect when they visit the area, here’s a quick tour: The inside of the establishment is modern and sleek with a couple of antique tables and chairs, exposed brick walls and large, floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a fantastic view of the downtown area. The bar is in the front and, naturally, offers a great view of the racing action. Behind the bar, you’ll find a long wooden table with seating for up to 12 people. The menu focuses on Southern fare with some Italian and American items thrown in for good measure. You’ll find all the essentials for a complete dining experience, from appetizers to dessert, and everything in between. Depending on how hungry you are after the adrenaline-pumping racing action, you may opt for a cheap $3 lunch at the snack bar or a more luxurious $15 three-course meal.
Unique Features In And Around The Track
Besides just being a great facility, the renovated Hallett Speedway also offers a number of unique features. One of the best is an observation tower, which is located just beyond turn two. It’s definitely a must-see for anyone attending a NASCAR race. From the terrace, which is adjacent to the tower, you’ll have an uninterrupted view of the entire track. The structure is protected by a gazebo-like roof and houses a large sundecoration. At night, the whole scene is beautifully lit up by the twinkling lights surrounding the track. The following is a list of some of the other unique features at the speedway:
- The catchment area, which is located just beyond turn one, is one of the largest in all of NASCAR. It collects rainwater and is stored in a large pool. When the pool is full, a button will release some of the water for the public.
- The outside of the track holds two 12-person, covered walkways. There’s also an open-air section that can be accessed directly outside the backstretch.
- One of the most unique features of Hallett Motor Speedway is its antique cars, which are on display throughout the year. The collection includes several Ford Ferrisas, a 1934 Ford Tudor and a 1967 Chevrolet El Camino. There are also several other cars and trucks that are for sale if you’re interested in adding a classic piece to your collection.
- While visiting the area, you cannot miss the huge mural that adorns the outside wall of the restaurant and bar. The artwork, which is done in the style of a European street fight, was a collaboration between artist Tim Prokop and the Buxton Downtown Development Authority. The mural depicts the area’s historical fight for independence and its connection to NASCAR.
- The Buxton Water Tower, which was built in the early 1900s, proudly stands in the center of the track. Its great view of the entire facility has been a point of pride for the community.
- Located adjacent to the track, but still a part of it, is the grandstands. They’re made of concrete and steel with a classic design. The seating is open with three sides enclosed by an embankment. There are also several spots along the first and third rails from which you can watch the racing action. The stands can hold up to 15,000 people.
- Behind the dugouts and under the stands is where you’ll find one of the biggest pits in NASCAR. It’s large enough to store all of the equipment and supplies needed for a complete race team. The structure was also completely refurbished and includes a press box, new lighting and seating.
- If you head back towards the entrance towards the backstretch, you’ll find the paddock. It’s a huge open space where the cars are cleaned and maintained. Between the two sets of fencing, which are adorned with red clay, you’ll find several garages where the team members park. There are also several spots along the fence for you to take a break from the action and catch a glimpse of the ongoing preparations for the next race.
It’s been almost a year since the renovation project at Hallett Motor Speedway and the track has continued to host some incredible races. It would be hard to put into words just how different the new track is from its former self. The combination of all the unique features make for a one-of-a-kind experience that you have to see to believe. Glen Madden and his team did an incredible job bringing the track some life after years of being dormant. While it’s still early days, the new Hallett Speedway is already proving to be a major improvement over its former self and shows no signs of slowing down. It’ll be interesting to see how the track continues to grow and change with time.