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The 1996 Tyson Holly Farms 400 (the last Winston Cup Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway)

While visiting family in Florida during 2017, I stumbled upon some old racing pictures from the late 1990s which my Dad and I took.  One particular race caught my eye from 1996, the September 29th Tyson Holly Farms 400.  At the time this was intended to be the last NASCAR Winston Cup Race (now Cup Series) at North Wilkesboro Speedway.  The below cover photo is from end of driver introduction ceremony which featured the entire starting lineup.  The NASCAR Cup Series will be returning to North Wilkesboro for the All-Star Race on May 21, 2023. 

North Wilkesboro Speedway is located off of Route US Route 421 near the town of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  North Wilkesboro Speedway is a 0.625 mile short track with 14 degree banked turns.  The facility at North Wilkesboro opened to racing in 1947 and was on NASCAR's top circuit from 1949 to 1996.  North Wikesboro Speedway was ultimately replaced on the Winston Cup schedule by Texas Motor Speedway.  During the 1996 season North Wilkesboro Speedway sat 40,000 spectators . 

My Dad during 1996 was once the Marketing Vice President for Prodigy Online.  Prodigy Online was the primary sponsor of Dave Marcis and 71 car for the 1996 season.  During 1996 I was in middle school and followed motor sports extensively.  Ultimately my Dad pulled me out of school to attend the full racing week at North Wilkesboro given it was to be the last Winston Cup race at the venue.  Ted Musgrave ended up winning the pole for but the Tyson Holly Farms 400 was dominated by the eventual winner Jeff Gordon.  

Below are some of my photos with me and the 71 from the 1996 Tyson Holly Farms 400 starting grid.


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