America's biggest state is home to a racetrack with a rather unique distinction. North Star Speedway in Wasilla, Alaska, is heralded as the northernmost asphalt racetrack in the world. Not in North America, or even in the Western Hemisphere, but in the world!
Located near Anchorage, the track was built in 1997 by A.J. Schwichtenberg and a group of 15 investors who also happened to be race car drivers.
"The reason the track was built," explains Corey LaCosta, driver of a Super Late Model and '99 Rookie of the Year at North Star Speedway, "was because there were no asphalt tracks in Alaska. A lot of drivers were having their cars torn up racing on the dirt, so they wanted to get to the next level and build a really nice asphalt track with the hopes of getting NASCAR involved in sanctioning weekly races."
What the organizers built was a pristine quarter-mile asphalt oval located in one of the most grandiose surroundings in all of racing. The track is built in a simply breath-taking setting bordered by majestic mountains and forests. "I have been to a lot of beautiful racing facilities" LaCosta recollects, "and I can honestly say that out of all the tracks I have seen throughout the country, I don't believe there is a view that is any better than what is up here at North Star Speedway."
NASCAR quickly took notice by bestowing on North Star Speedway its official sanction in the track's first year. The speedway was the first track ever to receive such an honor in its first year of operation.
Still the only asphalt track in Alaska, North Star Speedway hosts a variety of racing classes including Super Late Models, Legends, Trucks, Sportsman, Mini-Stocks, Baby Grands, Thunderstock, Go-Karts, and figure-eight events. The Trucks, Super Late Models, Mini-Stocks, and Sportsman are all sponsored by NASCAR while the Legend cars are sponsors by INEX (www.inexracing.com).
Since 1997 the track has expanded its amenities as well as its car counts. Track features include a seating capacity of about 5,000, camping, playgrounds for the kids, a NASCAR memorabilia shop, and full concessions
North Star Speedway's 2000 season began on Mother's Day, runs through September 9, and is highlighted by a Labor Day event with three days of racing and fireworks.
Track Facts11/44-mile asphaltBanking: 16 degreesCamping allowedAbout 5,000 seats