During the 44th Annual Paramount Auto Group Bobby Isaac Memorial for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton, North Carolina on September 5, 2020. (Jacob Kupferman/NASCAR)
NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing at Hickory Motor Speedway (Jacob Kupferman/NASCAR)

Track profile: Hickory Motor Speedway

Choose the nickname: “The World’s Most Famous Short Track” or the “Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.”

Either properly conveys the significance of Hickory Motor Speedway, the .363-mile NASCAR Home Track located in Newton, North Carolina.

One of the most storied tracks in stock car racing, Hickory in 2022 continues to host weekly racing from March through October as part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series. The track’s “Big 10” events conclude with the Weekly Series championship night — with double points for all divisions — in September.

RELATED: Watch Weekly Series action all season on FloRacing

From Gwyn Staley in 1951 to Josh Kossek in 2021, the list of track champions at Hickory is loaded with notable names. And that list does not include the NASCAR national series winners at the track in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

Below is everything to know about Hickory Motor Speedway.

Hickory Motor Speedway

Track Profile

Hickory Motor Speedway
(Jacob Kupferman/NASCAR)
Track Hickory Motor Speedway
Location Newton, North Carolina
Opened 1951
Length 0.363 miles
Banking 14 degrees in Turns 1-2; 12 degrees in Turns 3-4; 8 degrees on frontstretch and backstretch
Surface Asphalt

Hickory Motor Speedway opened in 1951 as a half-mile dirt track. That was the configuration on which Staley won the first race at the venue en route to his track championship that year.

That dirt track produced more notable track champions in the 1950s, as Junior Johnson won Hickory’s second track championship in 1952 before Ralph Earnhart reeled off consecutive Hickory titles in 1953-54.

Earnhardt would go on to win three more track championships at Hickory, in 1956, 1957 and 1957. Those titles sandwiched Hickory championships for Ned Jarrett in 1955 and Johnny Miller in 1958.

The Hickory dirt track was reconfigured to a shorter distance (0.4 miles) in 1955 before it was paved during the 1967 season. The track’s current configuration, an even shorter asphalt oval, arrived in 1970.

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Hickory hosted 35 NASCAR Cup Series races from 1953-71. Johnson has the most Cup wins at the track with seven in 20 starts, ahead of second-place Richard Petty’s five victories in 22 starts. Petty has the most top-10 Cup finishes at Hickory with 18 in those 22 starts.

Hickory also hosted 42 races for what’s now the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 1982-98. That includes six of 28 events in 1982, the first year for the series.

Tommy Houston and Jack Ingram are tied for the most Xfinity Series wins at Hickory with eight apiece.

Below are the complete lists of winners at Hickory Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series, followed by Hickory’s list of track champions.

Hickory Motor Speedway
(Jacob Kupferman/NASCAR)

NASCAR Cup Series races at Hickory Motor Speedway

Year-Race No. Date Winner
1953-10 5/16/53 Tim Flock
1953-29 8/29/53 Fonty Flock
1954-19 6/19/54 Herb Thomas
1955-12 5/7/55 Junior Johnson
1956-01 11/13/55 Tim Flock
1956-16 5/12/56 Speedy Thompson
1956-55 11/11/56 Speedy Thompson
1957-32 7/20/57 Jack Smith
1958-26 6/28/58 Lee Petty
1959-12 5/2/59 Junior Johnson
1959-37 9/11/59 Lee Petty
1960-11 4/15/60 Joe Weatherly
1960-36 9/9/60 Junior Johnson
1961-16 4/22/61 Junior Johnson
1961-43 9/8/61 Rex White
1962-19 5/5/62 Jack Smith
1962-46 9/7/62 Rex White
1963-12 3/24/63 Junior Johnson
1963-46 9/6/63 Junior Johnson
1964-23 5/16/64 Ned Jarrett
1964-52 9/11/64 David Pearson
1965-18 5/16/65 Junior Johnson
1965-46 9/10/65 Richard Petty
1966-09 4/3/66 David Pearson
1966-43 9/9/66 David Pearson
1967-12 4/9/67 Richard Petty
1967-41 9/8/67 Richard Petty
1968-08 4/7/68 Richard Petty
1968-40 9/6/68 David Pearson
1969-12 4/6/69 Bobby Isaac
1969-42 9/5/69 Bobby Isaac
1970-21 6/20/70 Bobby Isaac
1970-39 9/11/70 Bobby Isaac
1971-08 3/21/71 Richard Petty
1971-39 8/28/71 Tiny Lund

NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Hickory Motor Speedway

Year-Race No. Date Winner
1982-06 4/10/82 Jack Ingram
1982-12 5/23/82 Morgan Shepherd
1982-15 6/19/82 John Settlemyre
1982-20 8/1/82 Tommy Houston
1982-24 9/4/82 Jack Ingram
1982-28 10/17/82 Jack Ingram
1983-04 3/13/83 Tommy Ellis
1983-14 6/11/83 Tommy Ellis
1983-21 7/30/83 Sam Ard
1983-26 9/3/83 Tommy Houston
1983-34 10/16/83 Jack Ingram
1984-04 3/11/84 Jack Ingram
1984-14 6/9/84 Tommy Houston
1984-18 7/28/84 Jack Ingram
1984-27 10/13/84 Larry Pearson
1985-03 3/10/85 Jimmy Hensley
1985-12 6/8/85 Larry Pearson
1985-17 8/10/85 Ronnie Silver
1985-25 10/12/85 Tommy Houston
1986-03 3/9/86 Ronnie Silver
1986-13 6/7/86 Tommy Houston
1986-20 7/27/86 Jack Ingram
1987-02 3/15/87 Jack Ingram
1987-15 7/25/87 Dale Jarrett
1988-02 2/28/88 Mike Alexander
1988-19 7/23/88 Tommy Houston
1989-04 3/25/89 Jimmy Spencer
1989-18 7/22/89 Tommy Ellis
1990-05 3/25/90 Tommy Houston
1990-11 5/19/90 Chuck Bown
1991-06 3/31/91 Butch Miller
1991-15 6/15/91 Jimmy Hensley
1992-08 4/18/92 Tommy Houston
1992-31 11/8/92 Bobby Labonte
1993-06 4/10/93 Steve Grissom
1993-27 11/7/93 Johnny Rumley
1994-07 4/3/94 Ricky Craven
1994-19 7/31/94 Dennis Setzer
1995-08 4/15/95 Johnny Benson Jr.
1996-08 4/6/96 David Green
1997-07 3/29/97 Dick Trickle
1998-08 4/11/98 Ed Berrier

Racing Reference: More race results from Hickory

Hickory Motor Speedway track champions

Year Track champion
1951 Gwyn Staley
1952 Junior Johnson
1953 Ralph Earnhardt
1954 Ralph Earnhardt
1955 Ned Jarrett
1956 Ralph Earnhardt
1957 Ralph Earnhardt
1958 Johnny Miller
1959 Ralph Earnhardt
1960 Glenn Killian
1961 Glenn Killian
1962 Pete Stewart
1963 Pete Stewart
1964 Ken Houston
1965 Allen Rankin
1966 Ralph Thomas
1967 Bobby Waddell
1968 Jack Ingram
1969 Harry Gant
1970 Ned Setzer
1971 Jack Ingram
1972 Bob Pressley
1973 Harry Gant
1974 Bob Pressley
1975 Tommy Houston
1976 Tommy Houston
1977 John Settlemyre
1978 John Settlemyre
1979 John Settlemyre
1980 John Settlemyre
1981 John Settlemyre
1982 Gary Neice
1983 Dennis Setzer
1984 Max Prestwood Jr.
1985 Max Prestwood Jr.
1986 Tony Warren
1987 Richard Townsend
1988 Robert Huffman
1989 Robert Huffman
1990 Max Prestwood Jr.
1991 Larry Caudill
1992 Scott Kilby
1993 Dennis Setzer
1994 Andy Houston
1995 Max Prestwood Jr.
1996 Scott Kilby
1997 Marty Houston
1998 Dexter Canipe
1999 Shane Huffman
2000 Robin Harris
2001 Mark Setzer
2002 Pete Silva
2003 Matt Carter
2004 Matt McCall
2005 Keith Bumgarner
2006 Andy Loden
2007 Andy Loden
2008 Andy Loden
2009 Andy Mercer
2010 Andy Mercer
2011 Jesse LeFevers
2012 Austin McDaniel
2013 Austin McDaniel
2014 Josh Berry
2015 Matt Piercy
2016 Dexter Canipe, Jr.
2017 Ryan Millington
2018 Jacob Heafner
2019 Thomas Beane
2020 Ryan Millington
2021 Josh Kossek