Speedway Associates Inc., which has been leasing historic North Wilkesboro Speedway the past 1 1/2 years, announced on Monday night it was shutting down operations at the track.

   “We lined up some great events. However, even though we can project positive income from events at the speedway, we do not have the money needed on the front end to make those events happen," Speedway Associates Inc. President Alton McBride Jr. said.

   "In spite of our complete investment in the speedway and in this community, we have run out of money necessary to go forward."

   Speedway Associates took over operation of the 5/8ths mile track in November 2009. The track had closed following the fall Cup series race in 1996. From Labor Day weekend 2010 through the 2011 season-opening Pro All-Star Series race, there were six large and more than a dozen small successful events held at the track.

   "In just 1½ years, SAI's fantastic team returned this wonderful, historic track to its rightful place as the most popular place for past and present industry icons to come and feel the history that was being kept alive by those who carry this speedway in their heart," McBride said.