|Official name Wilkes 160|
|Date October 11, 1953 (1953-October-11)|
Location North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Course Permanent racing facility 0.625 mi (1.005 km)
Distance 160 laps, 160.0 mi (257.4 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures approaching 78.1 °F (25.6 °C); wind speeds up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)
The 1953 Wilkes 160 was a NASCAR Grand National Series (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) event that was held on October 11, 1953, at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
The race car drivers still had to commute to the races using the same stock cars that competed in a typical weekend's race through a policy of homologation (and under their own power). This policy was in effect until roughly 1975. By 1980, NASCAR had completely stopped tracking the year model of all the vehicles and most teams did not take stock cars to the track under their own power anymore.
It took one hour and twenty-four minutes to race 160 laps on a dirt oval track spanning 0.625 miles (1.006 km). Thirteen lead changes were given amongst four different drivers. Three cautions were given for 16 laps in front of 2000 loyal spectators.
The top ten finishers were: Speedy Thompson (defeating Flock by two laps), Fonty Flock, Ray Duhigg (finished in a car owned by Julian Petty), Bob Welborn, Lee Petty (father of Richard Petty who started his NASCAR career six years later), Buck Baker, Bill Blair, Joe Eubanks, Jimmie Lewallen, and Bub King. Ralph Dutton was the last-place finisher of the race. Not all the driver numbers have been preserved through the years due to the habit of early NASCAR scorers to throw non-essential statistics into the garbage after each race. Any statistics that remain were kept because they were deemed to be "essential information". Arden Mounts drove in this race (and later at the 1955 Southern 500 and the 1956 Southern 500). Pete Stewart made his NASCAR Cup Series début here. Although the race had no bearing on the season ending points championship, the race was of extreme importance to Petty.
The average speed was 71.202 miles per hour (114.589 km/h) while Buck Baker qualified with a speed of 78.288 miles per hour (125.992 km/h).