The NASCAR Cup Series last raced at North Wilkesboro Speedway since 1996
Next year, North Wilkesboro Speedway will host the NASCAR All-Star Race. The event will run May 19-21, 2023 and be highlighted by the NASCAR Cup Series race.
Back in November, an $18M allocation from federal American Rescue Plan funds was reserved for infrastructure improvements at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The funds came from the NC state budget.
With the funding approved, North Wilkesboro Speedway roared back to life. The track has hosted multiple short track sanctions and classes in recent weeks. The most recent late model stock event brought a sold out crowd as Dale Earnhardt Jr made his return.
Additionally, the General Assembly has agreed to provide a $4M economic grant toward more facility improvements for the All-Star race.
Marcus Smith: Speedway Motorsports
“The NASCAR All-Star Race has always been the fans’ race, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the fans during NASCAR’s 75th anniversary than returning to North Wilkesboro Speedway,” said Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith.
“We couldn’t have made this happen without tremendous support from so many people including Gov. Cooper, our state legislature, NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and of course, the people of Wilkes County. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve got the will to create something special alongside a community and hard-working staff that will get it done.”
Roy Cooper: NC Governor
“Motorsports are critical to North Carolina’s history, culture and economy, and our investments have helped to get the engines running again in places that needed revival,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “North Wilkesboro Speedway is back and better than ever, and the All-Star Race will take it to new heights.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr
“Some of my best memories as a little boy were going to North Wilkesboro,” said Earnhardt.
“And it got even better when I raced there as a teenager. I never thought I’d see that place full again, and then I got to race there this summer in a late model before a full house. There’s just something special about it. I know the track, the fans, and the community will put on a show when we’re back with the Cup cars for the All-Star race.”
Steve O’Donnell: NASCAR
“North Wilkesboro Speedway boasts a winners list that features the true giants of our sport, and next year, another great will be added as the NASCAR Cup Series stars once again race at this historic facility,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief operating officer.
“As part of our 75th anniversary season, we’re are excited to return to the roots of the sport for the NASCAR All-Star Race. This will be a can’t-miss event as we honor our past and look forward to the future.”
A full weekend schedule for the All-Star race has not been released.
Dirt Racing canceled at North Wilkesboro
Originally, the plan was to place dirt over the top of the old asphalt and run several weeks of dirt racing in October. However, those plans have been removed. After the dirt races, a repave was set to get underway.
“With ‘Racetrack Revival’ on the current asphalt at North Wilkesboro Speedway now in the books, our XR Events team could not be more grateful for the show of support by YOU – the fans, our sponsors and all the race teams and drivers that made this past August such a success,” a statement from XR opened.
“Along with Speedway Motorsports, we all truly made history together, breathing life back into one of NASCAR’s original race tracks, and it was an honor for us to take part in it.”
“Our original goal was for Racetrack Revival to continue in early October with races on North Wilkesboro as a dirt track, just as it was when it first opened in 1947. As we’ve studied the conversion process from asphalt to dirt, we’ve come to realize we simply cannot properly prepare the track in such a limited period of time to produce the racing product fans and competitors deserve.”
“With this notice, we are unfortunately canceling our proposed Racetrack Revival events in October at North Wilkesboro Speedway. If you purchased August/October season tickets or individual tickets to an October event, your account will be refunded by the appropriate amount.”
“After further renovations at the property, we look forward to returning to North Wilkesboro Speedway to produce more of the very best in grassroots racing!”