North Wilkesboro Speedway Expected To Host 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race

North Wilkesboro Speedway NASCAR
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Am I dreaming?

This can’t be real…

But according to, the newly-revived short track, North Wilkesboro Speedway, will host the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race, which has been hosted at Texas Motor Speedway for the last several years.

Prior to that, it was always a night race at Charlotte Motor Speedway the week before the Coca-Cola 600. editor Jim Utter confirmed the news:

I mean, I’m not kidding you when I say my jaw dropped when news of the announcement started popping up on my timeline.

The track was recently reopened after a massive, grassroots campaign started by the town of Wilkesboro, North Carolina called We Want You Back caught the eye of SMI owner Marcus Smith. The track also received $10 million in funding from Governor Roy Cooper and the state of North Carolina to help with renovations.

After 25 years of the track sitting dormant on the side of highway 421, they’ve been running races during the entire month of August.

And just last week, the great Dale Earnhardt Jr. got back behind the wheel in his Sun Drop chevy to participate in a CARS tour race. He ultimately finished in 3rd place, and has been a massive part of what has even made any of this a possibility.

North Wilkesboro and XR Events CEO Barry Braun announced just earlier today that they decided to cancel dirt track racing that was scheduled for October, which seemed like a bit of an odd move after the plan had been to tear up the old pavement, run a few dirt races, then repave in 2023 to hopefully get back to more grassroots racing.

Dale Jr. and several others had commented after the August 31st race that the pavement actually felt great for racing, but no one thought they would cancel plans to repave altogether: learned that the plans are for the track to now host the All-Star Cup Series race next year:

“Sources said NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports have determined the current surface on the 0.625-mile track is sufficient to use for NASCAR national series competition now, which would allow it to play host to the 2023 All-Star Race for the Cup Series.”

They also confirmed:

“Officials with Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR have a ‘major announcement’ planned for Thursday morning in Raleigh, N.C., with N.C. Governor Roy Cooper at the North Carolina Museum of History.”

So somebody clearly let the cat out of the bag a little bit early, so to speak… and Denny Hamlin took to Twitter to share his thoughts on that:

This is pretty unbelievable, to say the very least, considering most people thought the track would never even be touched again, much less host another Cup Series race.

Speedway Motorsports president and CEO Marcus Smith said in April, when the announcement of reopening was first made, that the Truck Series was the most likely option for the track but it would be the 2024 season “at the earliest” before that was possible.

While it hasn’t been confirmed by track officials quite yet, all signs point to the fact that this is happening.

And while I have deep personal ties to the track and town itself, as a NASCAR fan outside of that, this is beyond cool.

I think this tweet really sums it up:

While it’s taken the sport a long, and very convoluted, route to get back home, it feels like we’re finally getting there.

And like I mentioned previously, it really goes to show that grassroots, local movements of any kind really matter, and that, as long as you never forget where you come from and believe in something, anything is possible.

It’s also a huge testament to the power of that Dale Jr… his daddy would be so proud, of that I’m sure.

Dale Jr. has been hinting on his podcast that there’s a major announcement coming that “would blow people’s minds,” and that is 100% correct. Don’t be surprised to see him be part of the big reveal tomorrow, either.

And for a little bit more insight as to the history of the track and why it’s so important to the local community and NASCAR sport as a whole, check out all five episodes of the awesome Roots & Revival series by JR Motorsports:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock