The last time the NASCAR Cup Series ran at North Wilkesboro Speedway was in 1996. The next season, one of those dates was given to the new Texas Motor Speedway and North Wilkesboro went to ruins. Now, in an ironic twist, North Wilkesboro is recovering and may be taking away a race date from Texas over 25 years after the fact.
According to Jim Utter at Motorsport, North Wilkesboro Speedway will replace Texas and is expected to be the site for the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race. This came after SBJ’s Adam Stern revealed that Fox went to NASCAR about moving the All-Star Race to various grassroots tracks.
Speedway Motorsports Inc. will have a press conference in Raleigh on Thursday that will include Dale Earnhardt Jr., SMI CEO Marcus Smith, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper, NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell, and Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Greg Walter. This furthers belief that North Wilkesboro will host the All-Star Race.
If this report is true, it will be the best of all worlds. North Wilkesboro was originally taken off the NASCAR schedule for its location and limited seating capacity in comparison to the other racetracks of the era. Even today, it’s not really in an area that can host a NASCAR Cup points race. But for an exhibition race, North Wilkesboro can be the perfect spot to not only have the track somewhere on the schedule, but make the All-Star Race feel special again. Also, NASCAR could use some fan goodwill given how this year’s All-Star Race ended and some fans not liking the idea of taking away the Road America race in favor of a street race in Chicago.
[Motorsport/Photo: North Wilkesboro Speedway]