Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR announced today that, as part of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season, the NASCAR All-Star Race will be held at historic North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2023, capping off a three-day event weekend at one of stock car racing’s most storied venues, May 19-21, 2023.
“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.”
The announcement was made outside of the North Carolina Museum of History, with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell joining Smith for the program.
“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.”
In November of last year, an $18M allocation from federal American Rescue Plan funds was designated for infrastructure improvements at North Wilkesboro Speedway through the North Carolina state budget. Earlier this week, Wilkes County awarded construction contracts for the forthcoming work. The General Assembly has agreed in principal to provide a $4M economic grant next year toward additional facility improvements to host the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race and future special events.
“For decades, North Wilkesboro Speedway was at the heart of racing and tourism in Western North Carolina,” Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said. “We look forward to seeing the renaissance of this track as it transforms into a premier venue for races and events in Wilkes County.”
North Wilkesboro, then a dirt track, hosted its first race in May of 1947. Over the next five decades, the 0.625-mile circuit hosted 93 NASCAR Cup Series races – its list of winners a variable who’s who of NASCAR royalty, including Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough and hometown hero Benny Parsons. Next year, the 39th running of the NASCAR All-Star Race will mark the first Cup Series event at North Wilkesboro Speedway since 1996.
NASCAR Hall of Famer and noted motorsports historian Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been a passionate supporter of the revitalization of North Wilkesboro Speedway.
“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.”
“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.”
Complete schedules for on-track competition and fan entertainment will be announced at a later date, as will the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race format. Register for the “Join the Movement” email list and follow North Wilkesboro Speedway social channels to stay up-to-date on all the latest information. The NASCAR All-Star Race will be broadcast on FS1, the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Three-day NASCAR All-Star Race weekend ticket packages will go on sale later this year. Fans can make a $25 donation to Speedway Children’s Charities starting Friday at noon to reserve a spot on the priority-to-buy list. All proceeds from the SCC Reserve List will serve children in need in Wilkes County. For more information or to “Join the Movement” e-mail list for the latest updates surrounding the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race, fans can visit www.northwilkesborospeedway.com.
For the latest news, schedules and ticket information, visit www.northwilkesborospeedway.com.
— Speedway Motorsports Inc. —
— North Wilkesboro Speedway (@NWBSpeedway) September 8, 2022
It’s official: NASCAR will return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the All-Star race in May 2023. pic.twitter.com/4nU4i8PFf8
— Alex Zietlow (@alexzietlow05) September 8, 2022
Original post: Earlier this year, Speedway Motorsports announced that North Wilkesboro would host two months of racing in 2022 featuring multiple lower racing series, first in August on pavement and then again in October on a dirt surface.
On Wednesday, the company tasked with running the racing events at the track – XR Events – confirmed the cancellation of the planned October dirt races.
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.
— Motorsport —
Speedway Motorsports' exact announcement tomorrow is not yet clear, but it comes after Fox Sports signaled that it wants to see NASCAR's All-Star Race shifted to grassroots tracks.
🔲 The announcement will be in North Carolina, where SM's owned short track is North Wilkesboro. pic.twitter.com/iTktM56Xec
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) September 7, 2022
Statement from XR Events CEO Barry Braun on the cancelation of October's dirt racing events at North Wilkesboro Speedway: pic.twitter.com/ZZ1D3xUX5h
— Racetrack Revival North Wilkesboro (@RTRevival) September 7, 2022