The 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race is poised to take place at North Wilkesboro Speedway, according to numerous reports. The venue closed for the third time in Spring 2023 but re-opened for public racing this year.
NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been a major factor in the process and will be present in Raliegh, NC for its announcement at 11:00 a.m. ET on Thursday morning. Earnhardt also competed in one of the latest races at the track.
This also comes after the CEO of North Wilkesboro Speedway announced on Wednesday that its dirt races in October will be canceled due to the conversion time. It could also be due to the expected announcement coming Thursday.
First thoughts on North Wilkesboro holding the NASCAR All-Star Race
This is a major step forward for NASCAR and North Wilkesboro Speedway after the final race was held at the venue in September 1996 when Jeff Gordon took the final points-paying event victory.
Texas Motor Speedway has held the NASCAR All-Star Race for the previous two events, but the lack of competitive racing and desire for change really speered the movement.
Plus, it was reported earlier in the summer that FOX Sports wanted NASCAR to shift away from Texas Motor Speedway and start a rotation of tracks for the prestigious event.
It is the right call to not make North Wilkesboro a points-paying NASCAR Cup Series event yet. Sure, maybe down the line those talks can be revised but there are too many current tracks on the schedule that deserve dates first.
NASCAR has tried to bring excitement to the All-Star Race for years but it hasn’t reached the levels that are desirable. Also, the fiasco at the end of this year’s event with the caution before the checkered flag and Ryan Blaney’s window net have cast a negative shadow over it.
There needed to change and it is very refreshing to see that occur. Hopefully, NASCAR can return to other legacy tracks and start a rotation that includes them all for the event. It would truly give meaning to the All-Star Race.
It used to be full of excitement with many events, such as the pit crew challenge and burnout competition. Granted, they tried to do a new qualifying format for the event this season but it wasn’t as fun as it was in the past.
Perhaps, they could try a new format with the event for next season. If NASCAR were to try out different ideas, it is not a bad thing. It’s impossible to know until an effort is made toward making it possible.
The announcement coming tomorrow is going to be one that is exciting for the sport, fans, and every organization within the sport. There could even be more details that we do not know at this point in time.
Stay tuned for the latest on NASCAR’s expected announcement of returning to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the 2023 All-Star Race and possibly more.