In a riveting revelation for racing enthusiasts, the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race confirmed it will resume its thrilling course at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2024. The decision follows a resounding success of the inaugural race held at the location this year, the first time in 27 years for NASCAR’s top series. The impressive turnout reinforced the fans’ enduring fascination with stock car racing, generating a memorable, sold-out event.
State legislators, NASCAR executives, and Speedway officials gathered recently at the North Carolina Legislative Building for the announcement. It ensured that the .625-mile asphalt oval, nestled nearly 160 miles west of Raleigh, would remain on the Cup Series schedule for another year.
Significantly, the May 19 non-points exhibition race will observe its customary place on the calendar, a weekend prior to the much-anticipated Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
During NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season in 2023, the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro, in conjunction with the league’s debut street race in Chicago, were the marquee events, says NASCAR President Steve Phelps.
His excitement about returning with the All-Star Race to North Wilkesboro was contagious. The historic venue was NASCAR’s founding location, hosting over 90 Cup races before its closure in 1996 due to strategic diversifications. The track had sadly fallen into disrepair until its revival, led by Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. and state officials, became a reality.
Federal and state funding allowed the renewal of the track to materialize; a fact that was joyously announced in September 2022. Speedway Motorsports, owner of both Charlotte and North Wilkesboro speedways, recently announced that the track will undergo repaving, for the first time since 1981, in preparation for the upcoming race.
Kyle Larson reigned supreme at this year’s event with 35,000 fans witnessing his victorious charge for the $1 million winner-take-all prize.
With the upcoming state budget allocating an extra $4 million for the speedway’s improvements, another NASCAR Series race will ensue by 2028’s close.
Aafirmation that the 2024 All-Star Race meets this condition came from state Rep. Jason Saine. The governor, Roy Cooper, an ardent supporter of returning NASCAR to North Wilkesboro, also expressed his enthusiasm.
Phelps applauded the state’s support and highlighted the significance it plays in their decision-making process. He also underscored the potential benefits of organizing races in non-traditional markets.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding North Wilkesboro’s return to the regular cup series points race schedule, Phelps affirmed their commitment to preserving NASCAR’s rich history, while exploring broader horizons.
Interestingly, since its debut in 1985, the All-Star Race has been predominantly held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, barring only three deviations. Speedway Motorsports shifted the event to North Wilkesboro this year in what was an action-packed race as customary, appearing exclusively at venues under their ownership.