NASCAR Cup Series to return to legendary North Wilkesboro Speedway

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The NASCAR Cup Series is returning to the famous North Wilkesboro Speedway next season.

North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina will host the NASCAR All-Star Race during the organization’s 75th anniversary season. The All-Star event will culminate in a three-day racing weekend from May 19 to May 21 next year.

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A rusted North Wilkesboro Speedway logo sits on the outer wall of the start/finish line during the Cars Tour LMSC 125 on Aug 31, 2022, at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
(David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“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,” Marcus Smith, the Speedway Motorsports President and CEO , said in a news release.

“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.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr., #3, straps on his helmet before the Cars Tour LMSC 125 on Aug 31, 2022, at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., #3, straps on his helmet before the Cars Tour LMSC 125 on Aug 31, 2022, at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
(David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on hand for the announcement outside the North Carolina Museum of History. He raced a late-model stock car event last week – an even that drew more than 20,000 people, according to FOX 8.

“Some of my best memories as a little boy were going to North Wilkesboro,” Earnhardt said. “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.”

Terry Labonte, # 5, and Harry Gant, # 33, lead the field during a NASCAR Cup race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.  This was the final year the historic track held races for the Cup series.

Terry Labonte, # 5, and Harry Gant, # 33, lead the field during a NASCAR Cup race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. This was the final year the historic track held races for the Cup series.
(ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

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The short oval racetrack was a regular stop since NASCAR’s first season in 1949. But the track closed in 1996, briefly reopened in 2010 and again closed in 2011. The racetrack hosted several other race events in 2022 before the official announcement of NASCAR’s return for next season.

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