What to Watch: 2023 All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro


All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway
(โฐ 8 p.m. ET | ๐Ÿ“บ FS1, FOX Sports App | ๐Ÿ“ป MRN, SiriusXM)

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race in Wilkes County, the second exhibition race of the 2023 Cup Series campaign.

Weekend schedule | TV schedule | Weather tracker | North Wilkesboro 101

๐Ÿ’ซ All-Star Open: Sunday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) | See format info, Pit Crew Challenge ๐Ÿ›ž

๐Ÿ“ Location: North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
๐Ÿ“ Track length: 0.625 miles
๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ Buy tickets: Find weekend passes, seats for the race
๐Ÿ’ฐ Cup Series race purse: $3,563,159
๐Ÿ’ต Grand prize for the winner: $1 million
๐Ÿ“ Race distance: 125 miles | 200 laps
๐Ÿ”ข Stages: No stages

๐Ÿšช Entry list: All-Star Open | All-Star Race
๐Ÿ“‹ Starting lineup: See where drivers will start following heat races
๐Ÿš— Pit stall assignments:
See where drivers will pit for the Open and All-Star Race
๐Ÿ† Most recent winner: Ryan Blaney (Texas Motor Speedway, 2022)

Key things to watch ๐Ÿ”‘

Top story line

North Wilkesboro and NASCAR go hand-in-hand. After a 26 year-absence from the NASCAR schedule, the iconic North Carolina short track has been revived and is ready to race. It’s as simple as that. From hosting Strictly Stock Series (now Cup Series) races in 1949 to Jeff Gordon’s valiant victory in 1996, the history at North Wilkesboro Speedway is unrivaled by most. Whichever driver wins Sunday’s All-Star Race will have their name written alongside some of the pioneers and most iconic drivers of the sport. For a track that was once on its last leg, this weekend’s revival and boost back to national prominence signifies another chapter in this track’s epic story.

๐Ÿ“ธ Before and after: Take a look at the incredible track transformation | ๐ŸŽˆOpen house: Fans gather to celebrate before Sunday’s action

History tells us…

Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. will be as hungry as ever. Both drivers have their share of Hall of Fame accolades, including a Cup Series championship on their resume. But despite their decades of race wins combined, neither has won the All-Star Race. Keselowski and Truex are just two of 11 drivers with 10 or more starts in the event to never reach Victory Lane — and they are the only active. Keselowski has finished runner-up three times (2012, 2016 and 2021) and Truex once in 2010. The two veteran drivers have each had solid starts to their 2023 campaigns and will both have their sights set on checking this box off their bucket lists.

He may not be the betting favorite to win, but watch out for…

Daniel Suárez. Suárez has been off to a shaky start the season after making a deep playoff push in 2022. He currently sits 18th in the Cup Series standings, while his teammate Ross Chastain has battled his way to the top. But the No. 99 crew has plenty of time left to turn their season around and with significantly less pressure during All-Star Race weekend, this should be the perfect formula to get them back on track. Suárez opened at 35-1 odds for Sunday’s race, and was listed at 14-1 on Sunday following his win in the opening heat race Saturday night. That puts him on the pole position for Sunday’s race. | See more opening odds for Sunday’s race | Suárez wins All-Star heat race

Inside the Race ๐Ÿ”

This week, MRN’s Todd Gordon and NBC Sports’ Steve Letarte break down Ross Chastain’s aggressive driving.

Familiar favorites โญ๏ธ

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.

– Paint Scheme Preview: New schemes for North Wilkesboro, including a Harvick tribute | Pick a favorite
– Power Rankings: Joey Logano and the No. 22 team searching for a spark | Latest driver rankings
– Betting odds: See which driver is the favorite for Sunday | Top bets, underdog picks
– Stacking Pennies:
Talking Ross Chastain and Julie Giese joins to discuss Chicago | Listen to the podcast

๐Ÿ’Ž NASCAR 75: Honoring NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers during diamond anniversary celebration | Check out the list

Hot off the press ๐Ÿ“ฐ

Key stories and breaking news from the week leading up to the race.

– Trucks at Wilkesboro: Kyle Larson scores win in series’ return to North Wilkesboro | Read more
– Pit Crew Challenge:
Ty Gibbs’ team wins as Open, Heat race lineups are set | Read more
– Ross Chastain:
Analyzing the driver’s talent, opportunities and challenges | Read more
– Penalty report:
No. 45 team penalized following Darlington | Read more
– Kevin Harvick:
Driver paying homage with one final ride in No. 29 | Read more
– From sim to star:
Byron matching Logano’s pace in pursuit of championship | Read analysis
– Kyle Busch:
Driver says William Byron is a ‘rare talent’ | Read more
– Pit-road stats:
Truex, Harvick benefit from solid days at Darlington | Read more
– Mission 600:
Aric Almirola wraps up 2023 program with visit to Camp Lejeune | Read more

Get in on the action ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Think you know NASCAR? Put your mettle to the test with gaming, fantasy and Fan Rewards.

๐Ÿšจ REMINDER: No Fantasy Live this week – check in again and set your lineup next week!

– Fan Rewards: New in 2023, get rewarded for your participation | Learn more
– NASCAR BetCenter: Don’t miss your chance to make picks each week | Visit the BetCenter
– Going the distance:
2023 Cup Series championship odds | See them here

Reviving NASCAR’s roots ๐Ÿš€

History behind the Cup Series All-Star Race and a dive into the highly-anticipated return to North Wilkesboro.

– Winner, winner: See every All-Star Race winner, including defending winner Ryan Blaney | See them here
Back to life: North Wilkesboro enjoying a near-miraculous revival | Read more
– Radial revolution: Fond memories for Goodyear’s first radial-tire win at North Wilkesboro | Read more
– Key players: Hear from the central people involved in the revival | Read more
– Short-track starter:
Bubba Pollard holds off William Byron to win Super Late Model race | Watch the video
– More racing:
Butterbean pulls away for monumental victory on Wednesday | Read full recap

Take some notes ๐Ÿ“

Five hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

Kyle Larson is the only repeat winner in the last 10 All-Star races.
Joey Logano is one away from Carl Edwards’ all-time streak (nine) for consecutive top-10 finishes in the All-Star Race.
Daniel Suárez has the second-best average finish among active drivers in the All-Star Race – 7.33. Logano is first at 6.17.
Kevin Harvick’s 2018 All-Star Race victory made him the third oldest driver (42) to win the event. Mark Martin won at 46.
Michael Waltrip and Ryan Newman are the only two drivers to win an All-Star Race before their first points win.

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