North Wilkesboro Speedway has a storied history with NASCAR, but hasn't seen a Cup race since 1996.

To celebrate its 75th season, NASCAR announced the 2023 All-Star Race will be held at legendary track, North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The track about an hour north of Charlotte was a legendary stop on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit until its final race in 1996. The 2023 All-Star Race weekend will be held May 19-21.

“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.”

There had been a significant movement to rescue the classic track in the last few years, and $18 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan helped speed up some of that.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper joined Smith, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to announce the special event Thursday. The All-Star race has traditionally been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year.

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

“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 Governor Roy Cooper. “North Wilkesboro Speedway is back and better than ever, and the All-Star Race will take it to new heights.”

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.

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