While the 2023 NASCAR season kicked off Sunday with Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. racing his way into the May 21 NASCAR All-Star Race, North Wilkesboro Speedway construction crews are racing to prepare for the sport’s historic return to the famous 0.625-mile short track.
For the first time since 1996, the NASCAR Cup Series will compete at NWS during a jam-packed May 16-21 NASCAR All-Star Race week of action that will also include two nights of late model racing, three concerts and a NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race.
Media members were invited to the track Wednesday for a look at upgrades and renovations currently underway at the speedway. Speedway Motorsports Senior Vice President of Operations and Development Steve Swift provided the following updates:
“Since December, we have SAFER wall that’s started with about 70 percent installed at this point or maybe 60 percent, all the SAFER wall has been delivered.”
“All the Musco bases were put in, all the foundation, wiring to those has been completed.” added Swift. “We got our first load of Musco poles; those will start standing tomorrow. All the siding on the suites, there was no siding on the suites at that time and that’s started and we are about 80 percent complete with the siding on the exterior of the suites. We have dry roofs on everything so we aren’t having any water problems or leaks. Plumbing and electrical has all been run in, sheetrock has been hung in the suites with the first coat of paint going on soon on the inside and the exteriors have already started painting.”
“The infield has been halfway paved, ready for another half of paving starting on Thursday so we’ve made a lot of progress.”
Additional improvements scheduled ahead of NASCAR All-Star Race week include updating the infield scoring tower, installing MUSCO track lighting and re-installing a manual lap-count and top-five leaderboard.
NASCAR All-Star Race week will include six days or nights of entertainment including:
- Tuesday, May 16: ASA Stars National Series
- Wednesday, May 17: CARS Pro and Late Model Stocks
- Friday, May 19: NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Cup Series practice; Concerts by Midland and Chase Rice
- Saturday, May 20: NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series qualifying and Tyson 250; NASCAR Cup Series qualifying
- Sunday, May 21: Dierks Bentley pre-race concert; NASCAR All-Star Open and NASCAR All-Star Race
Schedules are tentative and subject to change. Specific on-track schedules and the All-Star Race format will be released at a later date.