21 Team Preparing For All-Star Weekend At North Wilkesboro

NKP #21: Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing, Motorcraft / DEX Imaging Ford Mustang

Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/DEX Imaging team are headed to North Wilkesboro Speedway for this weekend’s All-Star races.

It’s a familiar venue for the No. 21 team as the Wood Brothers ran 46 races there from 1957 until the track lost its Cup date in 1996. They had two poles there, both by the late team founder Glenn Wood (in 1958 and 1959) and two wins, both by the late Marvin Panch (in 1963 and 1964).

All told the team had 14 top-five finishes and 23 top-10s.

The 5/8-mile track lay dormant after the 1996 races and the prospects of racing there again seemed unlikely, but has experienced a revival in recent years, and this weekend’s event is the second straight All-Star race to be held there.

“Obviously it’s really cool to be racing again at such a historic venue as North Wilkesboro,” said Jeremy Bullins, crew chief of the Motorcraft/DEX Imaging Mustang Dark Horse, which is entered in the Open race as drivers in that preliminary event seek to earn a starting berth in the All-Star race.

Bullins said this year’s All-Star weekend events will be unique due to the different tires available to teams this year and because of the new pavement that has been added since last year.

Goodyear will offer a convention tire known as the “Prime” tire, and fans can identify them by the yellow lettering on the tires.

An “Option” tire will be offered as well. The Option tires are essentially a wet weather tire but with slick tread.

These tires, which will carry red lettering, are expected to offer more grip initially but wear quicker, leading to more fall off of lap times.

Then, if rain wets the track, there’s the regular wet weather tire, which will have visible treads and carry white lettering.

“This year, with the repave, is likely to look like a much different race,” Bullins predicted. “And everyone has a lot of questions about how the Option tire is going to drive and how long will it last.

“Hopefully we can learn what we need to in practice to race our way through the Open and get in the big show for the All-Star race.”

Practice at North Wilkesboro is set for Friday at 4:35 p.m. Eastern Time to be followed by Open qualifying at 5:40 and All-Star qualifying at 6:20.

The 100-lap Open race is scheduled to start just after 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The top two finishers will advance to the All-Star race along with one driver selected by a fan vote.

The 200-lap main event should get the green flag just after 8 p.m. Sunday.

FOX Sports 1 will carry the TV coverage.


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