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With the 2022 NASCAR season in the rearview mirror and race teams slowing down just a bit for the holidays, construction workers are hard at work at North Wilkesboro Speedway preparing the historic venue for NASCAR All-Star Race Week in May of 2023. As part of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season, the famed 0.625-mile short track will host NASCAR’s premier series for the first time since 1996.
As the track gets ready for a jam-packed week of racing May 16-21, media members were invited to the speedway Tuesday afternoon to get a look at the upgrades currently underway, including renovations to the speedway’s suite boxes, infield grading and preparations on the track to install safer barrier. North Wilkesboro Speedway will host CRA Super Late Models, CARS Pro and Late Model Stocks, NASCAR Craftsman Trucks and NASCAR Cup Series stock cars for race events in May.
“Normally on a building project, we either start and tear completely down and rebuild back, or we start from a fresh site and rebuild completely,” said Steve Swift, Speedway Motorsports senior vice president of operations and development. “So this one’s been how do we hold on to preserve the history? How do we hold on to the facilities that are here, and then how do we recreate them in a new way that’s safe and more modern for the fans.”
“The biggest thing that we’ve started on is the infield to prepare for the competition piece for for the NASCAR races,” Swift added. “We’ve added concrete walls. We’ve started prepping those concrete walls for SAFER barrier. We removed the old wheelfence, and started fabrication for installation of the new wheel fence.
“On the infield itself, probably the biggest piece that’s visual right now is the drainage that we put in. We’ve added tons of storm drainage to take care of all the water issues that were in place and prepare for the future.”
Additional improvements scheduled ahead of next year’s All-Star Race weekend include renovating the scoring tower, re-installing a manual lap count and top-five scoreboard, installing Musco lights for the track and paving the infield garage areas.
The 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race week will include six days or nights of entertainment including:
- Tuesday, May 16: CRA Super Late Model Series
- Wednesday, May 17: CARS Pro and Late Model Stocks
- Friday, May 19: NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Cup Series practice; Concert (artist TBA)
- Saturday, May 20: NASCAR Cup Series qualifying and Craftsman Truck Series Race
- Sunday, May 21: NASCAR Open and NASCAR All-Star Race
Schedules are tentative and subject to change. Specific on track schedules and All-Star Race format will be released at a later date. For all the latest news, schedule updates and information, visit www.northwilkesborospeedway.com.