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RALEIGH, N.C. — As part of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season, the NASCAR All-Star race will be held at the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2023, Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR announced Thursday.

The announcement was made outside of the North Carolina Museum of History, with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell joining Smith for the program.

In November 2021, an $18 million allocation from federal American Rescue Plan funds was designated for infrastructure improvements at North Wilkesboro Speedway through the North Carolina state budget.

Earlier this week, Wilkes County, North Carolina awarded construction contracts for the forthcoming work.

The General Assembly has agreed in principal to provide a $4 million economic grant next year toward additional facility improvements to host the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race and future special events.

“For decades, North Wilkesboro Speedway was at the heart of racing and tourism in Western North Carolina,” Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said. “We look forward to seeing the renaissance of this track as it transforms into a premier venue for races and events in Wilkes County.”

North Wilkesboro, then a dirt track, hosted its first race in May of 1947.

Next year, the 39th running of the NASCAR All-Star Race will mark the first Cup Series event at North Wilkesboro Speedway since 1996.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been a passionate supporter of the revitalization of North Wilkesboro Speedway.

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

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