NASCAR made a triumphant return to North Wilkesboro Speedway after 26 years and Kyle Larson made history in the race.
The All-Star Open Sunday afternoon (5/21) allowed two drivers to race their way into the night’s main event. Josh Berry won the race and Ty Gibbs finished 2nd to claim those two spots. Noah Gragson was the Fan Vote Winner and took the final spot in the All-Star Race.
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race was the first time NASCAR competed on the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway since September 29, 1996. They upgrades everything at the speedway in preparation for this race except the racing surface. They patched where they had to on the asphalt, but left the majority of it alone. This made for a slick and challenging race for the drivers.
Daniel Suárez started the race from the pole. He led the first 54 laps of the race. He was looking like the car to beat at that stage of the race.
Kyle Larson started 16th. There was a caution at lap 17. Kyle was issued a penalty during that caution for speeding on pit road and had to re-start the race from the back of the pack.
Kyle began racing forward. The adjustments made during his pit stop obviously made his car handle better and therefore able to go faster. Kyle took the lead on lap 55 of the race. There would only be one lap that he would not lead from that point forward in the race.
Kyle Larson claimed his third career NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Win and the $1 Million prize! He also made NASCAR history by being the first driver to win the All-Star Race on three different tracks. Match that fact with winning the first time back at North Wilkesboro and there are some serious bragging rights he won as well!
See the complete results of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway here.
This race did not earn anybody any points toward the Playoffs or Championship. However, I will point out that the last time Kyle Larson won the All-Star Race (2021), he went on to win the championship. Just putting that out there.
Next up is getting back to points racing for the teams and drivers. The longest race of the year is the Coca Cola 600 this Sunday, May 28th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
(Feature photo credit: YouTube)
By: Buck Stevens