Tuesday, Sep 26



The long-awaited return of one of NASCAR’s most historic venues is up next as the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) takes on North Wilkesboro Speedway for the annual NASCAR All-Star Race. The .625-mile oval located just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, will become the fifth different venue to hold the annual non-points paying race for NASCAR’s premier series. Enriched in the sport’s history as one of NASCAR’s first tracks, this weekend will mark NASCAR’s return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time in more than 25 years – making the track a fitting addition to the schedule as part of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season.


The weekend kicks off Friday with the return of the Pit Crew Challenge, where crews will power off a four-tire stop with the pit stop time determining the lineup for the All-Star Heat Races and the All-Star Open Race. Saturday night will feature a set of two, 60-lap heat races to determine the lineup of the All-Star Race. The weekend will be capped off Sunday starting with the All-Star Open Race where drivers not already eligible for the main event will compete in a 100-lap race with the top-two finishers moving on to the 200-lap All-Star Race and a chance to compete for the one-million-dollar grand prize.


Drivers eligible for the All-Star Race include those who won a points event in 2022 or 2023, full-time drivers who are past All-Star Race winners and full-time drivers who have won a NCS championship.

Nine drivers from five different Chevrolet teams have met at least one of those requirements and have clinched a spot in the All-Star Race:


Hendrick Motorsports: Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and William Byron

Richard Childress Racing: Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch

Trackhouse Racing: Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez


JTG Daugherty Racing: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.


Chevrolet - the winningest manufacturer in NCS’ history - will help celebrate the return of North Wilkesboro Speedway as the official pace vehicle for the monumental race weekend. The Camaro ZL1 will pace NASCAR’s premier series in Sunday’s All-Star Open and the All-Star Race, and the Silverado RST will pace the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) in Saturday’s Tyson 250. 


The annual non-points paying event was added to the NASCAR Cup Series’ schedule in 1985 with Charlotte Motor Speedway hosting the inaugural event. In the event’s 38-race history, Chevrolet has recorded a series-best 20 victories. The Bowtie brand’s first All-Star Race triumph came in the inaugural event in May 1985 – recorded by Darrell Waltrip behind the wheel of the No. 11 Chevrolet for Junior Johnson & Associates. Team Chevy drivers have found recent success in the event, taking the one-million-dollar grand prize in three of the past four events – all captured at three different race tracks (Kyle Larson – May 2019 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Chase Elliott – July 2020 at Bristol Motor Speedway; and Kyle Larson – June 2021 at Texas Motor Speedway). 


Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1

NASCAR All-Star win at Texas Motor Speedway - June 13, 2021


Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Camaro ZL1

NASCAR All-Star win at Charlotte Motor Speedway

May 18, 2019


Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 1LE

NASCAR All-Star win at Bristol Motor Speedway

July 15, 2020


The All-Star Race has seen 26 different winners in the event’s history with career Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson leading the charge with four total All-Star wins (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2013). Just behind Johnson on the all-time wins list includes NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon with three wins each – all recorded behind the wheel of a Chevrolet. 


NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon parked Chevrolet in victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series’ last appearance at North Wilkesboro Speedway in September 1996 – a battle between two of the greatest names in stock car racing, Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr., that saw the iconic No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet take the triumph.


The .625-mile North Carolina short-track has hosted 93 races for NASCAR’s premier series. Chevrolet has collected 32 all-time NCS victories at North Wilkesboro Speedway, with the manufacturer’s first coming in October 1957 with Jack Smith’s win in the Wilkes 160. The Bowtie brand went on a streak of wins at the track on a couple of different occasions with Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip collectively scoring five-in-a-row between April 1976 and April 1978, as well as five different drivers recording a combined eight-consecutive wins within the timespan of October 1984 to April 1988. 


North Wilkesboro Speedway holds a special place in Chevrolet’s storied NASCAR Cup Series history as the site of the manufacturer’s 300th all-time win in NASCAR’s premier series. The milestone victory came after Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove the famed No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing to the win in the First Union 400 on April 20, 1986 – a season that saw the pairing of Earnhardt Sr. and Childress record their first of six championships. 


Chevrolet is coming off yet another powerhouse performance across all three NASCAR national series with the manufacturer making it three-for-three in trips to victory lane in last weekend’s NASCAR tripleheader at Darlington Raceway. A familiar feat for the Bowtie brand, this marks the third time this season that Chevrolet swept the weekend’s wins when all three NASCAR national series were in competition on the same weekend: 

-        Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

NASCAR Cup Series - William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1

NASCAR Xfinity Series – Austin Hill, No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Camaro SS

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – Kyle Busch, No. 51 KBM Silverado RST


-        Richmond Raceway/Texas Motor Speedway:

NASCAR Cup Series – Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1

NASCAR Xfinity Series – Chandler Smith, No. 16 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – Carson Hocevar, No. 42 Niece Motorsports Silverado RST


-        Darlington Raceway:

NASCAR Cup Series – William Byron, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1

NASCAR Xfinity Series – Kyle Larson, No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – Christian Eckes, No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Silverado RST


The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series regular-season has officially met the halfway-point with 13 points-paying races remaining for drivers and teams to either win or point their way into the 16-driver playoff field and a shot at the series’ championship title. A look at Chevrolet’s 2023 NCS season highlights, to date: 

-       Four drivers from three different Chevrolet teams have collected a combined eight wins in 13 NCS points-paying races, giving the manufacturer a winning percentage of 61.5% heading into the second-half of the series’ regular-season. The manufacturer’s first NCS win of 2023 came in series’ season opener with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Camaro ZL1 team’s victory in the Daytona 500. The Bowtie brand went on to make it four-straight trips to victory lane in the series – marking the first time since 2001 that a manufacturer has swept the first four races in a single season in NASCAR’s premier series.


-       Only three different drivers have become repeat winners in the series this season – all coming from the Bowtie brigade (William Byron – Las Vegas, Phoenix & Darlington; Kyle Larson – Richmond & Martinsville; Kyle Busch – Auto Club and Talladega). Byron’s win at Darlington Raceway last weekend took him one step ahead, making him the only three-time winner thus far this season.


-       The reigning NCS Manufacturer’s Champion, Chevrolet has maintained the top position of the series’ manufacturer points standings through the duration of the 2023 season. Heading into the second-half of the series’ regular-season, Chevrolet holds a 38-point lead over its competitors. 


Coming off back-to-back trips to victory lane in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Chevrolet will look to continue the hot streak and capture its first NCTS win at North Wilkesboro Speedway in Saturday’s Tyson 250.


The .625-mile North Carolina oval has a short history with the series - only hosting two races in NCTS’ history. The iconic venue found a spot on the NCTS schedule in the series’ debut season in 1995. The second – and most recent – appearance by the series came one year later with Jack Sprague and Hendrick Motorsports leading Chevrolet with a runner-up finish in the 1996 event. 

With the second-half of the NCTS’ regular-season underway, Team Chevy’s Christian Eckes quickly became the series’ second repeat winner of the season after his victory at Darlington Raceway last weekend. Eckes’ win brought Chevrolet to its fifth victory in nine NCTS races this season – more than its manufacturer competitors combined. Chevrolet continues to sit atop the NCTS manufacturer points standings, extending its lead to 25-points. 


Christian Eckes, No. 19 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Silverado RST

NCTS win at Darlington Raceway - May 12, 2023


·       Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 20 NASCAR All-Star Race victories, including three of the past four events:

Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 at Texas Motor Speedway (2021)

Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 at Bristol Motor Speedway 2020)

Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Camaro ZL1 1LE at Charlotte Motor Speedway (2019)


·       Chevrolet is the most recent manufacturer to win in the NASCAR Cup Series at North Wilkesboro Speedway – courtesy of Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team in September 1996.


·       Hendrick Motorsports leads all NASCAR Cup Series teams with 10 All-Star wins among five different drivers: Jimmie Johnson (four, series-best), Jeff Gordon (three), Terry Labonte (one), Chase Elliott (one), and Kyle Larson (one).


·       Only three drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series are repeat winners this season, all coming from Team Chevy (William Byron – Las Vegas, Phoenix & Darlington; Kyle Larson – Richmond & Martinsville; Kyle Busch – Auto Club and Talladega).


·       In 13 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (eight), top-fives (30), top-10s (55), stage wins (14) and laps led (1,748).


·       Chevrolet leads the series in wins across all three NASCAR national series this season with eight victories in 13 NASCAR Cup Series races, seven victories in 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and five wins in nine NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races – all with a win percentage of more than 50%.


·       With Grant Enfinger’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Kansas Speedway, GMS Racing is tied with Kevin Harvick Incorporated as the winningest Chevrolet organization in NCTS history with 43 all-time wins.


·       Chevrolet’s series-leading eight NASCAR Cup Series wins this season have been recorded by drivers from three different Chevrolet teams: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing), William Byron and Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports).


·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded 14 of the 26 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins this season: William Byron (six; series-leading), Ross Chastain (five), Kyle Larson (two) and Chase Elliott (one).


·       Chevrolet continues to sit atop the manufacturer points standings in all three NASCAR national series, leading by 38 points in the NASCAR Cup Series, 36 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 25 points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.


·       With its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championships, and 841 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.  


·       Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at North Wilkesboro Speedway.    


·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles in the Fan Midway including: NASCAR 75th Anniversary Camaro ZL1, Silverado 1500 Crew ZR2, Corvette Coupe 3LT Z51, Trailblazer RS, Blazer RS.


·       Fans can also view Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Camaro ZL1 show car at the Chevrolet Display in the Fan Midway.


Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Friday, May 19

·       Matt DiBenedetto: 1:15 p.m.

·       Carson Hocevar & Lawless Alan: 1:30 p.m.

·       Christian Eckes & Jake Garcia: 1:45 p.m.

·       Nick Sanchez: 2 p.m.


Sunday, May 21

·       Austin Dillon: 12:15 p.m.  

·       Kyle Larson: 4:45 p.m.

·       Chase Elliott: 5 p.m.


Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation: 

Wednesday, May 17: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday, May 19: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.  

Saturday, May 20: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 21: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.  


Tune In:

NASCAR Cup Series:

- NASCAR All-Star Open: 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 21

- NASCAR All-Star Race: 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 21

(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)


NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

– Tyson 250; 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20

(FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)



What do you think about going to North Wilkesboro this weekend?

“I've only ever driven by North Wilkesboro and known it as a closed racetrack. There has been a lot of hype over this race weekend and obviously Marcus Smith and a lot of others have put a lot of effort into making it happen. It will be fun to go up there and check it all out. I'm going to get my feet wet with the late model race and hopefully get more comfortable with the track, and then the truck race on Saturday afternoon before going for the million dollars on Sunday night.”


Everyone has a different perspective of North Wilkesboro, what do you remember about it?

“It's neat to hear the different perspectives everyone has on North Wilkesboro. You hear a lot people talk about going there back when the Cup Series still ran there. And then you have guys like me who were little kids when the series stopped racing there and a fair amount of people who weren't born yet. I hope everything goes smoothly with all of the different events and that the fans pack the stands and we can have a little fun this weekend."




A lot of drivers have North Wilkesboro Speedway circled as one of the most exciting races on the schedule this season. What are your thoughts about racing there?

“I’m excited to race in the All-Star race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.. It’s such a huge event for our sport. I remember as a kid my dad won a Late Model race there and we got to take the elevator ride up to victory lane. Hopefully, we can do it for $1 million. We participated in the tire test in March. The tire fall-off is going to be fast, so managing tires during a long run will be important. I personally love old-school short-track racing. It’s going to be a physical race that my Richard Childress team is ready for.”


What does it mean to you to be a part of the group of drivers that gets to bring back racing at this historic track,?

“I think it’s very cool and important for our sport, and I’m thrilled that I get to be a part of history as one of the drivers competing in this year’s All-Star race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. I know they’ve done so much work to the track and the community is excited about having us there. North Wilkesboro Speedway is one of those racetracks where Richard Childress Racing has had a lot of success. I think we won five times with Dale Earnhardt. When I tested a couple of months ago, it was clear that it’s just a nostalgic place and I’m excited to run the All-Star race and see what we can do. Having a sold-out crowd to race in front of, there’s going to be nothing like it.”


What are you most looking forward to about the All-Star Race?

“I think the atmosphere is going to be electric. I love the format NASCAR came up with getting the pit crews involved. People are excited about it. I think this can become our Master’s event for NASCAR. It’s pretty much a second throwback weekend in a row, following Darlington Raceway. It’s going to be electric and we all want to have fun at the All-Star race. This is the track we can do that at. It’s going to be an experience – maybe even the best experience of the year for our sport. It’s something different, and I personally love the nostalgia associated with the track. I’m sure everybody is excited to see how the racing turns out and I think it will be great. It will be a blast from the past.”


The Dillon family has a lot of history at North Wilkesboro Speedway..

“It’s pretty cool because Mike Dillon was really good at North Wilkesboro Speedway. He earned two trophies there in the Late Model division, and has a second-place finish there as well. I’ll be walking the track with him to see if I can get any pointers. It’s been a minute since he earned one of those trophies, but I feel like a guy that’s good at a track is always good at it. My dad’s nickname back in the day was The Hurricane. One of the newspapers in Myrtle Beach named him that. He went to Myrtle Beach Speedway and rocked them like a Hurricane, I guess. The name Hurricane Mike definitely fits my dad very well. As a kid, when he would get mad he was like a hurricane.”


You’re racing for a Million dollars this weekend. You are one of the few drivers who had the opportunity to test there. Do you have an edge up on the competition, and how are you going to capitalize?

“It was great to participate in the Goodyear tire test to see the track, get on the track and test it out a little bit. We’ve got to get our car a little better. I think we’ve done that. It’s one of those things where you always want to make it better, and we can use what we learned at the test to try and do that. Racing at North Wilkesboro is going to be so special. We’re racing for a million dollars and those opportunities don’t happen every weekend for us. It’s a huge weekend for our sport and we’re going to do our best.”




Larson on racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway:

“I don’t know what to expect at all. I feel like we’ve done really well on the short tracks this year and we won at Richmond (Raceway) and Martinsville (Speedway), two tracks I typically wouldn’t be good at. I’m excited to go to North Wilkesboro (Speedway). It’s got worn out pavement. I’m typically not the best at saving my tires, so I’m a little nervous about that. Going into North Wilkesboro this weekend, I think that the atmosphere is going to be great. We’ll see how it goes, but I think that this could be a great spot to just leave the All-Star Race. I do love going to different venues and I think that really shows who the “all-star” is and who the best driver in the sport is. It’s definitely an honor to have won at Charlotte (Motor Speedway) and Texas (Motor Speedway). If I could win at North Wilkesboro, that would be pretty amazing and something to be proud of. I’m really excited about the opportunity to go there and I never thought that I would race at that track.”




Daniels on the team's approach to the weekend:

“I think it will be interesting for us to get there (North Wilkesboro Speedway), touch the track, feel it and see what it’s all about. There is certainly a lot of excitement and anticipation. Kudos to SMI (Speedway Motorsports, LLC.), NASCAR, North Carolina and everybody who has taken the initiative to get us back to this place. I know that it’s going to be really special to all of us to be there and feel the excitement of the event. For us, it’s still a competitive race and it has a trophy. We still want to go put our best foot forward so we are going to study and do all of the things that we can to be good and be competitive. There are certainly a lot of unknowns, which will be fun to battle through and is of course going to be the same for the whole (NASCAR) Cup (Series) field. Hopefully, we shake out on the good end of things." 




Elliott on returning to North Wilkesboro:

"Yeah, it’s been a little while (since I’ve been here). I guess about 13 years ago, kind of hard to believe. It is cool to be back. It has changed a lot. Doesn't look anything like I remember it. All the infield and everything has changed. Hats off to whoever has done all the work in here because they've done a lot in a short time. It’s good to be back and there's a lot of energy here obviously around this entire week. Not only from the spectators but as you can see there's a lot of excitement to be here at a race as well."


Elliott on what to expect in the All-Star Race this weekend:

"This place is old and worn out. It’s going to be hard to get a hold of throughout the All-Star Race. I hope it puts on a good show. I think it has the potential to do that. They’ve done a lot of work on the track in some different areas so that’s going to impact the way the race looks, too. I think I know about as little as anybody else at this point but certainly excited to be here."




Gustafson on racing at North Wilkesboro:

"I don’t think anyone really knows what to expect at North Wilkesboro (Speedway) exactly. There was a tire test there and there was some wheel force testing. It’s not the same until the teams and the drivers get there and they get them all on the track and run. Looking forward to it. It’s going to be a huge learning curve for all of us. It should be fun."




Byron on his thoughts heading to North Wilkesboro:

"It’s going to be cool for sure. We’re nervous about the weekend and not knowing what to expect. Luckily, I’m running the late model race this week. I’m excited to run that and get back in a Super Late Model again. It should be a lot of fun as well as give me a good idea of what the track is going to be like, and we can go from there. Right now, I’m just telling my guys to set it up how you think is best since we don’t really have any simulation for the track. It’s going to be pretty fun to see who hits the set up and who needs to make changes after practice."




Fugle on how to prepare for North Wilkesboro:

"I have as good of an idea on what the starting point is as anyone. We can kind of simulate what our travels should be here and there but otherwise we don’t have any data. There was a tire test earlier with three cars, but the track is going to be way different from then. The track will be more rubbered in this time from racing all week. It’s going to be some form of Richmond (Raceway) and Martinsville (Speedway) mixed – we think – but it’s North Wilkesboro (Speedway) and we don’t know what is going to happen really. We’ll have an hour to figure it out and I’m not sure how well anyone is going to hit the set up right away. Hopefully, by the end of Sunday night, we’re the group that has hit it."




“I’m very curious to see what North Wilkesboro has to offer. Obviously, we are not locked into the big show, so we will have to race our way in. It will be interesting to see what the tires do, as it’s a low-grip racetrack with a lot of tire wear. Coming off a strong run in Darlington, I’m excited to see if we can turn some heads and get a Kaulig Racing car into the All-Star Race.”




"I've been looking forward to the All-Star race weekend. The "Vote for Noah" fan vote campaign has been pretty fun and the fans have really gotten into it. We've been handing out buttons and posting flyers everywhere. I hope to win the Open race and not need the vote, but either way, I want the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevrolet in the main event. It's going to be a wild race at a historic track where we can highlight our pit crews and team, have some fun and go for it all. I hope the fans have a blast. It's going to be a special weekend and I am really just happy to have the opportunity to be a part of it."




"It's always exciting to get the chance to participate in an All-Star race and to get to do it at a historic track like North Wilkesboro is even more special. I took some advice from ‘The King’ as he said the track is so worn out it, tire fall off will be high. That kind of track really suits my driving style, With the iconic STP paint scheme on the No. 43 Chevrolet it will be like going back in time at North Wilkesboro. We hope to put on a good show for the fans of the No. 43. Richard (Petty) told me with this “Day Glo Red” I can’t hide from him - and with no points and a million bucks on the line, it’s going to be an aggressive race. It would be historic to put this car in victory lane again so we are going to do everything we can to make that happen.”




“Obviously, it’s nice to be locked into the NASCAR All-Star Race. When we show up, we’ll have a different agenda and focus on the car. Then we will see how strategy plays out through the race because everything is an unknown. One thing we do know is that tires will fall off a lot, and I’ve been watching old films where they had a lot of green flag runs. I’ve never made laps there, so I’m looking forward to getting on track.”




Harris on his thoughts of racing at North Wilkesboro:

"I am looking forward to getting to North Wilkesboro (Speedway) this weekend. I have never been there for a Cup race, but I did make the Late Model Stock race last year when Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) raced and that was fun to watch. I love the old tracks, like the ones with history, and it’s really cool to see what they have done with the place to bring it back. We would go hiking with my family and drive through that place and see what it used to be. It’s super exciting to be able to go there and race on it. Josh (Berry) is familiar with that place and has made some laps around there in a Late Model, so I think we have an opportunity to play into his driving style. He was there Tuesday and was shooting us pictures of the track. For him to be plugged in the whole week with that and simulator time, it will keep him completely bought in on North Wilkesboro this week."


Harris on what he thinks the biggest obstacles will be at North Wilkesboro:

"I think the whole weekend will be along our normal lines as far as execution goes. We have to unload as close as we can since we only have one practice. We don’t have the luxury of unloading with something far off since we have to go straight into the Open to qualify in that way. We will lean on our pit crew to get us a good qualifying position in the Pit Crew Challenge. I do think our setup will come into play and how well we can manage our stuff throughout the race, but starting with some decent track position will be key as well."




How cool is it that we get to return to North Wilkesboro Speedway with all its history this weekend?

"I am really excited for this weekend at North Wilkesboro. I never thought they would open it back up, but it is going to be really special to be the first NASCAR race back since it closed. They didn’t repave the track surface so it’s going to be the most tire wear and falloff that we’ve ever experienced. I was able to run a super late model there earlier in the week and learn a few things. We want to keep the momentum rolling in these next few races. My team has been working really hard and we are ready for another win."




As a driver who started your career on iRacing, how awesome is it that this track was basically reborn because of the sim?

"It's pretty cool to head to a racetrack that became revitalized from the resurgence of sim racing. To see all of the hard work from everybody at iRacing, Dale Jr. and his team, and the Smith family has put in has been pretty awesome to see a racetrack that hasn't been raced on since before I was born come back to life. I can't wait to get to compete on it, and I feel confident that we should be able to have ourselves a good run. We've had some very strong trucks over the past couple of weeks and are starting to turn the page and have the tide turned in our favor. Hopefully we will have another good finish for the Wendell Scott Foundation, the men and woman on my No. 24 team, along with everyone at GMS Racing, GMS Fabrication, our body hangers, Chevrolet, Maury Gallagher, Mike Beam, and Ron Booth."




Last year, you were able to race a Super Late Model around North Wilkesboro when the track was revived. How can you take that experience and translate it to the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series this weekend?

“It definitely doesn't hurt that we ran a Super Late Model there last year! I wasn't able to get the finish that we were hoping for, but to be able to feel the surface and get a general sense on the grip that this track has was a good thing. I'm looking forward to our first primary race with Champion Container on our No. 43 GMS Racing Chevrolet this weekend; the truck looks great and I'm thankful to have their support in front of a large viewing audience in person and on FOX.”




Eckes on returning to race at North Wilkesboro:

“It’s pretty crazy to see everything that’s happened with North Wilkesboro in the last couple years and to be able to have a full race weekend there is going to be exciting. Our Gates Hydraulics team is looking forward to racing there. We had a lot of speed at Martinsville, so we’re anxious to get back to a short track and try to get another win. The win at Darlington last week was such a huge honor, and to join names that have won there is really special. This week wouldn’t be any different. There’s so much history at Wilkesboro, and it’d be awesome to join that list of winners too. Tire management is going to be the big key to getting it done this weekend. Whoever can keep the tires under them the best is probably going to come out on top, so we’ll try to do everything we can to save tires and be up front at the end.”




Garcia on racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway:

“It’s a cool opportunity to race at such a historic track. I obviously never was able to see races at Wilkesboro, but that track means a lot to the sport, so it’s great to be able to race there. Tires are going to be everything on Saturday, and how you manage them. I’ve raced at a lot of tracks in super late models that chew tires up, but Wilkesboro might be more abrasive than any other racetrack. Everybody at MHR has built great trucks and we’ve had a lot of speed the last several weeks. I think we’ll have another strong Quanta Services Chevrolet on Saturday, and if we can manage the race and our tires the right way, I think we can be up front at the end of the day.”




Are you looking forward to being a part of NASCAR’s return to North Wilkesboro?

“It’s such an iconic place and has a lot of history. The last race that they held out there I wasn’t even born yet, but I’ve seen the videos since the time I was a kid. It’s going to be really cool to race at a place that has a lot of history. Short tracks are my thing -- what I grew up doing and made my career off of, so I’m excited to go there. We’ve had a really tough two weeks, but there is no reason we can’t get back to where we started the first five weeks of the season -- knocking off top fives and top 10s.”


How do you prepare for a track you’ve never been to, and the series hasn’t raced at in years?

“I think the only thing you can do is go back and watch old race videos. I know myself personally and a few others that I’ve talked to, they’ve gone back and watched the last race from the 90’s that was held there just to see what racing stock cars was like out there. Some people say it hasn’t changed that much, but I have no idea what to expect and I think that levels the playing field. Everybody will be trying to figure it out at the same time and he who figures it out the best will probably win the race.”


Is there a track that you’ve raced at that you feel is similar to North Wilkesboro?

“The only thing similar that I can think of is when I used to run Late Models at Myrtle Beach and Greenville-Pickens. Very rough race tracks, very abrasive race tracks. I think tire saving is going to be big this weekend. Even though you get tires, I think you can burn your stuff up in a couple laps from what people are saying. I think managing your tires and knowing when to take off and when not to is going to be the key.”




Are you excited to be running three races this week at North Wilkesboro?

“I'm excited for it for sure. The track looks gorgeous -- it just really looks nice. The whole layout of the place has that feel of kind of a Wrigley Field or just a historic place that has a newness to it. I think the late model race will get me ready, running the truck race after that and running the Cup race on Sunday. Lots to do and feel like we don't really know what we're getting into yet. I think I practice at one o’clock on Tuesday, so I'll tell you after that.”



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