Dale Earnhardt Jr. is now advocating for the track at North Wilkesboro Speedway to be repaved, either for the upcoming race or in the future.
The historic North Wilkesboro Speedway will be hosting the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race, the first race on the track since the 1996 Tyson Holly Farms 400.
As it has been a long time since the track hasn’t been used, it seems that there are still some issues to sort out. NASCAR spotter Freddie Kraft pointed out that the position of the spotter stand could affect the visibility of the audience.
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Now, Dale Jr. has come up with another problem that NASCAR might face this weekend. FOX’s Bob Pockrass tweeted how Dale Jr. has changed his opinion regarding repaving the surface of the track.
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who advocated for the surface, last repaved in 1981, not to be repaved for the all-star race — said after the CARS Tour race that it likely would need to be repaved if NASCAR wanted a Cup points race at North Wilkesboro next year.”
Dale Jr. provided his explanation on why the late model races held on Wednesday could prove to be a problem for the upcoming All-Star Race.
“I do. I think we should come back here, for 400 lap race, for points. Maybe they need to be repaved at the end of this week…I’m not sure, that pavement if that pavement makes it through Sunday without real issues. They could consider taking that risk.
“But it would be such a risk to get this surface to last as much longer. Our cars and our program and our style of race can deal with a lot of imperfections. But the Cup crowd will not put up with problems and problematic surfaces.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who advocated for the surface, last repaved in 1981, not to be repaved for the all-star race — said after the CARS Tour race that it likely would need to be repaved if NASCAR wanted a Cup points race at North Wilkesboro next year. pic.twitter.com/4pE3bDQJjL
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 19, 2023
“So one little problem, one car going through, has any kind of issue from a rock going through the radiator or whatever, you know. You can’t have that going on…so it’s a big risk they are taking now, with the surface for this Sunday. So now I think they won’t want to take that risk again. I would be surprised if they do.”
Supporting his friend, Denny Hamlin commented: “Re-pave with gritty asphalt. It can be done.”
Sunday’s race will provide NASCAR with more concrete evidence of the sustainability of the track. However, as Dale Jr. pointed out, hopefully, it won’t be much of a risk and will prove to be an entertaining race.