NASCAR’s 2024 All-Star Race Returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway

NASCAR is back in North Carolina, as the North Wilkesboro Speedway hosts the 2024 All-Star Race this week.

It’s NASCAR’s second year in a row at the site. Before last year, the last NASCAR event at the North Wilkesboro Speedway took place in 1996.

Scott Cooper, senior vice president of communications for Speedway Motorsports, the parent company of North Wilkesboro Speedway, told NCSharp in an email that all eyes will be on North Carolina this week.

“When the NASCAR All-Star Race returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway this week, both the region and the entire state will be the worldwide focus for stock car racing.

“There’s a lot to celebrate as NASCAR returns to the area with an event that features the very best competing Sunday night for a $1M prize.”

What to Know About 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race

The difference between this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race and last year’s is North Carolina sports betting is now legal in the state. This year’s race begins at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 19, at the North Wilkesboro Speedway.

All NASCAR races this year, including the All-Star race, will be televised on NBC. Viewers can also stream the action using Peacock.

FS1 will air the practice on Friday, May 17, at 3 p.m. Pit road qualifying entry/exit practice follows at 4. There’s more practice at 4:35 p.m. that day, along with qualifying at 5:40. The All-Star Pit Crew Challenges take place that day at 6:20 p.m. and will also be televised on FS1.

The first and second heats of the All-Star Race are at 5:20 and 6:15 p.m., respectively, on Saturday, May 18.

A full schedule of events can be found here. There are plenty of events on-site, such as a children’s charities 50/50 raffles, autograph sessions, and a concert from Tim Dugger and Neal McCoy.

NASCAR All-Star Race a Big Boost to North Carolina’s Economy

The NASCAR All-Star Race is a major event that brings a lot of tourists to the area, Cooper said. “Fans from across the country will make the trip to the North Carolina mountains to witness the 40th-running of the All-Star Race at one of NASCAR’s original tracks.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce released its 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race Economic Impact Analysis following last year’s race. The report noted the race “increased the value of the statewide economy by $42.4 million.”

Additionally, statewide labor income jumped by $27.9 million as a result of the race, and it created roughly 625 jobs for North Carolina residents.

Tourists spent $29 million in the area. The report said 36% of non-North Carolina residents stayed at least two nights in the state. A quarter of them spent at least four nights in the state. Furthermore, tourists didn’t just attend the race itself. The analysis found that each person attended roughly 2.3 other NASCAR events during the weekend.

The race also led to $20 million in construction and infrastructure investment in Wilkes County.

A Brief History of North Wilkesboro Speedway

The North Wilkesboro Speedway has a rich history.

During the 1940s, North Carolina local Enoch Staley built the track with help from the Combs family, John Mastin and Lawson Curry. Staley’s family and the Combs family controlled half interest until the 1990s.

In 1949, the speedway hosted the season finale of NASCAR’s first Cup Series season. From then on, it hosted races every year through 1996. Then, the action stopped.

Enoch died in 1995. Speedway Motorsports owner Bruton Smith and businessman Bob Bahre bought out half interest from the families shortly after that. Their relationship was not great, and combined with work needed on its amenities, NASCAR left and did not return for more than two decades.

In 2021, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper led a COVID-19 relief package effort that brought $18 million to the speedway, which gave the track a much-needed facelift. Last year, the track hosted its first NASCAR event since 1996.

Betting on NASCAR in North Carolina

If you’re a NASCAR betting fan or just a North Carolina resident looking to place a wager on the All-Star race, you have plenty of options.

North Carolina sportsbooks will give bettors a chance to wager on who they think will win this year.

Major operators like FanDuel Sportsbook NC and DraftKings Sportsbook NC, as well as smaller sportsbooks in the state, will offer odds on the race.


Image Credit: Matt Kelley / AP Images

About the Author

Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley's byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working as an editor and reporter for the Daily Iowan’s sports department.