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The North Wilkesboro Speedway race wouldn’t happen if Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith hadn’t championed its return. After a long 27-year hiatus, the 2023 edition was like a nostalgic dream come true. A year later, though, the race could not match the hype and seemed to have disappointed the NASCAR community, that was eager to see how proceedings unfolded.

The return of the North Wilkesboro Speedway for the second straight year on May 19, 2024, was greeted with bated breath. It had an epic prize purse ($1 million) for the winner and witnessed a tire experiment by Goodyear, but many have opined that the All-Star race lacked the thrill. Were there any memorable moments? Yes, but those end-of-the-seat events that fans crave took place after its conclusion when Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. landed blows on each other! However, what was supposed to be a carefree and fun race turned out to be a snooze fest for many!

Joey Logano, the race winner, led 199 out of 200 laps, which is no doubt impressive but not exactly the race that the fans were hoping for. Perhaps what spectators wanted was drama, nail-biting back-and-forth action, and an exceptional finish. But Dale Earnhardt Jr. defended the event despite its flaws. He did express that he loved the race, but also acknowledged that there was a need for competition up front. 


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Taking to X, Dale Jr. wrote, “Fun race to watch. Had its moments. Definitely wanted more of a battle up front. BUT! This @NWBSpeedway track is awesome with the repave. Need a full field of cars on it to stifle the leader with lap traffic. Maybe one day it’ll get that points race.” To fans, what saved the race was Kyle Busch and Stenhouse Jr‘s fight.

In an almost cinematic manner, Stenhouse Jr. was waiting for Busch to arrive and then landed punches on him. But wait, there is more to it as even Stenhouse Sr. jumped to the brawl, taking this mess to another level.

A fan even tweeted, “This is better than the Pacers-Knicks game.” Meanwhile, while the race had its key moments, there was a lack of competition, and fans didn’t hesitate to voice their opinion. 

The Dale Earnhardt Jr.-backed All-Star race was awful, per fans

Fans love action, drama, and nail-biting fun, and they felt that all those elements were lacking in the All-Star race. Even Motorsports writer Austin Konenski took to X to voice his opinion on the race. He said, Wow, that All-Star Race was actually awful. It was borderline impossible to pass, and the leader led 199 of 200 laps. I remember when this weekend used to be enjoyable. Hopefully, that can be fixed.”

Logano’s dominance also definitely irked the fans. One user said, “You just couldn’t pass Logano. Everyone else could pass and be passed just fine. Need the full field and lapped traffic to make a great race. The soft tire was not soft enough. Goodyear just needs to admit they f**ked up and just bring the Bristol tire to all short tracks.”


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However, Denny Hamlin might not agree with this statement, as he had earlier shared his affinity for the new Goodyear experiment. “They nailed it with this one. It’s just a great tire. Great lap time variation between the two tires and also just the ability to pass with it because there’s a difference in speed between the cars,” Hamlin said, according to NASCAR. On the other hand, Tyler Reddick had quite a contrasting view!

In an interview with Bob Pockrass, the #45 racer said, “It took longer than I thought for it to really have the fall off, to really counterbalance it, but maybe with more laps on the track. is more rubber just. gets into the track pedal change, but… It didn’t fall off as much or as the red tire did not fall off like I expected to. It still fell off lot more, but not a crazy amount. More grip is a good thing, but that just means we’re closer to wide open, that hurts racing to at the same time.”

Goodyear had big expectations from the experiment with the option tire, but according to most fans, it just didn’t work well. One fan said, “The race sucked. Again lol. It’s cool because it’s North Wilkesboro. That’s it tho. Goodyear had a great idea with the option tire, unfortunately, the tire didn’t fall off, so it was pointless. They aren’t gonna give more HP so tweaking the tire is all they can do for us.”


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The entire spotlight of the race was not on the awesome win by Logano, but on the fistfight. On Twitter, a fan highlighted that and said, “Saved by a fistfight. Who would have thought? Leave All-Star games to MLB where it began and rightly should have ended.” A NASCAR fan also contrasted the good and the bad points of the day. He said, “The truck race was awesome, but the cup race had the same old issues with these cars. Too difficult to pass, especially up front. The track is awesome with the new asphalt, the cars need to be fixed!”

What did you think about the race? Do you side with the fans? Let us know.