Dale Earnhardt Jr Puts His Fans on Alert With What Kyle Larson Would “Hate” to Happen to North Wilkesboro After the All-Star Race

Published 05/22/2023, 12:51 PM EDT

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All the waiting and anticipation of 27 years finally culminated on Sunday. The fans from the grandstands screamed their favorite driver’s name. The 0.625 miles oval racetrack was finally ready to receive its driver for the race. Likely so, it was a race worth remembering. While the fans hoped for a chaotic race, with a number of wrecks among the drivers, the race at North Wilkesboro Speedway was comparatively calmer than the other races of the season. Although there were 12 cautions issued during the race, before Kyle Larson emerged victorious.

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While Kyle Larson described the much-anticipated run as “An old-school a** whipping,” the Hendrick Motorsports prodigy raced with all the grit after starting from 16th on the grid. He took the lead in the race, thanks to an early pit stop, which benefitted him the most, along with the other two 23XI Racing drivers.

Kyle Larson shares his thoughts regarding the repaving of the tracks of North Wilkesboro

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Although Larson had expressed to Fox Sports, “But I cannot thank this No. 5 team enough. We were God-awful all weekend. Practice, I was like the worst on a 30-lap average, went backward in a heat race yesterday. We obviously had some strategy work out there in the beginning, but we drove from dead last to the lead and checked out by 12 or 13 seconds. Then I just could pace myself there that last run.”

Jeff Gordon, who was the last winner at North Wilkesboro, handed over his crown to the No.5 driver, as Larson pocketed the-million-dollar cash prize of the All-Star-Race. But the 2021 Cup Series champion had brought forth some of his suggestions regarding the repaving of the tracks. 

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The track, which was last repaved in 1981, had drawn grave concerns regarding tire management, as it exposed the tires to extreme wear and also result in the compromising of the lap time of the drivers.

Even Dale Earnhardt Jr, who had gone back on his words before the outset of the weekend, advised the repaving of the tracks, citing safety concerns. Even the Cup Series driver, Denny Hamlin, had agreed to the suggestion by commenting, “Re-pave with gritty asphalt. It can be done.”

On the contrary, it appears that Kyle Larson is slightly against this initiative. This is visible from the Tweet shared by Motorsport journalist Matt Weaver. This post was also retweeted by the co-owner of JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The post stated, In his post-race presser, Kyle Larson says he would hate to see a complete repave of North Wilkesboro but suggests an upper groove, middle of the corner sectional repave just to make it, not such a bottom-feeding short track.” 

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NASCAR enthusiasts show mixed reactions toward Larson’s suggestions

This saw the comment section being flooded with questions from the fans, along with some mixed reactions.

One of the fans asked, Why? So the second groove can become the preferred lane just like new Bristol, it’s a one groove track again, and they gotta PJ1 for the bottom because they f***ed it up?

To this, the journalist replied, I just don’t see how that would happen. The bottom has maximum grip right now with the apron, epoxy, and pit road exit. Additional epoxy patches or pavement strips wouldn’t in any way make the upper groove preferred. NWS doesn’t have that kind of banking or momentum.”

Another wrote, “Second groove along with short track package improvements would make this track a must watch. Either way, I think they deserve a points race . Would love to see more tracks like this on the circuit, you cant beat the home turf environment.”

 

“No keep it bottom line don’t need multiple Grove tracks this had the old short track feel.”

“That little strip around the bottom really titled things towards the bottom even more than it used to be. A touch of progressive banking might do the trick to the top when it’s time to repave.”

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Well, it is up to the authorities to decide whether the complete track needs to be repaved or not. But NASCAR has to make sure that it does not compromise the safety of the drivers. The governing body’s executives must come up with a few alternatives that could be put to use and as early as possible.

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

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Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. It was initially Formula 1 that made her fall in love with the world of motorsports. But quickly, the raw and unfiltered nature of NASCAR is what led her to build an affinity for the Stock Car Racing Series.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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