Fans Double Down on Dale Earnhardt Jr and Denny Hamlin’s Demands as They Bash “Sh*tty A** Package” for North Wilkesboro

Published 06/19/2023, 6:37 AM EDT

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North Wilkesboro Speedway has been the grassroots of NASCAR ever since its inception in 1949. The 0.625-mile oval hosted the top three series of NASCAR. Over time, the NASCAR crowd outgrew the racetrack owing to outdated facilities and overcrowded parking. As NASCAR moved towards a bigger economy, North Wilkesboro slowly became a thing of the past. 1996 saw the famed racetrack close its doors after a 47-year NASCAR run. With NASCAR’s abandonment, Wilkes County became a ghost town. What had once been a town bustling with people and economic boom, turned into a shadow of its former self. 

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After a 27-year hiatus, NASCAR once again graced the town of Wilkes County with the 2023 All-Star Race. Although a massive success, the event highlighted the need for the racetrack to be renovated even more. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr and Denny Hamlin Voice Their Concerns for the Short-Track


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The 2023 NASCAR All-Star race at North Wilkesboro Speedway saw jam-packed crowds in the grandstands as Kyle Larson bagged the $1 million cheque. The event’s turnout was a massive success, but racing veteran Dale Earnhardt Jr and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin voiced their concerns regarding the short-track format.

Following the All-Star race, Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke on his podcast regarding the Criticism of NASCAR’s short-track package, also advocating how the NWS track really needs to be repaved.


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“If we don’t turn it around, change the direction or change the perception of everybody’s opinion of this Next-Gen car going to short tracks. I’m afraid that we are going to continue to lose opportunities at short tracks. How many times can we go… North Wilkesboro got brought back? It’s right there in front of us, It’s ready to rock. It’s ready to be an asset to this industry. But if we can’t get the racing right there, if we can’t get the tires, and the cars right. How long can that place hang on?” Junior said. 

Speaking on the podcast ‘Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin’, the 23XI Racing co-owner spoke about the struggles of driving NASCAR’s Next-gen car on the short track. Hamlin said, “tire fall off was quite a bit more than what we had during the race because that strip around the very bottom of the racetrack was so gripy that you had to be in it and when we look at where does this race track go in the future, I’m probably an advocate of it needs to be repaved but I think we could do a really good paving job to that place”.

Now it seems fans too had a lot to say regarding the conditions of North Wilkesboro Speedway.

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Fans Speak on the Dire Condition of North Wilkesboro

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed the 2021–2022 state budget, allocating $40 million for revamping three race tracks: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Rockingham Speedway, and North Wilkesboro Speedway. This helped NWS to open its gates once again to NASCAR’s 2023 All-Star Race.

Even with all the changes made to the Speedway, fans weren’t pleased with the package offered by North Wilkesboro.

Post the All-Star Race, fans on Reddit double downed on the demands put forth by Dale Jr and Denny Hamlin. Some fans wrote, “Track deserved better this year. Sh*tty a** package” and “They should repave it soon”. Here are a few more comments from unsatisfied fans.


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“Needs a repave and bigger stands before NASCAR goes back there.”

“after Denny said the track was way to difficult to drive I vote for just a repave with some aggressive asphalt for tire wear keeping the banking and overall profile the same.” 

“I think it’ll be back with a repave and hopefully, they’ll have the short track package improved by then.”


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Should NASCAR return to Wilkes County for the 2024 season? Let us know your views in the comments.



Written by:

Naman Neeraj


One take at a time

Naman Neeraj is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. This Motorsports buff has completed his undergrad in English Literature and has now set out to make a name for himself in the journalism field. Although he is new to the scene, he has been following motorsports for over a decade.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh




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