Everything you need to know for North Wilkesboro | Hendrick Motorsports (2024)

CONCORD, N.C. -After 13 points-paying races, the second and final non-points-paying event is upon us with the 2024 All-Star Race. Returning to historic North Wilkesboro Speedway for the second straight year, the sport's top drivers will compete again for a $1 million payday.

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North Wilkesboro Speedway's revitalization serves as a love letter to grassroots racing. After the sport's top series stopped hosting events following the 1996 season, the track hosted a handful of grassroots events in 2010 and 2011 before the facility fell into disrepair. Dale Earnhardt Jr. led an effort to clean the track so it could be laser scanned into iRacing in December of 2019. When the North Carolina state budget injected some money into the track, the facility hosted local racing in the summer of 2022. In 2023, the CupSeries returned with the All-Star Race. Following a repave, Sunday's main event will surely be a must-watch, with higher speeds and a million dollars on the line at the 0.625-mile track.

While North Wilkesboro has been a source of success forHendrick Motorsports, the teamhas also found a winning formula in the All-Star Race across several venues. Jimmie Johnson (four victories) has won the most times in the event's history. Team vice chairmanJeff Gordon (three victories) and Terry Labonte (one win) all went to victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the long-time home of the All-Star Race.

In recent years, the event has moved around quite a bit. Chase Elliott won at Bristol MotorSpeedway in 2020, while Kyle Larson was victorious at Texas Motor Speedway in 2021. He is also the defending race winner aftera dominating performance in 2023 at North Wilkesboro.

RELATED: Hendrick Motorsports' winning history at the All-Star Race

This year's event will feature multiple tire compound options:the prime and option tires.The prime tire (the normal tire used in testing)and the option tire (a slick tire made with rain tire rubber) will both be used under dry conditions. The teams will have two sets of each tire and begin the 200-lap main event on the option compound. Wet weather tires will also makethe trip to North Wilkesboro in case of inclement weather.

"I think it’s a good idea," Byron said during a media availability last weekend. "They did it a few years ago, but hopefully this is a more drastic difference between the two tires. We did that test (at North Wilkesboro inMarch) and ran through a lot of different sets and we tried to go as soft as what they felt comfortable with.

"The racetrack – the groove in (turns) one and two is fairly wide. The groove in (turns) three and four is pretty narrow. So hopefully we can kind of widen that out through lap cars and having to run inadvertently in the second lane when you’re trying to pass."

The only other main change to the event is the "All-star caution," which includes amandatory four-tire pit stop at lap 100. Another caution will fly at lap 150 but there is no requirements for the pit stop.

Larson, Elliott and Byron are locked into the main event, while Alex Bowman will run in the All-Star Open (ahead of the All-Star Race). Bowman must finish in the top-two positions or win the Fan Vote to transfer to the All-StarRace.

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Last year's event saw Larsoncompletely control the race -- leading 145 of the final 146 laps en route to the win. The driver of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet has three All-Star Race wins at three different tracks and he is the only driver to have won the event at three venues.Chase Elliott earned a fifth-place finish. All-Star Open winnerJosh Berry (filling in for the injured Alex Bowman) was15th. William Byron finished the 200-lap main event in the 20th position.

For Friday's on-track activity, Kevin Harvick will be behind the wheelof the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for practice and qualifying, including the Pit Crew Challenge. For Harvick, this will be his first time behind the wheel of a Cup Series car since his retirement at the end of the 2023 Cup Series season.Due to a scheduling conflict with Indianapolis 500 qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Larson will not return to North Carolina for the heat races and will start from the back of the field for Sunday's race.

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Pit crews will take center stage on Friday afternoon with the Pit Crew Challenge.Competitors will take the green flag and run one full lap at speed. On the second lap, they will proceed (maintaining pit road speed while on pit road) to one of the two NASCAR designated pit stalls for a four-tire stop and mock fuel (the fueler must engage the fuel can, but the car won't be fueled). When the stop is complete, the vehicles will exit pit road (maintaining pit road speed) and race back to the checkered flag. Qualifying time will be the total time from the green flag to the checkered flag. The pole sitter will start from the top starting spot for Heat Race 1 and the All-Star Race.The Pit Crew Challenge winner will be awarded to the pit crew with the fastest stop during the All-Star qualifying attempt (without penalties). The timing lines will be established as one box behind and one box ahead of the NASCAR-designated pit stop boxes. The results of the Pit Crew Challenge will determine the order of pit picking.

KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW FOR NORTH WILKESBORO
Data provided by Racing Insights

Larson, No. 5 team
With three All-Star Race victories already (and all of those coming in the last five events), Larson is only one win behind Jimmie Johnson for the most victories in event history.In seven starts, he's earned an impressive average finish of 7.43, the best of any Hendrick Motorsports driver and the third-best mark among active drivers.

Elliott, No. 9 team
Elliott's group is looking to keep their short-track program's momentum going. While their win came at Texas, solid top-10 runs at Richmond Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedwayand Martinsville Speedway came in the races leading up to the victory. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native's all-star win came on a short track in 2020(Bristol) and his 8.00 average finish is fourth-best among active drivers in the event.

Byron, No. 24 team
Byron participated in the tire testat North Wilkesboro in March. A winner at the most recent short track,Martinsville, earlier this year, Byron has shown the ability to win on all kinds of tracks. In terms of the All-Star Race, his 30 laps led in 2021 were the most of any driver in the field that year and his seventh-place result at Texas is his best finish in the event.

Bowman, No. 48 team

The driver of the No. 48 is not guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday night's main event and will need to qualify via the All-Star Open or win the Fan Vote to compete for the big prize. In 2018 (he won Stage 1 of the Open) and 2019 (he won the Fan Vote), he was able to advance to the All-Star Race.Bowman finished in the top 10 in four of his five All-Star starts.

Hendrick Motorsports
Rick Hendrick's team has won the All-Star Race in three of the last four seasons. With 11 wins, his group leads all other Cup Series teams in All-Star Race victories.

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DID YOU KNOW?
In the last 11 All-Star races, Larson is the only repeat winner.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AND TV COVERAGE

Friday, May 17
4-4:30 p.m. ET:Pit road qualifying entry/exit practice - FS1
4:35-5:25 p.m. ET:Practice (All-Star entries) - FS1
5:40 p.m. ET: Qualifying (All-Star Open entries) - FS1
6:20 p.m. ET:Qualifying (All-Star Pit Crew Challenge) - FS1Bowman will be the 19th of 20 drivers to go out during Open qualifying.

For All-Star Race qualifying, Harvick (filling in for Larson on Friday) will go out first, Byron will be the 14th driver to go and Elliott will be the 15th of 17 drivers to take time.

Saturday, May 18
5:20 p.m. ET:All-Star Heat Race No.1- FS2
6:15 p.m. ET:All-Star Heat Race No. 2- FS2

Sunday, May 19
5:30 p.m. ET: All-Star Open- FS1
8 p.m. ET: All-Star Race - FS1

STAGE LENGTHS

Heat Races
All-Star caution: Lap 30 (teams must make a four-tire pit stop)
Results of Heat 1 will set the inside row for the All-Star Race and results of Heat 2 will set the outside row.

All-Star Open
All-star caution:Lap 50 (teams must make a four-tire pit stop)
End of Race:Lap 100

All-Star Race
All-star caution: Lap 100 (teams must make a four-tire pit stop)
All-star caution: Lap 150 (teams can stay out or pit under this caution)
End of Race:Lap 200

WILL THE RACE BE ON THE RADIO?
Yes, listeners can find both events onMRN RadioandSiriusXM NASCAR Radio(Channel 90).

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE BROADCAST?
Fans can watch all the action with theFOX Sports Live app. For live updates and additional content during the race, head over to Xand follow@TeamHendrickfor the most accurate and up-to-date information.

HOW CAN I FINDFS1 and FS2?
The channel numbermay vary depending on the location. Use this link to enter your zip code and select your television provider for assistance in finding what channel numbers FS1 and FS2 areon your provider.

Everything you need to know for North Wilkesboro | Hendrick Motorsports (2024)
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