Race Weekend Central

Who’s Performing & Appearing at North Wilkesboro

From a throwback weekend to a throwback track, the wait is over for the NASCAR’s return to North Wilkesboro Speedway.

For the first time since 1996, NASCAR returns to the famed .625-mile track, which stood as NASCAR’s oldest track until the NASCAR stoppage. This weekend will feature racing for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR Cup Series’ All-Star Race.

This weekend will bring all sorts of nostalgia, and if you didn’t get enough throwback paint schemes, you will see some more this weekend. The stars will be out too in all sorts of ways. Here is who will be at the North Carolina short track.

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FOX Sports Booth: Boogity boogity, boys, let’s go racing! That’s right, three-time Cup champion Darrell Waltrip returns to the booth, a position he held from 2001-2019 with FOX Sports. Waltrip made an appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway’s dirt race in 2022.

Grand Marshals: Waltrip will pull double duty this weekend, as he will serve as one of the grand marshals for the All-Star Race. A 10-time winner at North Wilkesboro, which is second on the list for the track, Waltrip will be joined by the all-time leader in both Cup wins and North Wilkesboro victories, Richard Petty. Petty won 15 times at North Wilkesboro.

For the Tyson 250, four-time Truck champion Ron Hornaday Jr. will wave the green flag. Hornaday was recently named to NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers list.

Honorary Pace Car Driver: Four-time Cup champion and the last North Wilkesboro winner Jeff Gordon will pilot the pace car prior to the All-Star Race. Gordon earned his lone win at the track in the September 1996 race.

Two-time Truck champion crew chief Jeff Hammond will serve as the honorary pace truck driver for the Tyson 250.

Honorary Starter: Gordon will be joined by the other half of the dynamic duo, Ray Evernham. Evernham will wave the green flag over the field for the All-Star Race.

For the Tyson 250, Mike Skinner will give the green for the trucks. Skinner won the inaugural NCTS title in 1995 and earned 28 wins in the series.

Pre-race Concert: Country music artist Dierks Bentley leads a list of performances over the weekend. The multi-platinum artist also performed at the season-opening Daytona 500.

National Anthem: Kannapolis, N.C. native Kameron Marlowe will perform the national anthem prior to the All-Star Race. Marlowed was a former contestant on NBC’s The Voice.

Hannah Dasher will also sing “God Bless America” before the race. Dasher has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and has a viral cooking series on TikTok.

Country music artist Alex Key will sing the national anthem for the Tyson 250.

Invocation: Will Graham will do the invocation prior to the All-Star Race. Graham is the executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, N.C. Motor Racing Outreach Chaplain Nick Terry will perform the invocation for the Tyson 250.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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