Kyle Larson Dominates At North Wilkesboro Speedway To Win $1 Millionby Hunter Thomas May 21, 2023 1 comment
NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. – Kyle Larson absolutely dominated the field on Sunday at North Wilkesboro Speedway as he won his third-career NASCAR All-Star Race.
Larson started the 200-lap $1 million to-win race in 16th, but he quickly made his way towards the front, overcame a pit road speeding penalty and then raced his way back to the front again. At one point in the first half of the race, Larson was more than 10 seconds ahead of the field. Absolutely no driver challenged Larson throughout the second half of the race as he won by more than 4 seconds while piloting the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet.
“I can’t even tell you what it means,” Larson said. “This is my third All-Star win and my third different track. In an historical place like that, you guys and the crowd made this weekend so awesome. We could feel the atmosphere all weekend. So much fun there. That was old-school ass whipping for sure.”
With North Wilkesboro’s worn surface and no stages breaks, aside from the halfway mark, conserving tires was the name of the game, and Larson had the best long run car in the field. He led a race high of 145 laps. As everyone struggled with their cars, Larson sailed on by to lap more than half of the field.
“We had a great car on the long run there and was just thinking for sure there was going to be a caution,” Larson said. “I got out to a big lead and I could see everybody’s cars were driving like crap in front of me, but I cannot thank this 5 team enough.”
Bubba Wallace finished second after having a strong 23XI Racing No. 23 Columbia Sportswear Company Toyota. At the halfway mark he was third, but he just didn’t have the speed to catch Larson.
“If this was any other race I’d be excited, but for a million dollars to come up short and walk home with nothing,” Wallace said. “Tail tucked between our legs, but all in all, just continuing to ride the momentum train. I want to get Columbia in Victory Lane and they’ve done a lot, and they came up with the best paint scheme here in the field, so we come up one spot short, so congrats to Larson. He’s been on a rail lately.”
Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five. Ryan Blaney finished sixth, followed by polesitter Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Ty Gibbs and Joey Logano.
The only crash of the race came on Lap 17, when an accident between Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took place in Turn 4.
The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28 for the Coca-Cola 600. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX at 6 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com