Listen Now! NASCAR’s All-Star race returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway this weekend

NASCAR’s All-Star race returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the second year in a row, with a start time of 8 p.m. on May 19.

The format can often be confusing to fans, especially since they’ve tweaked the format several times over the past few years.

There’s also several ways drivers can qualify for the race.

While I enjoy NASCAR, I’m certainly not the person to explain all the nuance behind the All-Star race. But I know who is.

Their names are Ken Willis and Ryan Pritt, and they work for the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Ken’s been covering NASCAR since the early 1980s while Ryan has been a fan his entire life, overseeing the News-Journal as the Sports Editor for about two years.

They will be joining me this week on “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast,” powered by the USA Today Network.

They’ll tell us what to expect out of the format.

“It’s a straightforward race, which should make it a lot easier for the folks watching at home to keep track of,” Ryan says during the podcast. You’ll have to listen to just what that format is.

We’ll also learn which drivers will be there and how they qualify.

“You got a smaller field and you don’t have as many cars being lapped,” Ken said. “It’s, you know, something people might like better.”

They’ll also talk about North Wilkesboro Speedway, a historic track that’s seen a renaissance of sorts over the past few years.

May 21, 2023; North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson (5) takes the checkered flag during the All Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After discussing the All-Star race, we’ll review what’s been going on thus far through 13 races of the NASCAR season.

Denny Hamlin has looked dominant with three victories, as has William Byron, but Kyle Larson has looked really good with two wins of his own.

It’s worth noting that Larson has won three of the past five All-Star races, including in 2023.

Who do Ryan and Ken think will win it? They each have their own opinion, but neither has confidence in it.

“I hate doing this cause anytime I pick somebody you know, I just it’s a complete curse,” Ryan says. “Ken kind of has the same thing going for him.”

If that’s not enough, we have a great bout of trivia, where I test Ken and Ryan’s knowledge, to see who will win our version of the NASCAR Brain Bowl.

Each contestant will get five questions, and I have a tiebreaker ready if needed.

One expert takes an early lead, but the other makes it interesting in the end. Kinda like a NASCAR race.

If you love racing, then you have to listen to this podcast.

Find out why so many fans have checked us out and why our guests and journalists give you the best sports breakdowns in the state.

And hear why feedspot.com ranked us the No. 1 sports podcast in the state of Florida.

We can be downloaded wherever you listen to podcasts, or simply type in “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast” into your favorite search engine. We also can be found on any of the 17 USA TODAY-Network Florida websites.

If you like it, you can check out previous shows, which feature current and former professional athletes and coaches, as well as our stable of journalists who cover beats and write columns, all of whom have a tie to the Sunshine State.

Walters can be reached at twalters@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: NASCAR experts talk 2024 All-Star race at North Wilkesboro on podcast


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