It’s All-Star time in NASCAR, and the sport is going back to its roots for the main race — both stylistically and with the locale. We’ll explain what to expect this weekend then offer the three drivers we’re most confident in betting to win the All-Star race!
- What: 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race
- When: Sunday, May 21
- Where: North Wilkesboro Speedway
How Does NASCAR All-Star Race Even Work?
NASCAR betting is going back to the basics for its All-Star Race — both rules-wise and with the venue. These are noteworthy changes to how the All-Star completion works so allow us to quickly explain.
Most notably, North Wilkesboro Speedway is playing hosts. This track — just 80 miles north of Charlotte — is an O.G. in this sport. Sunday will mark the first time the historic 0.625-mile oval has been used in the Cup Series since 1996. NASCAR is celebrating its 75th-year anniversary so paying homage made sense, as it did last week in Darlington.
It’s an old-school track, and it’s getting old-school rules — by that, we mean no weird gimmicks like years past. It’s 200 laps and every lap counts. Drivers will begin with sticker tires and be allowed three sets in their pit lanes (a necessity when driving on a track that’s old as this one; it hasn’t been repaved). A break will be had at lap 100, and that’s really about it. As we said, back to the basics.
As for who’s competing, there are 21 drivers confirmed as of this moment. Anyone that’s won a Cup Series race this year or last year is automatically in. Automatic bids also go to prior Cup champions (Brad Keselowski qualified this way) and All-Star Race winners (Ryan Blaney). Among the qualified drivers, the following have been tabbed as favorites, per the most-used NASCAR betting sites:
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1000||+1000||+1000|
Several other drivers will join the field, however. There are 16 drivers in the 100-lap All-Star Open, which goes down the day before on Saturday. The top two Open finishers earn a spot in the All-Star Race. A third driver can be added based on a fan vote.
No Cup Series points are on the line. However, there is a $1 million prize for the first-place finisher. Money is also on the line for bettors, and speaking of which, let’s cover our best bets to win next.
Best Bets To Win 2023 All-Star Race
Let’s face it, this race is an absolute crapshoot. Usually when picking races, you can at least lean on a driver’s history at the track to guesstimate how they’ll perform. You can’t really do that here (besides one driver, which we’ll explain). Therefore, it’s almost mandatory to make multiple bets on the 2023 All-Star Race winner. With that said, here are the ones atop the betting list:
Elliott has had a tumultuous season, mainly due to a snowboarding-gone-wrong accident that put him on the shelf. But the former Cup Series champion will have a little-known edge at North Wilkesboro. He’s actually won here before, and to our knowledge, the only active Cup driver to have done so. Get this, a 14-year-old Elliott won a PASS late model race here back in 2000. It counts for something, right?
But even then, we all know Elliott is a gamer — no matter the track. He’s fresh off a third-place finish at Darlington a week ago so we’re starting to see Elliott shake off the injury rust. He’s a solid bet any way you slice it.
Speaking of Darlington, Byron won it by a hair (less than a second). He’s now up to three wins in the circuit this season, most of any driver. Therefore, a bet on Byron is effectively a bet on the “hot hand.” At the very least, he’s deserving of a top-5 finish bet in the prop market. He has six of those, which is also a NASCAR high in 2023. We’d be stunned if Byron isn’t in contention here.
We’re picking Harvick because he performed strong at Richmond recently — runner-up in the spring and winner in the fall during 2022. Why does Richmond matter here, you ask? Because if North Wilkesboro is similar to any track, it’s that one. The same goes for Phoenix, which Harvick was on the verge of winning earlier this season before a late mistake. Still, those standout performances on a Wilkesboro-like track give us confidence in Harvick here.
How To Watch 2023 All-Star Festivities
If you want to see the ‘ol North Wilkesboro Speedway back in glory, then you’ll want to tune in FS1, the exclusive place to watch the All-Star weekend events. Here’s what is on tap over the weekend:
- Saturday, May 20 at 7:35 pm EST — Cup Series heat races (which will determine the starting order of the All-Star race)
- Sunday, May 21 at 5:30 pm EST — NASCAR All-Star Open
- Sunday, May 21 at 8:00 pm EST — NASCAR All-Star Race
How To Bet On 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race
Now that you know who to bet on the NASCAR All-Star race, you actually have to do the damn thing now. One of the bookmakers listed underneath can help you do that. You’ll find NASCAR moneyline odds for both Sunday events this weekend at any one of these bookies. Just select one of the sportsbooks and you’ll be off to the races quite literally.