Denny Hamlin looks on during the running of the 2023 All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway
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Denny Hamlin Thinks NASCAR Needs to Make This Big Change at North Wilkesboro

With NASCAR's big return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the 2023 All-Star Race behind us, many NASCAR personalities have had plenty to say about the historic event. Some have offered positive thoughts about the event's old-school appeal, while others weren't very happy about the track surface's impact during the race.

The always-opinionated Denny Hamlin would like to see the track surface redone if NASCAR hopes to return to the track in future years. Hamlin had plenty to say on a recent episode of his Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin podcast about North Wilkesboro and the track surface, particularly pointing to a productive conversation he had with 23XI Racing driver Tyler Reddick.

"I talked to Tyler Reddick a little bit and kind of looked through his notes from testing," Hamlin said. "And before they had all those patches, the tire fall-off was quite a bit more than what we had during the race. Because that strip around the very bottom of the racetrack was so grippy that you had to be in it. And when we look at where does this race track go in the future, I'm probably an advocate of it needs to be repaved, but I think we could do a really good paving job to that place."

Hamlin emphasized the need for a repave at Wilkesboro; but he also said that with that repave, the new surface will need to promote tire wear and not wreck the racing experience.

The All-Star Race saw plenty of bumping and banging that the track was famous for back in the day, but the tire fall-off wasn't quite what the drivers were hoping for. Hamlin may have just the solution.

"I mentioned on Twitter, I think you can do some things with the pavement to really make it aggregate, really put a lot of rocks in the surface to make it wear out tires and still have a good new surface," Hamlin said. "I mean, we don't want to get into a place where it rains and the next thing you know we've got, I mean, they couldn't even have jet driers out there."

As for North Wilkesboro's future, Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith believes there is a place for the North Carolina track on the NASCAR schedule down the line but added that a repave isn't necessary until it absolutely must take place.

Will North Wilkesboro be on the Cup Series schedule for years to come? That's a good question. The fans and drivers want it to be, but the real question is will a repave ever get done? Can the track host a 400-mile race?

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