Midway through the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, the All-Star weekend witnessed drivers battle for the eye-watering one million dollar cash prize. This year, the sport returned to its roots as the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway hosted the event.
The 0.625-mile oval in North Wilkesboro hosted the Tyson 250 Truck Series race on Saturday, May 20. The NASCAR All-Star Open and the All-Star Race took place on Sunday, May 21, where the Cup Series drivers fought it out for the handsome cash prize.
The All-Star Race is a non-points paying race, where the ultimate prize for the winner is a million-dollar check. The total prize pool for the race was $3,563,159, which is distributed among the teams in their finishing order.
The All-Star Open also boasted a prize pool of $664,600, which is distributed among the teams based on their finishing position. The Tyson 250 Truck Series race had a prize pool of $696,922.
Kyle Larson pocketed the $1 million prize money for winning the All-Star Race on Sunday. The #5 Hendrick Motorsports driver won his third All-Star-Race, cashing in on his third million-dollar check.
Larson swept both the Truck and Cup races over the weekend, thus adding another significant sum to his million-dollar prize. The 30-year-old had a dream run in North Wilkesboro as he returned home with a huge payout.
Exploring the previous winners of the NASCAR All-Star race
The NASCAR All-Star Race was first introduced in 1985 and has ever since remained the most anticipated non-points paying race. Over the years, the format for the race has changed frequently to add excitement to the race.
In its 38 years of existence, the Charlotte Motor Speedway has hosted the All-Star Race on 33 occasions. The rest of the races were held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and most recently the North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Darrell Waltrip won the first edition of the race in 1985 when it was known by the moniker ‘The Winston’. Seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has won the All-Star race a record four times in his career.
Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon have each won the event three times. Kyle Larson joins the elite group with his most recent victory at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won the event a record 11 times.
In recent years, NASCAR has faced criticism for not increasing the prize pool for the All-Star Race. The $1 million prize money for the winner has remained the same since 2003. There are no indications that the amount will increase in the near future.