Havrick: Use All-Star Race To Help Stock-Car Racing’s Needy

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, May 20 2022

Kevin Harvick has an All-Star plan.

When R.J. Reynolds exited stock car racing nearly 20 years ago the weekly short tracks with NASCAR sanctioning lost the financial assistance the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company provided via the Winston Racing Series.

Now, Kevin Harvick believes NASCAR has the opportunity to provide a cash infusion into many of the struggling short tracks with its All-Star race.

“There’s nobody dumping any money into the short track system,” Harvick said. “So, let’s use our All-Star race. Let’s use the notoriety (sic) and the money that comes with … sponsorship and all those things that come with that to help those short tracks with their infrastructure before they all go away. You’ll also create somewhere that your trucks and Xfinity cars can go race to put on a great show.” 

On Sunday, Texas Motor Speedway hosts NASCAR’s All-Star race for the second consecutive year. Only once since the special event’s inception in 1985 has it been held on something other than a 1.5-mile track. That occurred in July 2020 when it was conducted on the tough, half-mile Bristol facility.  

“I think you can pick any short track in the country, and it would be great,” Harvick said. “The Coliseum has blown the door open on possibilities for All-Star races.”

Harvick described last year’s SRX Series races at Slinger. Wis., and Nashville, Tenn., as “awesome.” He believes selecting a short track such as Hickory, N.C., possesses a “ton of benefits.”

“(It would be) super cheap, probably cheaper than COTA to lease,” Harvick theorized. 

Harvick believes a $2 million check to a local short track would allow the owner to install new bathrooms, concession stands and improve the grandstands.

“Most of them can’t afford to keep the gate open, let alone fix their bathrooms and grandstands,” Harvick said. “If you want the influx of new fans like we’ve had to your short-track system, you have to have facilities that they want to walk into.

“Hickory would be awesome. Look at the tradition Hickory has in our sport. Helping them with their facility, look what it would do for their weekly shows. You could buy Hickory another 50 years because at some point there’s going to be an infrastructure update at that place … and they might not be able to do it. People would go nuts in the Southeast if you had the All-Star race at Hickory. That would be so cool.” 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, May 20 2022
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