No one on the current NASCAR circuit has raced at North Wilkesboro Speedway, and there is no good comparison to the track. What NASCAR circuit is 5/8 of a mile and is downhill down the frontstretch and uphill up the backstretch? Exactly, only North Wilkesboro.
That being said, North Wilkesboro does hold one similar characteristic to other tracks on the schedule. It is less than one mile in length. Which current NASCAR drivers tend to struggle at these short tracks?
5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr
By the Numbers: 59 Races; 21.2 avg. finish; 5 top 5s; 11 top 10s; 8 laps led
Breakdown: Coming into Martinsville a few weeks ago, Stenhouse had failed to get a short track top 10 since Bristol in April of 2018. That is 26 short track races without a top-10. Maybe Martinsville is where Stenhouse began to turn a corner, but that remains to be seen.
4. AJ Allmendinger
By the Numbers: 71 Races; 21.7 avg. finish; 3 top 5s; 12 top 10s; 105 laps led
Breakdown: Allmendinger has had some good moments at short tracks including a second place finish at Martinsville in 2012, but he has buy and large struggled. He has finished 23rd or worse in eight out of the last 10 races on tracks less than 1.0 miles in length.
3. Tyler Reddick
By the Numbers: 17 Races; 19.0 avg. finish 1 top-5; 2 top-10s; 0 laps led
Breakdown: Reddick has been pretty ho-hum at short tracks so far. He had a great run at Bristol in September of 2020 finishing in fourth, but since then he has failed to capture that magic. He only has two top 10s over the next 12 starts and has yet to lead a lap at a short track.
2. Daniel Suarez
By the Numbers: 35 Races; 18.7 avg. finish; 0 top 5s; 7 top 10s; 7 laps led
Breakdown: This spring at Martinsville was the first time that Suarez has led any laps at a short track. He has also never had a race where has finished higher than seventh. His last short track top ten came at Richmond in September of 2019, and his best short track finish since then has been 12th.
1. Bubba Wallace
By the Numbers: 29 Races; 20.9 avg. finish; 0 Top 5s; 3 Top 10s; 30 laps led
Breakdown: This may be a surprise to some considering Wallace’s three short track wins in the Truck Series, but Wallace has not gotten his arms around the short tracks in the Cup Series. However, he has turned it around some recently with finished of eighth and ninth respectively in the last two races at Martinsville. Maybe he is starting to turn it around.
Which of these drivers could turn their short track fortunes around at a new, yet old, short track this weekend?