Raceway dedicates Jeff Gordon Finish Line Terrace
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Darlington Raceway recognized NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon on Thursday, August 31 by dedicating its first new Finish Line Terrace seating area in his honor.
Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp said he was very pleased that Gordon agreed to have his name associated with this project, and he could think of no better person to christen the first of these seating expansions.
“I can honestly say that in the twelve years I’ve been associated with NASCAR, there hasn’t been a more first-class individual that I’ve had the privilege of dealing with than Jeff Gordon. He’s a true ambassador for the sport both on and off the racetrack,” said Tharp.
During his 25 year career, Gordon won 4 NASCAR Cup Championships, had 805 career starts, 93 NASCAR Cup victories (third highest of all-time), 325 top five finishes, 477 top ten finishes, and secured the pole position 81 times.
“He also won seven times here at Darlington, and six of those were at the Bojangles’ Southern 500. That’s another reason we called this the Finish Line Terrace, because you got to that finish line ahead of everybody else seven times,” said Tharp to Gordon, who joked that he had no idea he’d actually won that many times at Darlington.
“This track has meant so much to me over the years throughout my career in NASCAR,” said Gordon. “It’s a legend. It’s one of those track you hear about before you ever take a lap around it. Everyone basically tries to scare you to death before you get here. And it stand up to its legend; this is a tough racetrack. There’s no other track in NASCAR like it.”
Gordon said he was a big fan of Darlington’s successful ‘Throwback Weekend’ theme, which pays homage to the history and culture of stock car racing. He also noted that ‘The Track Too Tough to Tame’ remains a prestigious challenge that can make the career of an aspiring racer.
“To me, Darlington really is what NASCAR is all about,” said Gordon. “If you can win at Darlington, the respect that you earn within the sport and from the fans, it takes you to a whole other level.”
Tharp said Darlington Raceway plans to install as many as 12 more dedicated seating terraces to give fans “an enhanced race day experience.”
Also, Tharp announced that Darlington Cares, the local charitable arm of the NASCAR Foundation, is donating $2,400 to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, which focuses on treatment and research for pediatric cancer.