Southern 500 champ Truex Jr. takes a spin on Ramsey’s Pond

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer,

After winning the 2016 Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. returned to the track on August 1 for a far more leisurely visit, casting lures and fishing on Ramsey’s Pond with Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp and legendary bass angler Guy Eaker.

Truex Jr. drives the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, and he said that spending a day fishing was an ideal confluence of his two great loves: racing and spending time outdoors. Truex Jr. added that he was really happy to return to the track where he scored one of the most meaningful victories of his career.

Kerry Tharp, Darlington Raceway Track President, joins Martin Truex Jr. and legendary bass angler Guy Eaker for a media day at Darlington Raceway on Aug. 1. Photos by Samantha Lyles

“I can’t tell you how special it was to win here in Darlington,” Truex Jr. said. “You talk about the history of this racetrack, what it means to the sport, what it means to drivers today… but I think for us as drivers, it’s such a tough, demanding racetrack – The Lady in Black, the Track Too Tough to Tame – those names stand out for us as drivers as a challenge, as the type of racetrack you want to win at.”

Joining Truex Jr, Tharp, and Eaker were Harold Brasington III (grandson of track founder Harold Brasington) and Jim Ramsey (grandson of Sherman Ramsey, who owned the original track site property and its adjoining pond).

Tharp shared the story of how the Darlington Raceway came to be egg shaped, recounting that during construction in 1948-49, Brasington was asked by Sherman Ramsey if his minnow pond south of the site could be left undisturbed. Ramsey was a nature lover and conservationist, and Brasington agreed that preserving the pond was important. He narrowed turns 1 and 2 (which have since become turns 3 and 4), giving the track its distinct shape and leaving the pond intact.

Eaker, Tharp, and Truex Jr. fished Ramsey Pond with members of the South Florence High School fishing team. Later that day, Truex Jr. visited the McLeod Hospital Center for Cancer Treatment and Research in Florence. Darlington Raceway donated $2,500 donation to the Cancer Center on behalf of Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex for their support of cancer research and awareness.

Darlington Raceway’s award-winning throwback campaign is The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Tickets availble by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting Children 12 and under can get in free to Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race.

Author: Duane Childers

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