Suite towers at Darlington Raceway renamed for Earnhardts

Kelley Earnhardt Miller stands in front of the newly renamed Earnhardt Towers.
Photo by Melissa Rollins

By Melissa Rollins, Editor,

The Earnhardt name has become synonymous with NASCAR. Now, the name is forever a part of the Darlington Raceway. During a ceremony Sept. 1, the track renamed the red suite towers Earnhardt Towers in honor of both Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“Some of the goals of the Throwback platform were to energize and rejuvenate some of the history of the sport and make it like a reunion atmosphere for folks to come back here Labor Day Weekend and pay respects to those heroes and those legends who paved the way for this great sport of ours,” said Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp during the ceremony. “We believe we are doing that here today.”

Tharp said the dedication of the towers was special because it was honoring the father-son drivers.
“Darlington Raceway is proud of its steep heritage, history and the reverence that it holds in the sport of NASCAR,” Tharp said. “Over the years, we have had the opportunity to honor some of the sports’ and our racetrack’s legends by naming some of our facilities after them. We are all about honoring the legends and heroes of our sport. Today, we have the privilege of naming our suite towers in tribute to Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.”

Tharp said the choice of the Earnhardts was an easy one for his team.

“We came together as a staff earlier this year and discussed some of the things we’d like to do during this Throwback Weekend to make it even more special,” Tharp said. “With this being year number three of our Throwback platform and this being the final full-time season for Dale Jr. in the Monster Energy Cup Series, the synergy was there to make this dedication come to fruition.”

Kelly Earnhardt Miller was on-hand to represent the Earnhardt Family.

“On behalf of the Earnhardt Family we are certainly honored that Darlington Raceway dedicated these towers to both my dad and Dale Jr.,” Miller said. “This racetrack has certainly meant a lot to my family over the years. For me, just being a kid running around, Darlington was a place that was close to our home so we were able to come down in the conversion van, years ago, and play in the infield; this has always been a special place.”

Miller said that racing at Darlington Raceway was always a family affair.

“Watching my brother run here, I’ve scored a view games here…and I certainly watched my dad win quite a few races here, so we have a tremendous amount of respect for this track and a lot of great memories,” Miller said. “My dad was The Intimidator and the Track Too Tough To Tame is intimidating on its own, so I think there is a reason he was so victorious here. He had his share of success and we were able to see Victory Lane here quite a few times.”

Miller said that her brother looks forward to calling the 2018 Bojangles’ Southern 500 for NBC and that her family will continue to have a special relationship with the track as team honors in the Xfinity Series.

“It is so cool to look out and see the simplicity of this racetrack,” Miller said. “It is true to its roots and you just feel at home here.”

Author: Duane Childers

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