Experience “A Better Darlington” This Labor Day Weekend
By Kerry Tharp
Darlington Raceway Track President
With Labor Day rapidly approaching the City of Darlington will once again have the eyes and ears of the world focused upon it.
Beginning Aug. 31 and running through Sept. 2, Darlington Raceway will host the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR, with the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 NASCAR XFINITY Race on Saturday and the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race on Sunday. Fans from all 50 states and 14 foreign countries will descend upon our community and pack the stands for what promises to be another exciting and memorable weekend of NASCAR Racing at The Lady in Black.
Fans will have extra incentive to attend this year’s event. With the recent capital improvement project that has taken place at the Track Too Tough To Tame, fans will get an up close and personal view of a “Better Darlington.” New, wider and more comfortable seats have been installed in Tyler Tower, Wallace Grandstands, and Colvin Grandstands. The sight lines in Tyler Tower have been greatly improved and the seats in that section are now stadium-style chair back seats with cup holders. The stadium-style bleacher seats with backs in Wallace and Colvin offer fans in those sections more room and a more comfortable seating experience, as well.
Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to see the track’s new Wall of Honor, which is a one-of-a-kind tribute to the legends that have raced at Darlington. The iconic banners will adorn both the front stretch and the back stretch and will allow fans the chance to see the names of the 49 drivers that have won NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington. This new feature will truly be a great addition to our historic venue.
As we embark upon the fourth year of our award-winning Throwback Weekend, Darlington will be celebrating “7 Decades of NASCAR,” in recognition of the sport’s 70th anniversary. NASCAR has had so many great moments over the past seven decades, many of them occurring here at Darlington, and this year’s race weekend takes a walk down memory lane recognizing many of those milestones.
Along with the team’s popular throwback paint schemes and retro crew uniforms, the track has incorporated several other special offerings to add to the seven decade celebration. The track will host a special “7 Decades of NASCAR Celebration” event Saturday, Sept. 1 in Hospitality Village outside Turn 3. This event features more than 18 of the sport’s most recognizable names participating in individual informal question and answer sessions. Such legends as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Bobby Allison, Chase Elliott, Leonard Wood, Ray Evernham. Ward Burton, Kurt Busch and many, many more will be on hand for what promises to be an unprecedented gathering of NASCAR folk heroes never seen before during a race weekend.
Darlington’s Throwback Weekend has become a focal part of the racing season. Our legendary track is where heroes like Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon have traded paint, competed, won, lost and put on great racing for nearly 70 years. Darlington is truly the home track for the state of South Carolina and the Bojangles’ Southern 500 continues to be one of our sport’s crown jewels.
Darlington Raceway has proven to be a key economic contributor to the state of South Carolina. A recent economic impact study conducted by Dr. Tom Regan at the University of South Carolina revealed that the track provides an annual economic impact of more than $64 million to the state. Of that total, more than $58 million directly impacts the Pee Dee Region. That is some serious dollars that the racetrack helps bring into this state and community.
Your support of our Labor Day Race Weekend is vitally important. We want our stands to be full and we want the nation and the world to see just how exciting our event is, both those who attend and those who watch NBC’s broadcast. We offer a variety of ticket and hospitality packages that provide you with a wide-range of options to enjoy the race weekend. To purchase your tickets, visit www.darlingtonraceway.com or call 866-459-7223.
It is truly an honor to be your track president and a resident of Darlington. I invite you to come out and experience our throwback weekend Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Darlington is indeed a special place and I look forward to seeing you at the race track Labor Day Weekend.