Tickets: 866-459-RACE (7223)
General info: (843) 395-8900
PO Box 500
Darlington, SC 29540-0500
1301 Harry Byrd Hwy
Darlington, SC 29532
Banking: Turns 1/2 - 25 degrees, width 79 ft; Turns 3/4 - 23 degrees, width 62 ft; Front - 3 degrees, Back - 2 degrees.
Frontstretch 1,229 ft long, 90 ft wide;
Backstretch - 1,229 ft long, 90 ft wide
Track Repaved in early 2008
Grandstand Seating: 58,000 [was 60,000 and 68,000]
Length: 2,025 feet
Width: 46 feet
Length: 34 feet
Width: 18 feet
2014 Race Winner: #4-Kevin Harvick, 131.211mph, started 1st
Track Race Record: Matt Kenseth, May 2013, 141.383mph
Slowest Race Record: Fonty Flock, Sept 1952, 74.512mph
Oldest Race Winner: Harry Gant, 51 years, 7 months, 22 days, 9/01/1991)
Youngest Race Winner: Kyle Busch, 23 years, 0 months, 8 days, 5/10/2008
2014 Pole Winner: #4-Kevin Harvick, 183.479mph, finished 1st
Track Qualifying Record: Aric Almirola, April 2014, 184.145mph (set during 2nd round of qualifying)
Oldest Pole Winner: David Pearson, 47 years, 8 months, 15 days, 9/06/1982
Youngest Pole Winner: Kurt Busch, 23 years, 0 months, 29 days, 9/02/2001
Most Races - Active Driver: Jeff Gordon, 34
Most Races - All Time: Richard Petty, 65
Most Wins - Active Driver: Jeff Gordon, 7
Most Wins - All Time: David Pearson, 10
Most Poles - Active Driver: Bill Elliott, 5
Most Poles - All Time: David Pearson, 12
Most Wins - Owner: Rick Hendrick, 13
Most Top 5s - All-time: 25 - Richard Petty
Most Top 5s - Active Driver: 19 - Richard Petty
Most Top 10s - All-time: 35 - Bill Elliott
Most Top 10s - Active Driver: 23 - Jeff Gordon
Most Leaders: 20, 9/4/1994
Fewest Leaders: 2, 9/4/1950
Most Lead Changes: 41, 9/6/1982
Fewest Lead Changes: 4, 9/4/1950
Most Laps Led [500 miles]: Johnny Mantz, Sept 1950, 351 laps [of 367]
Most Laps Led [400 miles]: Richard Petty, April 1966, 281 laps [of 293]
Most Cautions: 17, May 2009
Most Caution Laps: 101, Sept 1974
Fewest Cautions: 0, Sept 1963
Fewest Caution Laps: 0, Sept 1963
Most Finishers on the Lead Lap: 23, Sept 2002
Fewest Finishers on the Lead Lap: 1 - 24 times, most recently 9/3/1979
Worst Starting Spot to Win: Johnny Mantz, Sept 1950, started 43rd [75 started, 3 abreast]
Most Wins by a Manufacturer: 40, Chevy
46 drivers have won poles at Darlington
A total of 47 drivers have won Sprint Cup races at Darlington
Races won from the Pole: 20 of 111
Races won from the top 5: 69 of 111
Races won from the Top 10: 96 of 111
Races won from the Top 15: 105 of 111
Races won from outside the Top 10: 15 of 111
What is a "Darlington stripe"? Slang term for the black marks resulting from scrapes with the wall at the 1.366-mile track where the high lane is the fastest. Might be called the "SAFER stripe" this weekend after the addition of the energy-absorbing barriers
Darlington Double: three drivers have completed the Darlington sweep of the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races on the same weekend:
1987 - Dale Earnhardt
1993 - Mark Martin
2010 - Denny Hamlin.
Terry Labonte to serve as Grand Marshal at Darlington: Terry Labonte, who will be inducted into the 2016 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 6. Labonte will give the command to start engines accompanied by Bojangles' CEO Clifton Rutledge. Labonte's involvement in the Bojangles' Southern 500 further enhances the track's throwback platform of celebrating the history and heritage of the sport. Labonte is the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win the Bojangles' Southern 500, when it was held on Labor Day weekend, August 31, 2003. It was his final victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ironically, Labonte's first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win also came at Darlington in the 1980 Bojangles' Southern 500. "Darlington is where I won my first race and my last, and I'm honored to serve as Grand Marshal for the first time at the Bojangles' Southern 500," Labonte said. "I love the Labor Day tradition, and Darlington always brings back special memories for me. I look forward to being part of such a historic weekend for NASCAR."(Darlington Raceway)(8-27-2015)
Throwback schemes at Darlington: Several race teams have announced their throwback paint schemes for the Bojangles' Southern 500 with more to come. Thus far, 18 cars have been unveiled: #2-Brad Keselowski, #3-Austin Dillon, #4-Kevin Harvick, #10-Danica Patrick, #11-Denny Hamlin, #14-Tony Stewart, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #21-Ryan Blaney, #25-Chase Elliott, #27-Paul Menard, #31-Ryan Newman, #41-Kurt Busch, #42-Kyle Larson, #43-Aric Almirola, #46-Michael Annett, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #55-David Ragan.(Darlington Raceway), images of the schemes can be seen on Jayski.com's Darlington Throwback paint schemes page.(8-25-2015)
Southern 500 Tickets still available: The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 at Darlington Raceway. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are still available by calling 866-459-7223, visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com, or through the mobile app.(Darlington Raceway)(8-25-2015)
Darlington offering "Untamed Access" for race weekend: Darlington Raceway is offering its fans a new exclusive "Untamed" VIP experience for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 6. Untamed Access offers fans the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of race day activities, including:
" Parking in the Brasington VIP area
" Admission to the Bojangles' Legends Breakfast
" Cold garage and pit access
" Pace car ride with a NASCAR personality
" Special Pre-race photo op in Gatorade Victory Lane
" A guided tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Garage by Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier
" Red carpet access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver's meeting
" Special VIP access to Bojangles' Southern 500 Pre-race ceremonies (NSCS driver introductions and Grand Funk Railroad concert)
All experiences are subject to change, weather permitting. The Untamed package is available for $375 and must be purchased in addition to a grandstand ticket or infield admission. Packages are only available for guests 18 and older. Untamed Access packages can be purchased by calling 866-459-RACE or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway PR)(8-16-2015)
Tanya Tucker to sing National Anthem at Darlington: Joining Darlington Raceway's celebration of the early 1970's during Labor Day weekend will be country music icon Tanya Tucker. Tucker, a longtime Nashville recording artist, will perform the National Anthem live on NBC for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 6. For four decades, Tucker's sultry voice and vivacious stage presence has helped to make her one of the most admired and respected female vocalists in the country music genre. Part of that appeal lies in the fact that her resume contains some of the most groundbreaking songs of the format's history. Songs like Alex Harvey's Delta Dawn, Dallas Frazier's What's Your Mama's Name and David Allan Coe's Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone) firmly established Tanya Tucker as an artist from whom you could always expect the unexpected. And, the best is yet to come for this future Country Music Hall of Fame member. With a new album forthcoming, the powerhouse vocalist is set to remind listeners just why artists such as Miranda Lambert and Gretchen Wilson consider her to be one of their biggest influences. Tucker's anthem performance adds yet another element to an already exciting 1970's-style pre-race. She will join legendary rock band Grand Funk Railroad, who will be performing the pre-race concert for the 66th running of the Bojangles' Southern 500.(Darlington Raceway)(7-28-2015)
Military discount available for Darlington NXS race: Darlington Raceway, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation and Sport Clips Haircuts are partnering to raise funds for the VFW's Help A Hero Scholarship Program. Effective immediately thru August 28, the track is offering active duty, retired and veterans a special 50 percent off admission to the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race on Sept. 5 at Darlington Raceway. Special tickets are available by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/HelpAHero or by calling 866-459-7223. Verification of military service will be vetted through SheerID. In turn, Darlington Raceway will donate $2 for each ticket purchased through the program to the VFW's 'Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship' program. The VFW Foundation and Sport Clips have been entitlement partners of Darlington's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 race since 2012.(Darlington Raceway)(7-24-2015)
New rule changes announced for several tracks: A low downforce rules package similar to that scheduled for use by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams this weekend at Kentucky Speedway will be run in September at Darlington Raceway, according to Steve O'Donnell, Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for the sanctioning body. In addition, teams will compete with a higher drag rules package at both Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this month as well as Michigan International Speedway in August and Richmond International Raceway. This weekend's Kentucky aero package features a shorter spoiler (reduced from 6 inches to 3-1/2 inches) and a splitter extension panel (radiator pan) reduction from 38 inches to 25 inches. The splitter will have 1-3/4 inches less overhang that what has previously been used this season. Combined, the aero changes are expected to lessen the amount of downforce on the cars by approximately 1,000 pounds.
While the Darlington setup will be similar to that slated for this weekend's Quaker State 400, there are differences. The spoiler will be 3-1/2 (instead of 3 inches) inches and the splitter will feature a 1/4-inch leading edge. There is no change in the size of the splitter extension panel (25 inches).
Although the tires used this weekend at Kentucky were not tested at the 1.5-mile track with the lower downforce platform during an April tire test, Goodyear officials were able to determine a tire for the Darlington package during a one-day test last week with drivers #14-Tony Stewart (Stewart-Haas Racing), #20-Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing) and #2-Brad Keselowski (Team Penske).
For Indy and Michigan, the aero package will feature a 9-inch spoiler and 1-inch wicker bill; a rear fascia extension panel similar to that currently used for superspeedway events; a 2-inch leading edge on the splitter; and a 43-inch splitter extension panel.
Richmond will use a new tire. There are no scheduled aero changes for the upcoming race at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the start of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, however Goodyear will not return with a multi-zone tread compound tire that had been used there recently. The changes are not currently scheduled for use at any tracks hosting Chase races.(NASCAR.com)(7-7-2013)
Darlington Raceway Rascals Launches: Darlington Raceway is offering a fun and exciting membership club for its young fans - Darlington Raceway Rascals presented by Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan. A free club for kids 12 and under, Darlington Raceway Rascals presented by Future Scholar offers fun race related gifts and benefits for signing up. "We're always looking for ways to engage with the next generation of fans. The Darlington Raceway Rascals presented by Future Scholar will be a great way to educate our young audience about NASCAR racing and Darlington Raceway," track President Chip Wile said. "The program provides a cool gift bag and fun opportunities for kids who are members. We appreciate the support of Future Scholar for this program."
South Carolina's Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan provides a tax-advantaged investment strategy for families seeking to afford a child's future college tuition. The Wall Street Journal recognized Future Scholar as having the top state tax deduction program in the country, and Money Magazine identified South Carolina's plan as "a leader in low fees." No public funds are used in the sponsorship of the Darlington Raceway Rascals.
"Raceway Rascals is an opportunity for families to have fun at Darlington Raceway and learn more about the smart decision to save for college with Future Scholar," said State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. "Future Scholar and the Office of State Treasurer that administers the Future Scholar Plan are happy to support the Darlington Raceway Rascals and the children who sign up for this great program." Parents must visit DarlingtonRacewayRascals.com to sign up their child. An e-mail will be sent to the parent's email account, which will need to be replied to for confirmation.
Membership benefits include the following:
· Official Raceway Rascals Bag
· Temporary Tattoo
· Coloring Book
· Complimentary NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 ticket
· Quarterly E-mail Newsletter
· Opportunity to participate in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session (supplies limited) on race weekend.
To receive membership benefits, kids and their parent(s) must either visit the Darlington Raceway Rascals presented by Future Scholar tent in the display area Kids Zone on race weekend, Sept. 4-6, 2015, or by stopping by the track's administration offices during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Details on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5 at the track, will be sent out in future membership communications. For more information, visit DarlingtonRacewayRascals.com or call 843-395-8823.(Darlington Raceway)(7-6-2015)
Grand Funk Railroad to perform pre-race concert at Darlington: Fitting into its platform of celebrating the early 70's during its Labor Day weekend events, Darlington Raceway will have 1970's rock 'n' roll icon Grand Funk Railroad perform the Bojangles' Southern 500 Pre-Race Concert Presented by Coca-Cola on September 6. Grand Funk Railroad, known for its No. 1 hits We're An American Band and The Loco-Motion, is one of the top-selling rock bands of the 1970's. Their 1973 album, We're An American Band, topped out at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard music charts. "What better way to celebrate the 1970's and our return to Labor Day weekend than by having rock legends Grand Funk Railroad perform our Bojangles' Southern 500 Pre-Race Concert Presented by Coca-Cola," Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said. "Grand Funk Railroad's hit songs were some of the most memorable from the early 70's. They are an iconic name in rock music and a tremendous fit for our celebration."
Fans of Grand Funk Railroad have the exclusive opportunity to watch the concert from the front of the pre-race stage. In addition to the purchase of a Bojangles' Southern 500 grandstand ticket, a pre-race access pass may be purchased for an additional $45. This pass will not only give fans stage front access for the concert, but will also include an up close view of the Sprint Cup Series drivers as they are introduced to the crowd. Supplies are limited. The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(6-24-2015)
Turn 3 Theater at Darlington postponed: Due to a potential heat advisory causing near record high temperatures on Friday, June 19, Turn 3 Theater Presented by Raceway Ford Chevrolet will be postponing its feature presentation 'Grease.' The film will be rescheduled at a later date by Darlington Raceway officials.(Darlington Raceway)(6-18-2015)
Testing at Darlington; fans welcome: Fans who want to experience the sights and sounds of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series roaring around Darlington Raceway before the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend might want to pay a visit to the famed South Carolina track on Wednesday, June 10. On that day, Darlington Raceway is hosting an open NASCAR test session from 9:00am-5:00pm. The test is free and open to the public, giving fans the opportunity to see NASCAR's stars race around the high banks of the track Too Tough To Tame. Ten NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams are scheduled to participate in the test session. Drivers currently scheduled to take part are #43-Aric Almirola, #16-Greg Biffle, #15-Clint Bowyer, #41-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #1-Jamie McMurray, #31-Ryan Newman and #78-Martin Truex Jr. Darlington Raceway will open two sections of the Colvin Grandstands, on the backstretch of the track, for fans to watch the test throughout the day. Fans need to use the Gate 3 entrance to the track off of Highway 151. The parking lot is located next to the track's administration building.(Darlington Raceway)(6-2-2015)
State declares "Darlington Raceway Week" in South Carolina: The week of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500, August 31-September 6, 2015, has been named "Darlington Raceway Week, a Week Too Tough To Tame" after the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives passed a concurrent Resolution. The famed track's 66-year history is a major reason that the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives passed the concurrent Resolution, led by state Senator Gerald Malloy, D-Hartsville. The Resolution outlines the historical significance of Darlington Raceway and addresses the role the track played in building the foundation of what has become one of the largest spectator sports in the country. The Bojangles' Southern 500 returns to Darlington Raceway on its traditional Labor Day weekend in 2015. The track hosted NASCAR events on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003. The return has brought a renewed level of excitement to the state, one that is being embraced by the community and its government leaders.(Darlington Raceway)(5-30-2015)
Signature Southern Foods of the 1970's to be offered at Darlington: Darlington Raceway and its food and beverage provider, Americrown Corp., are partnering to offer fans three signature southern food items from the 1970's as part of the track's celebration of that era. All the items will be sold at or below five dollars.
The food items featured will be a pimento cheese sandwich, fried green tomatoes, and a sausage perlo. Below are the details of each item:
Pimento Cheese Sandwich - $3.00
· Made with scratch-made Palmetto style pimento cheese spread
· Served on fresh white bread
Fried Green Tomatoes - $4.00
· Made from sweet and tangy Roma tomatoes coated in bread crumbs
· Served with a spicy aioli
Sausage Perlo - $5.00
· Slice grilled pork sausage
· Served on a bed of South Carolina Perlo rice
All will be featured in several concessions stands for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 event weekend, scheduled for Sept. 5-6, 2015. All of the signature food items were offered at the track Too Tough To Tame in the early 70's. The ideas stemmed from strong record keeping by the family of track founder Harold Brasington. The family kept records of its menus (and shopping lists) in the 1950's and continued to do so throughout the 1970's even though Brasington no longer owned the track. When several of the recipes surfaced, Americrown put their own spin on the classic items, but kept the integrity and quality that the Brasington's provided for their race fans. Americrown will use as many certified South Carolina state products for each item as possible. The signature food items are just one part of the track's strategy to make monthly announcements related to the celebration of the sport as NASCAR returns to the famed Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend. The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500® is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(5-3-2015)
Darlington Raceway recognized for community support: Darlington Raceway was recognized for its community support during a recent ice storm that took place in the Pee Dee area of South Carolina on Feb. 17. Darlington Raceway served as the staging area for over 200 trucks that were brought to the region by Duke Energy to assist in power restoration. Duke Energy is the main power supplier for Darlington County and surrounding areas.(Darlington Raceway)(3-18-2015)
Darlington announces commemorative ticket design: With the Bojangles' Southern 500 returning to Labor Day weekend in 2015, Darlington Raceway is excited to announce it will commemorate its history with a retro-style ticket that will be issued for its events on September 5-6, 2015. The design will incorporate the look of the 1974 ticket. It features South Carolina and Darlington Raceway legend Cale Yarborough, who was highlighted as the defending champion in 1974 after winning his first career Southern 500 in 1973. The ticket will also link eras by honoring last year's Bojangles' Southern 500 winner and 2014 defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick, in a similar fashion. These special tickets will be used for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 and NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 races. Tickets are expected to be mailed to all customers starting in mid-June.
"We announced in December that we would make some exciting announcements each month leading into our race weekend. This new ticket design will be unique for our fans because it captures our storied history with a retro feel and celebrates our defending race champion Kevin Harvick," track President Chip Wile said. "This is just one of many initiatives we have planned over the next several months as we celebrate the tradition returning to Labor Day weekend in September."
In addition, Darlington Raceway will introduce a "Fan Hall of Fame" program. The program will honor longtime ticketholders and supporters of the track. A minimum of five fans will be selected in the first year and will be honored during Bojangles' Southern 500 pre-race ceremonies. Fan Hall of Fame members will be asked to provide feedback and ideas to the track in future years, serving in a Fan Advisory Board capacity.
"We have many loyal race fans who have attended events here for decades, so it only made sense to thank and celebrate them through this new program," Wile said. "Our fans are the number one reason Darlington Raceway has enjoyed a history steep in tradition. Without them, we would not be in existence today. Their stories are what we need to recognize and honor moving forward."
Ticket renewals have been mailed reminding fans to renew their seats for the 2015 Labor Day race weekend. Renewing your tickets early guarantees your seats at the best prices available prior to the opening of all remaining seats to the general public on February 18.
"We want our fans to take advantage of all the great pricing and benefits we offer during the renewal period," Wile said. "This is the best way to guarantee your seats or campsites when NASCAR racing returns to Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway. This is going to be one of the most exciting events of the season, and we encourage everyone to get their tickets now and start preparing as the Tradition Returns to Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend in 2015!"
Renewing customers receive many great benefits for being a loyal customer, including the raceway's best pricing for Labor Day weekend.
Renewal benefits include:
· The track's best prices for the Bojangles' Southern 500
· Flexible six-part payment plan option
· Opportunity to auto renew for three or five years at 2015 pricing
· Special renewal pricing for Darlington Stripe Zone Hospitality ($30 savings)
· Special renewal pricing for pre-race pit passes ($5 savings)
· Special renewal pricing for driver intro/pre-race concert access ($10 savings)
· Special renewal pricing for FanVision rentals ($15 savings)
· Special renewal pricing for Racing Electronics scanner rental ($10 savings)
Guests may renew their tickets and campsites by calling 866-459-RACE (7223) or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com/renewals. The renewal deadline is Friday, Feb. 6.
The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(1-30-2015)
Darlington to celebrate past, present and future in 2015: With Darlington Raceway entering its 66th consecutive year hosting NASCAR's top-tier touring series, the track will commemorate its return to Labor Day weekend in 2015 by honoring its storied past while celebrating the future. With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 returning to its celebrated Labor Day weekend date, the Lady in Black will recognize past champions of the 1970's as part of its 2015 campaign. A number of exciting announcements are planned over the next several months in regards to the campaign, which will focus on years 1970-74. NASCAR Hall of Famers Leonard Wood, Cale Yarborough and Wendell Scott, among others, will be celebrated during the event weekend. All of these drivers played an integral role in building the foundation, which has made Darlington Raceway special to both drivers and fans alike for over six decades. The honoring of champions from the early 1970's is just one part of the track's overall strategy to celebrate its rich history. Each year, Darlington Raceway will focus on specific eras, plus the historic moments and drivers that made impacts at the track Too Tough to Tame. Additionally, the track will link the generations by celebrating current and future stars of NASCAR, including Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Darrell Wallace Jr. The 2015 season will see the return of Darlington, S.C. native Kaitlyn Bailey as the track's "Lady in Black." Bailey will enter her second year in the position and will don a new 70's retro-style firesuit. In her role, Bailey serves as the face of Darlington Raceway. She has made a positive impact in the track's efforts to focus on the fans and serve as an ambassador in the community. Her friendly and engaging personality has made her a fan favorite.(Darlington Raceway)(12-18-2014)
Atlanta removing 17,000 seats, Charlotte 41,000 UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway's parent company, Speedway Motorsports, Inc., announced Tuesday that they will remove 17,000 seats from the track's grandstands. The company anticipates using those areas for premium hospitality, advertising and other facility purposes. Their sister track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, is losing 41,000 seats.(wgxa.tv), see image of the CMS construction at Slugger Labbe's Twitter.(12-10-2014)
UPDATE: Alterations announced this week are in line with a trend of tracks removing seats. Charlotte, after removing 41,000 seats this winter, will be down to permanent seating of 89,000 in 2015, a startlingly low capacity considering its location in NASCAR's epicenter. But it's par for the course. Atlanta is removing 17,000 seats to get down to 75,000; Dover is removing 17,500 seats to get down to 95,500; and Daytona is removing its backstretch grandstands of 46,500 next spring to go to 101,500 seats. Other tracks on the circuit have made similar changes.
At its peak in 2007, International Speedway Corp.'s 12 major tracks had 1.1 million grandstand seats (not including suites). After the Daytona renovation, ISC will be down 30 percent to approximately 761,000 seats.
In 2013 alone, the following ISC tracks cut seats: Talladega (from 108,000 to 78,000), Richmond (91,000 to 71,000), Chicagoland (69,000 to 55,500), Michigan (84,000 to 71,000), California (81,000 to 68,000), Darlington (60,000 to 58,000) and Homestead (56,000 to 46,000). Any additional cuts likely will be revealed when its annual report comes out in January.
With the current Charlotte and Atlanta reductions, Speedway Motorsports has cut 101,000 seats (12 percent) across seven of its tracks since 2009, although it added 38,000 at Kentucky when it moved a Cup race to that track. SMI, which includes suites in its capacity estimates, cut capacity in 2013 at Atlanta (from 98,000 to 92,000), Bristol (158,000 to 153,000) and New Hampshire (96,000 to 95,000).
Dover listed 135,000 seats in 2009, so its reduction in recent years is 29 percent. At one point, it reduced 20,000 seats by replacing the current seats with wider ones for more fan comfort, a move done by many racetracks. Indianapolis and Pocono, privately owned, do not have to report their capacities, but Indianapolis also has removed seats.(see full article at the Sporting News)(12-11-2014)
Darlington and Bojangles' extend Southern 500 race entitlement: Darlington Raceway and Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits announced a five-year extension of their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race entitlement partnership. The partnership, which began in 2012, will continue to bring two iconic southern brands together through the 2019 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "This extension says a great deal about the strong year-round partnership Darlington Raceway and Bojangles' have enjoyed since 2012," said track President Chip Wile. "Both Darlington Raceway and Bojangles' continue to see tremendous value through this partnership. We are honored to extend our working relationship with them through the 2019 season."
"Bojangles' is thrilled to continue our partnership with Darlington Raceway for the next five years," said Bojangles' President and CEO Clifton Rutledge. "Like Darlington, Bojangles' has deep roots in the South and pride ourselves on a tradition of bringing people together, especially over Labor Day Weekend. We look forward to helping create an unforgettable Bojangles' Southern 500 experience for years to come, an experience where the taste of Bojangles' traditional Southern recipes serves as the perfect complement to the sights and sounds of the legendary 'Lady in Black'. We thank Darlington Raceway, ISC and NASCAR for making this possible."
The extension of the partnership between Darlington Raceway and Bojangles' comes at a time when the Bojangles' Southern 500 is returning to its traditional Labor Day weekend in 2015. "Our Labor Day weekend race was a cornerstone of the NASCAR schedule for 53 years. With our event returning to our historic weekend in 2015, we have some really exciting things in store that celebrate our past while continuing to look towards the future," Wile said. "Bojangles' and Darlington Raceway are true iconic Southern brands and we are proud of what we have built and will continue to accomplish together."
Since the original agreement in 2012, Bojangles' has opened more than 100 company and franchise-operated restaurants throughout the Southeast, now boasting more than 600 locations. The chicken n' biscuits brand serves traditional Southern recipes with its own unique flavors, a simple concept that has cultivated a loyal customer base and now drives its increasing popularity and steady expansion throughout the Southeast, including nontraditional locations and sports venues.
This partnership gives Bojangles' the opportunity to serve its famous Chicken Supremes, Cajun Filet Sandwich, Seasoned Fries and Legendary Iced Tea at Darlington Raceway. These menu items will also be served at three other tracks owned and operated by International Speedway Corp.: Daytona, Talladega and Richmond.
Darlington Raceway and Bojangles' have enjoyed a year-round partnership, which has touched a variety of annual community initiatives both entities support including the following:
· Bojangles' is the official sponsor of the Darlington Marathon, held on Sept. 26-27.
· Bojangles' is a partner for the track's Speed & Feed BBQ Cook-off and Car Show, held annually in November.
· Bojangles' has donated items for the track's local drives benefiting Darlington area food banks.
· Darlington Raceway annually supports the Bojangles' Golf Outing benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Both parties unveiled a new Bojangles' Southern 500 event logo at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is scheduled for September 6, 2015 on NBC.(Darlington Raceway)(9-5-2014)
The Tradition returns: Bojangles' Southern 500 : Darlington Raceway and NASCAR officials announced that stock car racing will return to the track Too Tough To Tame on Labor Day weekend in 2015. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 will compete on Sunday, Sept. 6. The NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5 (official start times TBA). Both races are scheduled to be broadcast on NBC. The move back to Labor Day is a direct result of the tireless efforts by officials from Darlington Raceway, International Speedway Corporation (ISC - the track's parent company) and NASCAR to return the track Too Tough To Tame to its traditional and historic weekend. The sport was built on its rich history with Darlington's Labor Day weekend serving as a pillar of that foundation from 1950-2003. "This is a true example of Darlington Raceway, ISC and NASCAR all working together to give fans what they have wanted for many years the tradition of stock car racing on Labor Day weekend at the Lady in Black," said track President Chip Wile. "We can't thank our leaders at ISC and NASCAR enough for working with us to bring back such a historic date on the 2015 NASCAR calendar. "We raced the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend for 53 years. Returning to a date in 2015 that is filled with so much tradition and history is a historic moment for our fans and local community," continued Wile. Guests who purchased tickets or camping in 2014 will receive a renewal notice for 2015. Renewing customers will be guaranteed their seats and/or campsites for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Labor Day weekend. New fans who wish to purchase tickets now may do so, but only in non-renewing areas by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(8-26-2014)
Some possible 2015 Sprint Cup schedule changes UPDATE3: Jim Noble of ESPN/SiriusXM/PRN tweeted Monday evening, "The Southern 500 at Darlington (SC) Raceway will return to its traditional Labor Day weekend date [Sunday, Sept 6th] when NASCAR announces the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule, perhaps as early as this weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway - which has raced on Labor Day weekend since 2009 - will have its lone Sprint Cup race weekend moved earlier in the season to week #2 - Sunday, March 1, 2015. One other notable change will be the Bristol (TN) spring weekend -- often plagued by weather issues in March, Bristol successfully lobbied for a later date, and will now hold its spring Cup race on Sunday, April 19, 2015."(8-19-2014)
UPDATE According to a source who works inside the sport, the date of the 2015 NASCAR spring Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be moved to Sunday, April 19. Due to the unpredictable weather in the Bristol area and lackluster attendance, BMS officials have long lobbied NASCAR for a change away from current date of March 16. Lynsey Wilson, communications manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, did not confirm any schedule alteration when reached late Monday. "Conversations are ongoing and once details are finalized, we will release our 2015 plans," said Wilson, who declined further comment. NASCAR officials are expected to officially announce the full 2015 Sprint Cup schedule soon. That announcement could come this weekend during the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS. The source also said the Southern 500 Darlington race date will shift back to its traditional Labor Day weekend while the Atlanta race will move to the second week of the season on March 1. During an Aug. 5 interview, BMS general manager Jerry Caldwell expressed his desire for a switch in the spring race date. There was no statement from Helton on Monday night and Caldwell did not comment.(Bristol Herald Courier)
UPDATE2: Two sources well connected with NASCAR confirmed the news Tuesday to the Morning News but did not want to be identified. Darlington Raceway president Chip Wile said Tuesday the track "doesn't respond to rumors."(Morning News)(8-20-2014)
UPDATE3: NASCAR will move the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway back to its traditional Labor Day weekend date starting in 2015. Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., confirmed Friday that he has given up the Labor Day weekend date at Atlanta Motor Speedway and will move the Atlanta race to March. Bristol Motor Speedway will get Darlington's mid-April date. "We gave up that Labor Day event and switched that - it's going back to Darlington," Smith said Friday. The last Southern 500 at Darlington was in 2003, ending a tradition that had started in 1950. NASCAR and Darlington's parent company, International Speedway Corp., moved the race to California Speedway in 2004, and then to Atlanta in 2010. Smith said cold weather has plagued the Bristol events in March, and rain has been fairly common at Bristol on that weekend. He said the average temperature in mid-April at Bristol is the mid-70s and it is warmer in Atlanta in March.(Sporting News) AND Smith said the All-Star race would remain at Charlotte Motor Speedway and he wouldn't be willing to change the event's date. He also said he felt the Sprint Cup season finale should return to Atlanta where it was held for more than a decade.(RacinToday)(8-23-2014)
Darlington Raceway announces plans to honor its history and shape its future: It all started in the fall of 1949, when a crisp breeze toyed with the loose soil of an old cotton field on the west side of rural Darlington, South Carolina. Harold Brasington saw more than just dirt dancing around that patch of land. He saw the future. He saw Darlington Raceway. Today, Darlington Raceway is a place of history, where fans reminisce about the past, while creating lasting memories of the present. Where NASCAR legends were born and the youth of NASCAR dream about making their mark on the famed walls of The Lady in Black. Celebrating its roots and looking forward to the future of NASCAR at Darlington Raceway, track president Chip Wile unveiled plans Saturday to honor the track's history and shape its future, as his team turns its attention to 2015. "As the drivers, teams, fans and media leave here this weekend thinking about who visited Gatorade Victory Lane, focusing on the next race and looking towards the 2014 Championship, we're thinking about the future of Darlington Raceway, as we celebrate our past," said Wile. Darlington Raceway's place in history sets it apart from all other tracks. It's hallowed ground, where drivers dreams were shattered and new fans were born. It continues to make its mark on drivers and fans with the great racing of today and the nostalgia of the past. "Our history defines us," added Wile. "Without history we wouldn't know where we've come from or where we're going. NASCAR legends and loyal fans have all played a role in defining Darlington Raceway. Together, we're celebrating where we came from and where we're going."
As part of the celebration, five-time Darlington Raceway winner and 1988 NASCAR Champion, Bill Elliott, as well as his son, Chase, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a member of the NASCAR Next program, one of the sport's rising stars and the youngest winner at Darlington Raceway, will serve as the "face" of the 2015 platform. The father-son duo joined Wile to give media and fans in attendance a glimpse of what's to come, which includes a "throwback" ticket design for the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 and a Classic product line with merchandise through the decades that will be available for fans to purchase.
The track "Too Tough to Tame" will unveil elements of the 2015 platform throughout the season, as it celebrates the past and embraces the future as one of NASCAR's most famed tracks. "We're excited about what the future holds for Darlington Raceway," continued Wile. "We have the most passionate, loyal fans in all of motorsports and we look forward to the role that they will play as we celebrate our past, present and future." Fans are encouraged to join in the celebration as Darlington Raceway plans for the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500. "Tell us your Darlington story," said Wile. "If you have ideas about how Darlington Raceway and NASCAR can celebrate our history and embrace our future, please let us know." Fans can share their stories and submit celebration ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with all the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(4-13-2014)
Darlington moves race to April in 2014: In an effort to improve the guest experience in celebrating its 65th year of racing tradition and history, Darlington Raceway is moving its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend to April 11-12, 2014. "We're making this change with the fan experience in mind," track President Chip Wile said. "We've always enjoyed the tradition of racing on Mother's Day weekend, but sometimes a change like this is necessary. We have the opportunity to get a fresh start and embrace a new date on the NASCAR calendar. This will give us a chance to implement many fun and exciting initiatives we'll be rolling out to celebrate our 65th year of racing at the track Too Tough To Tame." Additionally, South Carolina traditionally has better weather in April. Moving the date up a month aims to alleviate some of the challenges Darlington Raceway has encountered with hotter temperatures in May, which takes away from the guest experience. The average temperature in April 2013 was 75.2 degrees, with May's average at 81 degrees. The move will also give Darlington the opportunity to further focus its efforts on delivering a fun and exciting experience for its local college and university student bodies. The schedule for the Bojangles' Southern 500 race weekend will remain the same as it has been in year's past. The NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 race will run on Friday night, April 11 and the Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will run on Saturday night, April 12, both under the lights. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12 and NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 on Friday, April 11 will go on sale November 29, 2013. Kids 12 and under are half off for the Bojangles' Southern 500 and FREE for the NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 in general admission.(Darlington Raceway)(10-11-2013)
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, September 4, 2015, 4:30 pm/et