Darlington Raceway fans get ready for Southern 500


DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The tradition continues at the Darlington Raceway and the official throwback weekend of NASCAR kicked off Sunday evening at the Track Too Tough to Tame. The Bojangle’s Southern 500 returned to Labor Day weekend for it’s third year in a row.

Fans stake out their spots on the campground and infield days before the flag is lowered on race day. Tim Sprenger a Darlington Raceway fan for more than 25 years said, “Everyone’s going to have a smile on their face when something happens you cant hear of course because its so loud, when someone sees something the whole rack shakes because someone is stomping and pointing.”

The Sprenger family and friends built a seven foot rack on trop of a truck trailer for the perfect view along Turn 4. “We’ve had 22 or 23 people up here during the big race. We’re so close to the pits and the pit entrance, it’s great to watch all the action going on in there too,” said Sprenger.

Darlington Raceway is something everyone should at least try to experience it one time, Sprenger added. The track compares to other big names racers love to compete at. “It’s one of the places they want to win there’s a tradition in it. The two tracks they talk about are Daytona and Darlington that have been around for so long they are the two benchmarks of NASCAR,” stated Sprenger.

An out of state crew from Jamestown, New York sets up camp right next to Sprenger. “What I can say for 21 years is the Southern Hospitality thing is real, we’ve made great friends. Two years ago we ended up getting a second spot because we had ten or twelve people every year, so now we have two spots, this is mine and my wife’s vacation we don’t take another vacation, this is it. It’s our one week,” said Kim Smith.

The group gets larger each year because of more people wanting to visit Darlington Raceway. Kaitlyn Dowell also from New York came for the second year. “Everyone is super loud up on the scaffolding, we’re hooting and hollering we’re watching the big screen just really enjoying it. I like Eric Jones, I’m hoping he goes to number 20 because Tony Stewart retired that used to be his number, and I have all his stuff, so I need Eric Jones to be 20,” stated Dowell.

Darlington Raceway is a tradition since 1950 and is considered a landmark “Just being here once you’re here once you want to come, so we come back every single year. I mean right here at Turn 4 it doesn’t get much more exciting,” Smith said.

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