Photo Contributed by Darlington Raceway
Southern 500 Weekend Wows with Action On and Off the Track
The wait is over. The NASCAR playoffs kick off this weekend and the honor of hosting the start of crowning a champion goes to…Darlington Raceway once again!
Indeed, the track “Too Tough to Tame” hosts the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Sept. 3 and NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in the 73rd running of the Cook Out Southern 500® on Sunday, Sept. 4.
Tickets for both races were still available for purchase via phone at 866-459-7223 or online at darlingtonraceway.com.
NASCAR just nailed down its 16 drivers in the playoffs this Sunday at Daytona International Speedway in the last race of the regular season. Austin Dillon snuck in with a dramatic win, as Ryan Blaney emerged as the only non-race winner to reach the playoffs, which left Martin Truex Jr. just three points out of the field. For that list of 16 check out this link. Chase Elliott won the points title in the regular season.
Darlington Raceway and the surrounding communities will again offer up lots of entertainment leading up to the races. Check out this list that we will update if new stuff pops up.
SCHEDULED AT THE TRACK:
- Wednesday, Aug. 31, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.: Darlington Raceway hosts the Atlanta Braves 2021 World Champions Trophy Tour as part of its Track for Laps for Charity event. The event allows fans to drive their vehicles around the track for a $20 donation. All proceeds support Shriners Children’s and Darlington Shares. During the same event but from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., fans can also get photos with the Johnny Mantz Southern 500 Trophy that will go to the Southern 500 winner in the NASCAR Cup Series garage. Fans should enter Gate 39B, enter through the infield tunnel and park in the Cup Garage. For more information on Track Laps for Charity visit www.darlingtonraceway.com/events/tracklaps/.
- Thursday, Sept. 1, 6:30pm: Darlington Raceway hosts the fourth annual Terrence Carraway Memorial 5K presented by Brown’s RV Superstore benefiting the Terrence F. Carraway Foundation. The running event will honor the life of the City of Florence, S.C. Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway. Runners can register online at darlingtonraceway.com/memorial5k.
- Friday, Sept. 2 at 5 p.m.-7 p.m.: Campers are invited to join Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp at the Trackside Live stage in the Midway for a concert with the Josh Brannon Band. Cook Out and Coca-Cola will provide vanilla milkshakes and soda to make old fashioned Coke Floats. There will also be yard games and giveaways.
- Saturday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m.-1:15pm: Kid’s only Q&A with Noah Gragson in the NASCAR Kids Zone
- Sunday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.: Kid’s only Q&A with Michael McDowell in the NASCAR Kids Zone.
- Sunday at 5:20 p.m.: Red Carpet Driver Walk with NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Drivers will walk from the Cup Garage on the red carpet to pit road to their race cars for pre-race festivities.
ONGOING ALL WEEK AT THE TRACK:
- Photo Moments will be held at various locations on track grounds. Fans can be captured with partner frames including the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200, Cook Out Southern 500 and NASCAR Playoffs.
- NASCAR Kids Zone will make its return with coloring stations, face painting, driver roster puzzles, design a Next Gen race car, chalk art, balloon artists and other kid-friendly activities such as Midway Mania Punch Card. Will include a champion racer ride-on, crash racers circuit and the brand-new NASCAR RC cars
- Campers present during race weekend can also expect a few surprises around the campgrounds. The Rvezy Infield Camper Hub will be open with food, games and a live DJ from Friday to Sunday.
- The eNASCAR Gaming Hauler will return to the midway featuring four iRacing simulators racing virtual Darlington Raceway as well as a Gamer tent featuring Mario Kart. The area will be open before the green flag each race day.
- The Cook Out .25 Midget Series will compete at the Darlington Raceway facility during the Shriners Children’s presents Darlington Labor Day Race Week on Sept. 1-4. This will be the first time since 2019 that the Cook Out .25 Midget Series will compete over Darlington’s traditional Labor Day race weekend. Details here. Some more info here as well.
- Trackside Live will return to the heart of the midway to entertain fans with driver Q&As, personalities, music and all manner of entertainers including:
Saturday 8:30 a.m.: Inland Band
Saturday 12:00 p.m.: Sheldon Creed Q&A
Saturday 12:15 p.m.: Justin Allgaier Q&A
Saturday 2:00 p.m.: The Tim Clark Band
Sunday 12:30 p.m.: The Travelin Kine Band
Sunday 1:45 p.m.: Rory Zak Band
Sunday 3:00 p.m.: Austin Cindric Q&A
Sunday 3:15 p.m.: Christopher Bell Q&A
Sunday 3:30 p.m.: Terry Labonte Q&A
Sunday 4:30 p.m.: Josh Brannon Band
OFF THE TRACK:
- Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: At the Sports Clips Haircuts Florence Mall location check out the pace car, receive giveaways, and have a chance to win a pair of tickets! This of course is inspired by the Sports Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 Saturday at 3 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 1 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Joe’s Grill will hold a concert with Andy and Oneida joined by Stone Martin, finalist on X-Factor and member of cast of Academy Award-winning movie CODA. Concert from 7 to 10 p.m. with the grill open serving food from 5 to 10 p.m. at 306 Russell St., Darlington. Reserve a six-top table for $100. Ask for Olivia 843-944-0626.
- Thursday, 7 p.m.: Live jazz at Tammy’s in Lake City
- Thursday, 10 p.m.: Live music at Dizzy Crab in Florence
- Friday, Sept. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m.: Kyle Petty signing event at Barnes & Noble in Florence.
- Friday, 7 p.m.: Live music at Southern Hops in Florence
- Friday, 7 p.m.: Fahrenheit 225 will have Trivia & Rock Bingo Night. You can pick up to-go orders at 26 Public Square, Darlington.
- Friday, 8 p.m.: Cruz ‘n Karaoke is coming to Rambo’s (formerly Mike’s Corner Bar) at 1288 Timmonsville Hwy in Darlington. Use your Smartphone to submit song requests! Get your FREE Songbooks Online app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details. Register and enter show ID: TJB582. Select the songs you want to sing and be added to the rotation without even leaving your seat.
- Friday, 10 p.m.: Live music at Dizzy Crab in Florence
- Saturday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Bubba Wallace will be available to meet fans and sign autographs at the Darlington Walmart.
- Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: New Vision Community Development Corporation presents the 9th Annual Community Rice Festival at the New Hopewell Outreach Center in Hartsville. Enjoy a parade, a car and bike show, an umbrella parade, live entertainment, games, vendors, food trucks, a DJ and a TV raffle! Plus you can sample unique and delicious rice dishes starting at $5 a taste as local cooks will compete for your vote.
- Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.: BBQ brunch and live music at Wholly Smokin’ Downtown Florence
- Saturday, 5 p.m.: Caitlin Rushin will perform at Wild Heart Brewing Company in Hartsville
- Saturday, 5 p.m.: Racing action at Florence Motor Speedway. More info at https://www.fmspeedway.com/.
- Saturday, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.: Kyle Petty will be doing a book signing for his memoir, Swerve or Die, at South of Pearl at 117 Edwards Avenue in Darlington. Joined by Jeff Gates, he will also be performing some of his original music at the event. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and admission is free. Bring your chairs and blankets for excitement in Uptown Darlington. Books will be available for purchase $30 each.
- Saturday, 7 p.m.: Live music at VFW Post 3181 in Florence
- Saturday, 10 p.m.: Live music at Dizzy Crab in Florence
Stay informed about all the activities in and around Darlington Raceway at www.darlingtonraceway.com/fanguide.