Thursday, August 14, 2008

Darlington gets back the Southern 500

For the past few years, there has been something a little bit wrong with NASCAR. At least if one looks at it from the South Carolina prespecitive. The traditional Southern 500 that ran at the legendary track was replaced by a 400 mile spring race.
It was an insult that Darlington lost one race, but even more of one when that one race was reduced down to 400 miles. The hard working bubbas who made NASCAR what it is today were ignored. The smaller stands of Darlington were snubbed for big tracks in places like Texas and California. NASCAR showed the Lady in Black little respect.

However, fans still flocked to that one spring race, due to Darlington's tradition and its unusual track specifications that made it unique on the NASCAR circuit. Recent media reports indicate that Darlington Raceway will host the Southern 500 again next year. The Lady in Black has her respect back.

Bringing back that type of race at Darlington will be good for South Carolina and for NASCAR. NASCAR will get a "full 500" race at a track steeped in tradition that truly tests a driver's skill. Darlington will get its respect back, and with that respect increased excitement and dollars from fans that flock to the Pee Dee.

Hats off to the guys who run Darlington who got the beloved Southern 500 back. In a world that seems to be crazy all the time, the folks at Darlington have brought back a tradition that makes things, at least on the Palmetto sports scene, seem to make things right again. Hooray for the return of the Southern 500 at Darlington!

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