Saturday, May 09, 2009
After 60 years, the Darlington Dream remains
About 60 years ago a Darlington landowner and farmer named Harold Brasington had an idea about creating a paved super speedway racetrack for the new stock car series that would become NASCAR. Locals thought he was nuts. Yet, Brasington pressed forward and worked to create the first NASCAR paved super speedway track. That is right, before there was a Daytona, there was Darlington.
The famed eggshape of the Darlington track came about because Brasington had to avoid a nearby pond and the wet land related to it. That egg shape became legend and the track became a test of legends such as Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordan. South Carolina boasts perhaps the most difficult race track on the NASCAR circuit and the perhaps the one most steeped in rich tradition.
The Daytona 500 has earned the nickname, “The Great American Race.” However, before there was the “Great American Race” there was the “the Great Southern Race,” and that was at Darlington, SC. NASCAR’s best will be fighting it out Saturday night to tame the infamous “Lady in Black” that is Darlington and stand among the legends who raced and won at Darlington. Fans will flock to the track and will revel in parties right up until the the green flag is dropped to start the race.
Indeed, Saturday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington will be a renewal of a great South Carolina tradition. South Carolina can be proud to have Darlington Raceway as part of it and have the nation looking to it Saturday night. VUI plans to be there and will bring more coverage of the legendary track and its legendary race. For, now, as Fox’s Darrell Waltrip says, “Let’s go racing boys, boogity, boogity boogity!” Tonight, we will do it Darlington style and showcase South Carolina.