KERRY THARP: Cook Out Southern 500 packed with excitement | Sport News

DARLINGTON, SC — The recently concluded NASCAR race weekend at Darlington Raceway reminded us once again why the Cook Out Southern 500 is considered one of the premier events in the sport and in the state of South Carolina.

The track was pleased to announce last Saturday that the race was sold out, adding even more excitement and anticipation to the first round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. The support, loyalty and passion shown by our fans is truly second to none. Seeing the packed stands was a sight to behold and those stands remained full throughout the course of the race. On behalf of Darlington Raceway and NASCAR, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to those who attended and participated in our event last week.

From the moment our fans arrived at the property on August 30 to the moment the campers departed on September 5, our focus was on making sure they enjoyed their stay so much that they wanted to return next year. Serving our fans is our top priority, and while we are not perfect in everything we do, it is our intention to make sure our fan experience is best in class.

People are also reading…

The energy and enthusiasm that permeated our property was contagious. I had the opportunity to personally visit with hundreds of fans and it was extremely gratifying to see the smiles on their faces as they took in the sights and sounds of Too Tough To Tame. We went out of our way to provide our fans with a wide variety of activities including: Track Laps for Charity, Atlanta Braves World Series Trophy Tour, Terrence Carraway Memorial 5K, a Josh Brannon Band concert, an Active Fan Midway, host and NBC appearances. talent show, a pre-race concert with rising country artist Larry Fleet, two-time NCAA champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach Dawn Staley as honorary host Pace Car, post-race fireworks, and the kind of intense racing that Darlington Raceway is known for.

See also  The former NBA champion seems upset that Draymond Green did not invite him to his wedding: "I'm still checking my mailbox"

The finish of Saturday’s Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race was unforgettable. Noah Gragson capitalized on an opportunity created when Kyle Larson and Sheldon Creed were trading paint in the closing laps to take his second straight victory in the Labor Day weekend race at Darlington. Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. visited Victory Lane for the post-race celebration and that’s always a bonus when you have one of the iconic figures in our sport participating in the festivities.

Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 provided our crowd with plenty of twists and turns. While most of the Playoff drivers endured a tough night of racing, the vaunted No. 43 racing machine ended up at Victory Lane as Erik Jones came on strong towards the end of the race to claim his second victory in Cook Out Southern 500. Championship contenders including Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick encountered mechanical problems that took them out of the race. Kyle Busch led a race-high 155 laps before suffering an engine failure as he prepared for the final restart. Elliott spun on lap 113, breaking the rear of his No. 9 Chevrolet and crashing out of the race. Harvick’s car caught fire on lap 275, causing him to drop out of the race in 33rd place and now sits 13 points shy of the current cut-off line.

Jones became the first non-playoff driver to win the first postseason event since NASCAR introduced the elimination format in 2014. It was his third career victory and the first for Petty GMS Racing since that organization was formed by merger before the start of the 2022 season. The win was also the 200th for the 43-car number, which the NASCAR Hall of Famer and car owner led to seven series championships.

See also  NFL Week 13 Thursday Night Football

“Richard hasn’t been to Victory Lane in Darlington since the last time he won here,” Jones said, referring to The King’s 1967 victory in the Southern 500, his only victory in that crown jewel event. “It’s just amazing. I am very proud of our team. We’ve been close all year and I wasn’t sure today was going to be the day. It was going to be difficult to win, but there is no more suitable place. I love this track. I love this race. I’m in that trophy now twice and that’s great.”

Race No. 2 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs takes place this Sunday at Kansas Speedway, with the Hollywood Casino 400 presented by Barstool Sportsbook. Broadcast time is set for 3 pm (ET) on USA Network.

Leave a Comment