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What NASCAR Means To A Community

What NASCAR Means To A Community

by May 12, 2013 0 comments
parade

Photo courtesy Calsphotos.com

NASCAR is more than just a few hours of racing for the communities that host Camping World, Nationwide and Sprint Cup races.  For most the event begins days and sometimes weeks before the green flag falls.  This past Thursday night the Darlington/Florence area held their annual Darlington Car Hauler Parade and the turnout was huge.  All of the Sprint Cup teams showed up with their haulers along with the Budweiser Clydesdales and of course the trucks from Champion Tire.  Monster Energy Drink  is one of the event sponsors so they brought along Kyle Busch’s #54 Nationwide hauler.  Nationwide Insurance, the title sponsor, has already signed up for another year of sponsorship.

The parade was started years ago by some local business people and NASCAR fans and shows this one communities enthusiasm for the NASCAR.  It was also an opportunity to show a little appreciation for the hard working hauler drivers who get the cars to the track every weekend as well as give those fans who come to camp at the track days before the race something to do.  From 4pm til 7pm a family oriented carnival setup up at the Civic Center with the trucks as the main attraction.  At 7pm the trucks along with various other vehicles form a parade that winds through Florence and ends up in the Darlington Square.

NASCAR, for it’s part, has thrown it’s support behind the event by parking the haulers in the garage at the end of the parade.  The haulers line up at the Civic Center and pull into the Cup garage in the same order.  This year NASCAR went even further by bringing their Next 9 development drivers to the event to sign autographs and participate in some activities.  Convertible Cameros from the track were also brought over so the drivers could ride in the parade.

The crowd that showed up at the parade starting point, the Florence Civic Center, overflowed the parking lot plus the parking lots of several other businesses near by.  Crowds also lined the parade route from Florence to Darlington.  For several blocks before the parade ended on the Square in Darlington the crowds became 5 and 6 deep.  These fans also help raise money for charity by bidding in a silent auction from NASCAR memorabilia and rides in the hauler.  This year’s charities were the USO and the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

A NASCAR race weekend isn’t just a sporting event, it’s a chance for a community to come together and celebrate at pastime that has become part of the fabric of American life.  Do yourself and your family a favor and make plans to attend the next race in your area and remember don’t just go to the race experience all that the race week has to offer.

Christopher Neal
Christopher is a happily married father of 3 very active boys. He is a full time law enforcement officer and part time web designer. Chris is currently the chief editor of TheFourthTurn.com as well as has personal blog TheDadsPlace.com

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