Pee Dee Region Celebrates NASCAR’s Arrival To South Carolina

Pee Dee Region Celebrates NASCAR’s Arrival To South Carolina

by April 7, 2014 0 comments

DARLINGTON, SC – The stars of NASCAR will invade Darlington Raceway this weekend for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 and VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, April 11-12.

Before the cars take the green flag this weekend, there are a wide variety of events set to take place around Darlington and Florence. You can visit the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce Wednesday-Friday for refreshments and information on referrals and coupons from the Chamber’s favorite restaurants.

Tuesday, April 8th

Festivities kick off on Tuesday at Darlington Raceway as the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association holds their annual A Taste of Darlington in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event has been a local favorite for more than 30 years, and this year’s edition looks to be better than ever. Attendees will have a chance to taste the best food and beverages the Pee Dee area has to offer.

Tickets are only $30 and can be found at the following:


  • Darlington Raceway ticket office
  • Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce
  • City of Darlington’s administrative office
  • The News & Press
  • Main Street Jewelers
  • Carolina Bank
  • Dedicated Community Bank
  • The Jewelers Bench


  • Carolina Bank


  • Carolina Bank


  • Porter’s Gift Shop.


Wednesday, April 9th

On Wednesday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car haulers will make their way from North Carolina to the Florence Civic Center in Florence, S.C. for the 10th annual Darlington Car Hauler Parade and Festival presented by Nationwide Insurance.

The Florence Race Festival, sponsored by OneMain Financial kicks off at the Florence Civic Center at 4 p.m. All NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers will be on display, and there will be a Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge. Live music by Painted Man will keep everyone entertained throughout the day, and kids will be able to play in the KidsZone that’s filled with inflatable rides, slides, pit stops challenge, airbrush tattoos, the Game Truck and much more. Fans can view a classic car show, and there will be a robotics demo by John W. Moore and Williams Middle Schools, as well. Proceeds from the silent auction and Fatz’s on-site grill will benefit the South Carolina Special Olympics.

NASCAR Next’s Ryan Gifford, Ben Rhodes, Kenzie Ruston and Dylan Kwasniewski will be in attendance as well. At 5 p.m., they will go on stage for a Q&A, and then they’ll interact with all the fans at 5:30 p.m. during an autograph session.

“The Florence area looks forward to the Darlington Car Hauler Parade presented by Nationwide Insurance each year,” Holly Beaumier, Director of the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau said. “The crowds gather for a chance to welcome NASCAR to the area, and they have a chance to get up close and personal with the racing team members.”

While the Florence Race Festival is going on, Darlington will be hosting RaceFest on the public square. Josh Brannon will entertain the crowd with music, venders will be on every corner and there will be a race car show, fun amusement rides and the Monster girls.

At 5:30 p.m., the Liberty Lane Mural, an addition to this year’s RaceFest will be celebrated. The mural painted by Columbia, S.C. artist, Blue Sky is located in the Liberty Lane Winston Walk of Fame on 114 Pearl St. Historic moments in Darlington Raceway’s history are featured in the mural.

“This event will be a party to celebrate the downtown’s newest destination that focuses on the City’s long history with racing, which is the reason people around the world know Darlington’s name,” Lisa Rock, Planning Director of the City of Darlington said. “People will get to meet the artist Blue Sky, hear some talented young musicians, and then have a great time downtown at RaceFest and the Car Hauler’s Parade.”

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers will hit the road at 7 p.m. from the Florence Civic Center to join Darlington’s RaceFest. After all the haulers roll through Darlington’s Public Square, a massive fireworks display will conclude the night.


Thursday, April 10th

Darlington Raceway will come to life on Thursday as the NASCAR Nationwide Series hits the track for their practice sessions. The Country Club of South Carolina will also hold its second annual Jim Hunter Memorial Golf Tournament.

  • 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Second Annual Racin’ to the 19th Hole: The Jim Hunter Memorial Golf Tournament (Country Club of South Carolina)
  • 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Practice, NASCAR Nationwide Series
  • 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Final Practice, NASCAR Nationwide Series


Friday, April 11th

On Friday, the schedule is filled with action from both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.

  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Practice, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
  • 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Final Practice, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
  • 4:10 p.m. Qualifying, NASCAR Nationwide Series
  • 6:10 p.m. Qualifying, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
  • 8 p.m. VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 (147 Laps, 200.8 Miles)


Saturday, April 12th

Everything that takes place throughout the week leads up to the 65th running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12.  The city of Darlington will hold its Market on Darlington Square, and the FanFest 500 and the Good Living Marketplace will take place in Hartsville, S.C. the morning of the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Market On Darlington Square in Darlington, S.C.
  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. FanFest 500 in Hartsville, S.C.
  • 6:30 p.m. Bojangles’ Southern 500 (367 Laps, 501.5 Miles)


Tickets for both the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 and Bojangles’ Southern 500 are still available. You can purchase them by visiting the raceway’s ticket office, or by calling 866-459-7223.

Follow @HunterThomas08 and @TheFourthTurn on Twitter for a unique behind-the-scenes look at this week’s festivities.

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Comment