Those fortunate enough to be in Darlington's fan hospitality area during the Dodge Avenger 500 weekend can expect a very special day thanks to the stars of NASCAR¿s past, present and future. The first driver scheduled for an appearance in the Darlington Stripe Zone on Saturday, May 12 is 2006 championship contender Jeff Burton.
When noting the numbers, there is a definite correlation between drivers who name Darlington Raceway as a favorite track and their performances here. Two-time Darlington champion Jeff Burton is a classic example.
Burton, who finished seventh in the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Series point standings, has posted 13 top 10 and eight top five finishes in 24 starts at the track "Too Tough To Tame." He was a winner in the 1999 spring event, then returned for the ¿sweep¿ in September of that year, winning the prestigious 50th running of the Mountain Dew Southern 500.
¿I¿ve been coming to Darlington since I was a kid; it¿s really a special place for me,¿ Burton said. ¿Darlington stands out from the rest in a lot of ways. It¿s an icon of our sport, and it¿s a privilege to compete here. It¿s like a homecoming, especially with the new Mother¿s Day weekend date. And the racing here is some of the best of the entire season.¿
Located in the Wachovia Hospitality Village outside Turn 3, the Darlington Stripe Zone gives fans an opportunity to eat, relax and interact with NASCAR personalities on race day. Stripe Zone admission is limited in number and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Darlington Stripe Zone admission included: food and beverages (including four beer tickets); live entertainment; a pre-race pit pass; a commemorative event souvenir; and question-and-answer sessions featuring current and former NASCAR superstars.
The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 weekend will include practice and qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series on Friday, May 11, followed by the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 NASCAR Busch Series race under the lights that evening. Denny Hamlin is the defending champion.
On Saturday, May 12, Darlington will host Cup Series racing for the 58th consecutive season as Greg Biffle attempts to join the short list of drivers to win three events in a row at NASCAR¿s most historic venue. The 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 will be run under the lights in its entirety.
Tickets for all events are on sale now. For more information, call the Raceway ticket hotline toll-free at 866.459.RACE, or visit www.racetickets.com.